As part of Clerkenwell Design Week, Tony took part in Darc magazines’ talk series #darcthoughts

The talk, ‘Fit for Purpose’ discussed how function and form align in lighting for bar and restaurant spaces.

 

Here are just a few of Tony’s thoughts…

Lighting for aesthetics

“Lighting is central to all that we do, it’s a great tool to tell the story as decorative light can embody the narrative so well.”

“Lighting does have to be functional, but it isn’t just as simple as can you read the menu, it also has to suit and create the right ambiance.”

Does budget impact design?

“I don’t think you need to spend huge sums on Italian chandeliers, a small budget forces you to be creative and if you think about the brief in the right way you can actually produce something that has a huge impact.”

Designing lighting  

“Rather than thinking of lighting as a series of fittings, you need to first think about the light itself, where and how you want it to fall.

“It’s like when you are learning to draw, you are told not to draw the objects but the space between. The same applies to light, I encourage my designers to start with a black piece of paper and chalk out where they want light. From then you can design the fixtures that will give you the desired result.”

Lighting a restaurant

“Lighting and sound levels have to work in harmony to give the desired atmosphere, and this needs to be adaptable to successfully transitions throughout the day and night. You don’t want either scheme to be compromised with a ‘one size fits all approach’.”

Other considerations

“I admit I was guilty five or six years ago of underestimating social media and assuming it would eventually go away. Now I have done a complete U-turn, I see many of our clients building their business solely on the back of Instagram. It’s becoming central to a business’ growth so we must facilitate it through specific design considerations.”

“In ‘the olden days’ as I call it, we used to design a restaurant with a task light over the table. This now doesn’t work because if you hold your phone above your plate to take a photo you get a shadow.”

“This may seem trivial but this is now a real thing to consider and it provides quite a technical challenge.”