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RSL - 2017

Another month another lightfuncscapade! What can we say, this one gave us in tingles in places one could only deem as lightism - is that a religion? Our inaugural involvement in Ready Steady Light, was at the first ever edition of the Middle East version - the first ever RSL in Dubai. Opening our irises to the amazing installations, we were eager to attend this year’s UK-based RSL. I certainly was not going to miss it for the world.

I would like to acknowledge and give a special mention to the person who made this happen and welcomed us with such great hospitality, SLL's Brendan Keely.

And so our journey began. With a special beginning made up of soft music and dynamic lighting, we knew we had arrived and our excitement built in anticipation.

We did the rounds, met all the participating teams, saying our hello-nice to meet you's, and all 13 of them were as friendly as only the lighting world is. Wait, did we say 13? I meant 13 teams! The talent pool was exquisite, coupled with the camaraderie, forthcoming concepts and ideas shared.. So it is only fitting that we exchange.. not numbers.. not business cards.. but .. wait for it:

social media handles!

What was really intriguing, was not the mixture of culture and ethnicities, more the professions - spanning manufactures, students , administrative personnel, lighting designers and installation engineers; well, it was only fitting then, that Rou tagged along, knowing her knowledge of lighting spreads to cost & budget sheets! As we explored the incredible Rose Bruford College we could not help but admire the historic architecture of the buildings nestled amongst the perfect manicured landscape.

If you are not familiar with the RSL format, each team gets 3 hours preparation time and 6 light fixtures. So basically picture a flurry of talent, ideas, bouncing off each other, laughter and activity. For this year there was no theme so that each team experienced a boundless opportunity to soak in their creativity. SLL advised they change sites every year, and, yes, no matter that this is its 15th year, each installation was fascinating .

As twilight descended, it was time to admire the hard work that the teams put in, and the curious nuts that we are - we went around AGAIN and interviewed all the different teams allowing us to live stream for the first time - to a global audience who got the opportunity to virtually be there and experience it first hand. Unfortunately, our Principal didn't get the memo - phew, I still have a job!

All the installations were unique, but as always there were a few that stood out the most. Our favourites were, The moonlit walk by WSP who actually won the technical award due to having the best concept in terms of the use of light and energy consumption as well as the impact on the environment. A lot of the sites were so different in terms of what they brought and the aspects the teams chose to showcase. When we visited Light Bureau's team, we were quite taken by their exceptional concept, one of the designers explained, "Their concept focussed on the discovery of fire and the CenterPoint is the fire which ‘leads you in to this tree cave where its ambient light on the canopy also comes from the fireplace. The scene was of a light sanctuary whereby light was spiritual-like in historical times before light became so technical. And - drumroll please! They won the creative award.

The peer award went to Future Designs who definitely had the coolest and most interactive installation. They used trees to create light shadows on the wall and added a touch of colour to this portrait. The fun part was the silhouettes it created on the wall as you walk in the scene. I tried it and was on Instagram live whilst doing it! It was light.astic. Anoushka, who talked us through the concept, expressed her vivid passion about light and added even more to the atmosphere this of the installation they had created.

There was the coach house by the Oddballs which illuminated the clock right at the top so beautifully. The church, by UCL students and lecturers, which also had a mix of lecturers and students. There was a secret escape by Into Lighting along with a haunted cave by Hoarkley Lighting.

Without sponsors such as Phillips, Whitelight, Lightgraphix, Erco and Lee filters; such an event would not be possible. The organisation undertaken by the Society of Light and Lighting and Rose Bruford College along with the students is truly commendable.

Stay tuned for our next escapade.

For everyone has a journey.

Ours is light.



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