Light and Design
Light plays an important role in our daily lives. We are surrounded by it and dependent on it. Light is also key to design. There’s design for light—lamps, for example—and design with light—illumination of art, say. And the way light is used in design morphs with new inventions like LED lighting and with increased awareness regarding sustainability and energy consumption.
Our first event in a new series on light, Light and Design welcomes Yves Behar, a Swiss industrial designer and founder of San Francisco-based firm fuseproject, famous for his innovative approach; Patrick Reymond, co-founder of Swiss design company Atelier Oï, involved in architecture, design, and scenography; and Patricia Glasow, a leading light designer in the Bay Area for Auerbach Glasow French, an international architectural lighting design and consulting company. Steven Mesh, Lighting Programs Coordinator for Pacific Energy Center, leads the discussion, which is focused on light as the center of design, how light is used, and new trends in light sources.
Yves Behar is the founder of the San Francisco design studio, fuseproject. He is focused on humanistic design and the “giving” element of his profession with the goal of creating projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future, connected with human emotions, and enable self-expression. For Nicholas Negroponteʼs One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), fuseproject designed the first $100 “XO” laptop, aimed at bringing education and technology to the world’s poorest children.
Beharʼs commercial projects set out to be equally impactful, as exemplified by the Herman Miller LEAF Lamp, the Aliph Jawbone and, most recently, Y Water. His work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions and resides in the permanent collections of international museums worldwide, including MOMA and the Musee d'Art Moderne/Pompidou Center.
Patricia Glasow is a Principal with Auerbach Glasow French. She’s been involved in the design and management of hundreds of lighting projects around the world, including Pixar Animation Studios Phase 2 Production Building, the new law building at UC Berkeley, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and the David Brower Center in Berkeley, for which the design team recently won a USGBC Northern California Award for visionary guidance and leadership in the Green Building Movement.
Trained as a theatrical lighting designer, she began her professional career with Strand Century, Inc. and went on to work for WED Enterprises, the design subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions. Glasow has received numerous lighting design awards from groups including the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the General Electric Edison Awards. She holds a Lighting Certification (LC) from the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions.
Patrick Reymond founded Atelier Oï together with Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis, and in La Neuveville, Switzerland, in 1991. Besides his work at Atelier Oi, Patrick Reymond has taught at the University of Art and Design, Lausanne (ECAL), since 1998 and at the Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne since 2004. He is president of the Swiss Federal Design Commission.
Steven Mesh, LC, IESNA, is the Senior Lighting Program Coordinator at the Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco. He attended Parsons School of Design and studied under Jim Nuckolls. He’s been a lighting designer and educator for the past 29 years, working on projects for commercial, institutional, museum, retail, historic, residential and special-use locations. He is “Lighting Certified” by NCQLP and is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNA). He is also an AIA Registered Provider.
Before moving to San Francisco, Mesh was the Northeast Regional Vice President for IESNA and served on the faculty of several New York City design schools. He was a contributing editor of Building Operating Management magazine, and he won an IALD award for lighting the Palm House at Dowling College, and an Electric Power Research Institute award for Brower Commons at Rutgers University. He is also a private pilot.
Atelier Oi was founded by Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis, and Patrick Reymond in La Neuveville, Switzerland, in 1991. The name refers to the Russian Troika, or trio, that expresses the concept and dynamism of the team itself. In contrast with the monocultural tendency of specialization, Oï strives for diversity by breaking with a disciplinary concept that limits projects to one field. Oï’s work connects disciplines in new and often unexpected ways.
The firm has received several awards, including the 2003 If Design Award, 2007 Living at Home Award, and 2008 Product of the Year from Architectural Record. They’ve worked for Ikea, Wogg, Roethlisberger, Dietiker, Swatch, B&B Italia, Foscarini, Louis Vuitton, and Bulgari, and the team members hold teaching positions in the design department of ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne, Switzerland).
This event is produced by Swissnex San Francisco and part of the U.S.-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future. As a leading country in science, research and technology, Switzerland is working with its American counterparts to address key global topics such as sustainability, to better understand trends and arrive at solutions.