Lighting designer Matthew McCormick on how the illumination of interior spaces has improved over the past year, what the global marketplace is looking for now and the perfect marriage that every designer yearns for.
.1. How did the ability to design lighting specific for any space improve last year?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing manufacturers, crafts people and artisans over the years, and last year I’ve expanded my network to include exploration into materiality and different lighting technologies.
Obviously, LED technology keeps improving which can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on where you stand. Energy efficiency and low maintenance are obvious pluses, but keeping up with the ever changing advancements and capability issues can pose it own set of challenges. But as in anything, the more you focus on it, explore it, refine it, the easier it becomes.
2. In recent years, you have received calls for commissions from around the world. What trends have you noticed in the global marketplace? What are people looking for?
Although I specialize in custom lighting, tailoring each commissioning to suit the scale of the space and the aesthetic of my clients, there has been a natural evolution of my work. Inherently in my work there seems to be common thread; a refined graphical language that one could say speaks to my past as a graphic designer. More and more often I get calls to create pieces that speak to this authorship, either creating an iteration of previous work, or simply creating something that I personally am inspired by and represents featured illuminated art in a space. It’s certainly fun for me to create these things but I don’t envy the electrical service behind setting the whole thing up, however, they know what they’re doing so it’s all good – they’re the true geniuses here.
3. As a lighting designer with a background in the trades, do you also consider yourself to be a design tradesman?
I’m the furthest thing from an electrician and I would much rather leave any electrical work to the best electrician Brisbane has to offer rather than trying to take a job where I might get injured because I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. Although for a period of time, I did own an electrical contracting company, I was not an electrician myself. I had a small team that worked for me while I owned and operated the business and managing projects. For specific electrical needs, I would definitely have had to turn to a professional for help, but knowing some basics can help in the long run, that is why this page about breaker replacement and others, is a great aid for those of us who would like to know a little bit. That being said, it was an incredible learning experience. Previously having a career in marketing as a creative director, then transitioning into this line of work was quite the change. Needless to say, it has paved the way to where I am now; a perfect marriage of creative and technical endeavors providing my insight into large-scale installation of my creative expression.