Event/Workshop Report


Let’s Peek! Lighting Design vol.2

A webinar titled “Let’s Peek! Lighting Design Vol.2” was held on August 9, 2020. It was the second event of the series where active lighting designers give presentations on their projects to answer questions from students: what is lighting design, what does a lighting designer do, and how can one be a lighting designer? This year the event was hosted as a webinar.


First, Yukio Onoda of Iris Associates talks about “what is a lighting designer?” focusing on “Architectural Lighting,” which many designers registered in IALD Japan usually work on. Lighting designers should always be aware of the five senses. They are particularly conscious of a vision and understanding the existence of light that controls vision is indispensable in lighting design. He explains that architectural lighting designers use light as a tool and move people’s feelings while being aware of the five senses, and in that sense, it is a fascinating profession which designs all kind of architectural lighting, even artistically sometimes.


Next, two panelists introduce what a lighting designer actually does. Takafumi Kubo of Mantle Inc., explains that good lighting design can only be created by experimenting and seeing the actual lighting, adding that these frequent experiments characterize his office. When designing custom lighting fixtures for a specific space, he tries to make them like a piece of architecture, showing not only light but also lighting fixtures themselves to emphasize their necessity in the space. The two projects he presents well express these features.


Haruka Uchino, a lighting fixture consultant of WORKTECHT & Co., introduces a wide range of her work, including research and solution proposals for a client’s problem and design of lighting fixtures and catalogs. In her office, she put various samples of lighting fixtures and interior materials on the table to inspire designers to do something with the materials. Such ideas are often developed in relation to a specific project. Also, Ms. Uchino once left WORKTECHT for a different job, where she learned the workflow and atmosphere of the worksite. She says that experience helps her current job a lot.

When asked about tools they often use at work, they both answer “colored pencils.” Mr. Kubo adds “a brass pencil sharpener” that he likes the texture, and Ms. Uchino adds “sketchbooks” and “a measuring tape” that she uses every day.


When asked, “Are you happy to be a lighting designer?” both of them replies, “Yes.” Ms. Uchino finds it fun to explain the lit-up night view, and she can also learn a lot from it. Mr. Kubo mainly deals with small-scale projects such as private houses and works closely with his clients. He finds it interesting to see their reaction directly.
In response to a question from a student, “Do you conduct any research or study about indoor composition or external environments, other than the lighting element itself?” Ms. Uchino answers that she keeps in mind materials for walls and floors when planning. Mr. Kubo often studies things other than lighting, such as furniture, and what he cares the most is texture. He examines how a material looks under light and considers not only lighting but also the whole space and elements.

The same question is posed to Kazuhiro Nagashima of Chips LLC., who introduced IALD Japan in this event. He strives to create good space in collaboration with all the architects and interior designers, so he discusses many things other than lighting with them. To do so, he needs to learn a lot, making his job as a lighting designer more intriguing.


Date:August 7th, 2020
Location:IALD-Japan WEBINAR
Moderator:Chieri Iizuka , Yukio Onoda
Panel Members:Haruka Uchino, Takafumi Kubo, Kazuhiro Nagashima