LIGHT, THE BUILDING STONE OF THE UNIVERSE
We had a pleasant interview on qualified and original lighting with Ayrım Yaser TALU's perspective, anticipatory and technical analysis.
Ayrım Yaser TALU, ZEVE's Chief Architect, and Lighting Designer; shared the story of the light, the problems of the lighting industry, the elements that guide today's lighting industry, and many other views with us.
Could you talk a little bit about yourself and pleasant side of the business?
I entered the industry as a lighting designer in the mid-90s. Afterward, I continued my career in ZEVE with my professional experience, of which I am the founder. Until today, I have actively participated in many award-winning architectural lighting projects ranging from urban squares to historical buildings, health and social life, cultural construction, bridges to public spaces. Among them is the award I received from the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), known as the event in which Oscars of lighting design is awarded. Then, I had the pleasure of my design being selected as one of the best three designs in its domain in the Architectural Lighting based in Washington. I was also rewarded with the second-best design in the Darc Awards in London, which was voted by more than 6.000 lighting designers and architects around the world.
I am a lighting designer who is motivated by the intention to unearth the souls of constructions with carefully planned lighting designs, to create clear, uncluttered spaces, and to produce projects touching the human spirit. I am looking to create different and atmospheric environments using the mysterious direction of light. I think that the most enjoyable elements of this business are that we can play with contrasts, redefine the space differently beyond the regular daylight perspective, blend the beautiful sides of architecture with blissful light combinations in which we can indulge ourselves.
What is the prospect of light in our lives?
The first thing you need to look at is the story of light, when did it exist? It has existed from the first moments of the universe. It is one of the most important elements in our lives. The building block of the universe. Is it possible to think that something that existed from the first moment on, does not affect human and health? It is a phenomenon as Einstein put it: "How did I miss the fact that the universe is still expanding?". If we did not think of it as a visible spectrum of light, life would not have started if there was no light. It was a mistake not to think that it has an effect on human health, yet today, it is proven with clear evidence that it has such an effect.
The indoor life adventure of mankind corresponds to a very small period of time compared to the human existence period, therefore our bodies react according to the signals they receive from natural light. Our biological clock and hormonal balance and everything is related to daylight. But today we are largely deprived of the stimuli that provide the hormonal balance of daylight under artificial light indoors. What are we supposed to do? At least we can try to imitate the daylight best. If we can understand the interaction of the daylight with the human body during the 24-hour time frame, we can imagine a human-focused light design with the help of today's technology.
Furthermore, light is also used in important areas such as health, science, and art in human life. There are artworks and light installations where light is used as an emotion transfer and communication tool. As I have said, many artists use light as a means of emotion transfer with light installations.
What should be considered when designing lighting? Can you refer to the elements that guide today's lighting?
The first thing I think when I get a new project is the light composition. I think and concentrate on where and how I want to see the light within the space, whether it is an outside, a landscape, an interior space. At this stage, there is no product, nothing, just light. First, you imagine the light and create a light composition. What I have done later is to look at how I can realize the dream that I have made. At this point, the products enter the design process as light sources and architectural elements. The form of the product is important because you consider the interior or landscape concept if it is for outdoor use and start to choose products that are integrated with the outdoors.
Nothing good happens by chance, there is definitely a designer behind it.
Today, when talking about the application of light to architecture, human-centric lighting should be considered simultaneously. Lighting designers now have to consider this factor seriously while designing. Because designers are expected to consider these new design parameters along with the human-centric lighting.
There is a rapid development in scientific and technological sense in the field of lighting in the world. There are two important fields now; the first one is human-centric lighting: there are extensive research and conferences on it. The second one is interactive communication via intelligent lighting systems in connection with IOT (internet of things). Smartcity applications are one of them.
The lighting has become very digitalized. As a result, players from outside the lighting industry have begun to enter the industry and this will start to pose a threat to the companies in the industry. That's why lighting companies have to adapt quickly to this new digital world. I would recommend Turkish manufacturers to give the necessary importance to this issue. Because the companies coming from outside the industry in the future will face them as serious competitors.
Should aesthetic or functionality be highlighted in the lighting? What are the difficulties of lighting design in Turkey?
Both are important, but I do not discuss the aesthetic part, it's a totally subjective element. To some, the light ambiance is good in the space, but it may not be for me and to some, it may be average. If there is a clear mistake in functionality within the design, it should not be done by a lighting designer because it will be a serious criticism.
Unfortunately, the lighting design in Turkey is considered a work done on CAD and nobody feels bad about the consequences of sloppy and bleak design. In other words, nobody feels uneasy for the bad lighting project. The employer allocates the budget to the static project, wants to work with the good company, why? If there is a problem in static, the building will collapse. There is a factor of fear. Likewise, people have a similar fear for the electric project. This is not the case for lighting. Even though lighting design company takes part in some important projects in Turkey, the budget is too low. In many projects, there is no feel to need a lighting consultant or project managers do not even think of it. I suppose lighting is not considered as an aesthetic concern or fear factor, and it is a discipline that is waived for this reason, or the required budgets are not allocated. It is often assigned to other project groups. That is to say, people who do not have any expertise in lighting design are doing this job. Also, if you work with any designer, you have to know who this designer is. His/her design approach should be understood. Lighting design requires lighting knowledge and experience, requires aesthetic understanding and imagination, and good technical knowledge and a holistic point of view.
Although there are some points that Turkish manufacturers fail to develop themselves, they are somewhat right. It is not a profitable market and has low margin, therefore it is hard to create savings for R&D. In this case, duplicating factor comes into play rather than presenting a new product to the market. For a good product, there needs to be a demand in the market. There is no such demand. There are similar problems with lighting design.
The lighting industry experiences the discomfort of a reputation as a whole. This applies to both manufacturers and designers. Above all, there is a lack of employer, who pays attention to lighting. There is neither demand for a good lighting system, nor a demand for a good design service.
It is obvious that the lighting manufacturers and designers should come together and work with relevant authorities in the government and private sector. I believe that this will contribute to our country's economy.