Howard Brandston is one of the most consummate lighting designers of our time. Recipient of numerous achievement awards, he has more than 50 years of experience designing illumination for over 2500 commercial, institutional, residential, and governmental projects.
In his book, Brandston’s easy-to-understand writing style emphasizes lighting primarily as an art form. He believes one must go beyond being literate about the science of light and impresses upon the reader the importance of contextual and subjective considerations. “To see” is to use these factors to achieve a desired emotional response in the viewer and/or client.
Brandston’s holistic approach to lighting is reflected in the section titles of the book: Learning to See, Taking Responsibility, Creativity, and Communication. In the first section, he emphasizes the importance of understanding light relative to context, culture, demographics, and scale. The next section is about the ethics of delivering creativity-within one’ self and to the client–and the need to clearly communicate the creative vision to the client. In third section, Brandston discusses how to be creative: be loose, think, and lose one’s inhibitions. The final section is about process: from obtaining input from the client, to drawing up a concept in a schematic design, to entering the construction phase. The book ends with appendices about lighting terms, ethics and design, and wit and wisdom.
Adding to the text discussion are short vignettes and comments from legendary figures such as Oliver Sacks, Peter Boyce, Dan Ciampa, and others. Of particular interest are the author’s sketches, offering insights into Brandston’s thinking about his projects. Full color photographs throughout supplement the discussions, some of which are adjacent to sketches to demonstrate concept to reality. Both lighting designers and educated readers will find this book easily accessible, inspirational, and an interesting read.
Softcover: 138 pages
Publisher: Illuminating Engineering Society (2008)
Dimensions: 5” x 8″