[DIALOUGE]Jean-Yves Soetinck:Spirit Of Slowness

On the occasion of the Asia Lighting Art Symposium in this June, Mr. Jean-Yves SOETINCK, from a French lighting design company called ACTE LUMIERE, introduced the theory “spirit of the place” and integrated it with lighting design, illustrating the importance of “collective symbol” in urban space lighting design.


Mr. SOETINCK accepted a brief interview at the break of the presentation. Mr. SOETINCK is a typical French. Although the world is dynamic, he takes his tame. He will spend a long time understanding the “spirit” of a city. He does it slowly. The lack of “slowness” is a big shame of design industry in China.

You have mentioned the “spirit of the place”. Is the “spirit of the Place” the same in every city?

They are sometimes quite the same but sometimes quite different. I try to find the way to express or the idea to follow. But I am not quite sure about this.

How do you figure out the “spirit of the place” of a city?

The most important way is to find out the invisible strength of the city. For example why there is a church? Because there is a cross. But why there is a cross? Something like that.


Is your understanding of the “spirit of the place”

Yes, but we have to construe the city slowly.



What is your understanding to Chinese culture?

I do not know too much but I want to say that China grows so fast and to many directions. But I hope they could be more focus and more professional. China does not mean bad quality but they need to have a line to follow. I also hope to find some partners who have the quality we need and interested in lighting.

Why did you choose this occupation?

When I was a kid, I think it very interesting. I study architecture in Lyons so I consider myself as the second generation lighting designer. The first generation is from the manufacturer and the second is from architecture or theatre. Also I have many friends who think the same way as me.


Dose the public lighting continue to be your major ?

Public lighting will continue to be my major. But I am still interested in the natural lighting and the night lighting. Just like a cook. A cook may not be good at all cooking. Even though I know about them, but I am still most fond of public lighting.

What do you feel in this symposium?

I think this symposium is very important for me. And this symposium is an important way to know message of other lighting designers. It can also help the Chinese market to move.



I major in public lighting and most of my majors are in France. Though I have no project in China, I hope to cooperate with the government and people who share the same motive here.


Jean-Yves Soetinck


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