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“You asked for the ideal source!” Victor Palacio

Victor Palacio manages Ideas en Luz agency in Mexico City. Mexican lighting designer, he is the IALD President Elect - International Association of Lighting Designers.
par Anne Bureau11 juin 2015

What is light for you?

Victor Palacio: Many things, I could not give a single definition.

  • It is energy that sometimes you feel in your skin or even inside of you
  • It is the way to be related to our context
  • It is life and also magic.
Victor Palacio

Victor Palacio

What is your first light emotion?

Victor Palacio: If I try to go back in time and recover those first emotions in my life, it always deals with those moments at home with my parents and siblings; sometimes at our grand parents’ house or with relatives in a family party. And maybe one of the things in common for all those moments is the warmth of the light in the house. So, my first light emotion must be one of happiness and joy with my family.

Façade en couleur de Liverpool  - Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

Façade en couleur de Liverpool – Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

What is your favorite feeling of light?

Victor Palacio: I was very fortunate since one of my first activities working in a lighting company was to review a problem with the fixtures in a museum exhibition. I had no experience and until that moment I believed that lighting was just about turning the switch on and off.

Halogen lamps were brand new! And our company had installed a variety of them in response to the different needs of the exhibition.   It was really exciting to find out how the artifacts in the museum could look much better when the light was in the right direction or the beam was changed to create a better effect.

I was captivated by the power of those tiny fixtures (very hot indeed!) to transform the way we could perceived art objects. And I enjoyed that a lot! This is my favorite feeling, to work directly at adjusting light for objects and spaces and feeling the transformation.

Concordia - Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

Concordia – Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

What is for you the most complete light project?

Victor Palacio: I like very much the lighting of the facade of Notre Dame in Paris, the stone seems to have light of itself, a soft warm light that captures your attention at night. There are just a couple of ground fixtures for the entrance arches, then some projectors lighting from the front and some additional lighting located on the cornices. Lighting is delicate and embracing. It has the best possible quality for:

  • the building size,
  • the stone texture and colour
  • to render all the sculptured details in different levels.

Somehow it doesn’t look illuminated, it just shows its own shine.

Mise en lumière de Notre Dame de Paris, France - Conception lumière Roger Narboni, Concepto et Louis Clair, Light Cibles - Copyright Concepto

Mise en lumière de Notre Dame de Paris, France – Conception lumière Roger Narboni, Concepto et Louis Clair, Light Cibles – Copyright Concepto

In the future, what do you want light it to do and didn’t’ do it yet?

Victor Palacio: I would like to see light better integrated in spaces, being part of a holistic solution and not an aggregate in the end.

Light is architecture, not a fixture that comes to give light with certain characteristics. And I would like to see light doing more architecture and less engineering. Somehow, the order of the factors of this equation has been changed altering the final result.

  • We develop certain technology,
  • then we make it fit in a space,
  • finally we got light in it.

It should go backwards by defining and designing spaces from their light needs and possibilities and then using the technology to achieve the design intentions.

OLE – Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

What personality of light is the most inspiring?

Victor Palacio: Several of them!

  • The first one who inspired me is Roger Narboni, he spoke in Mexico City in the early nineties and definitely caught me with his vision and sensibility.
  • Kaoru Mende is also a very inspiring designer; his cultural background translated into solutions in lighting is awesome.
  • Mark Major and Johnathan Speirs have made me think that it was so right to devote to lighting; their presentations and their book are incredible sources of creative thinking.
Cinetecanal - Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

Cinetecanal – Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

What is your favorite light object?

Victor Palacio: The incandescent lamp. I grew up with it, in a time when the graphic representation of ideas, creativity and thinking was a light bulb.   It appears in some of my favorite paintings, those from the late 19’s and early 20’s when the electric light entered in the life of everyone. It is a fantastic device, simple and functional. The purest representation of electric light.

Liverpool reducida - Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

Liverpool reducida – Conception lumière et photo Victor Palacio

What is your ideal light source?

Victor Palacio: For some situations it would be one that completely disappears from view, one that provides the light we need and that seamlessly integrates with architecture without being seen as a light source.

In other cases, my ideal is a very versatile source, one that is able to adjust color temperature and also beam width, tunable, completely adjustable and flexible but elegant and simple.

And finally, I would like to see a light source that looks like a light source, not like a robot, not an old fixture with plastic surgery work, neither a fake simulation.  A new object that can stand for ideas, creativity and clarity; an abstraction of light turned into an industrial object.  (You asked for the ideal source!)

Équipe du projet

ZOOM +

 
Effects of blue light 3/3: Jonathan Speirs
 
Panorama : 50 projets de conception lumière Ibéro Américain
 
International Year of Light 2015 : site map | plan du site
 
Cities & Lighting, n°2, Avril 2015, édité par LUCI

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Anne Bureau
Anne Bureau
Conceptrice lumière indépendante depuis 1995. Co-fondatrice en 2011 de l’agence Wonderfulight, avec Nicolas Marquette. Membre des associations IALD, ILA, AFE, ACE - dont elle fut présidente. Intervient pour des conférences et des workshops dans le monde entier. Designer de formation. A travaillé avec Yann Kersalé, Roger Narboni et Georges Berne.
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