[DIALOUGE]Jeffrey Miller:Lighting Design Is About People

Jeff Miller is an architectural lighting designer based in Seattle, USA. He is recognized as a leader in the international lighting industry, for his leading high profile high sustainability lighting projects worldwide. However, he believes that sustainability, environmental protection and energy conservation, etc., are just methods to serve people.

 

As he said, “The most important thing in lighting design is to pay attention to what people need. So it is not about making decoration for the building and it is not about energy efficiency and it is about people. If you satisfy people's need then everything else will just follow. ” Now, he has gone beyond the profession of lighting designer, and is taking the position as lighting design consultant, helping lighting designers and lighting design companies develop better with his in-depth understanding of lighting design industry.

 

What makes you choose lighting design and stick with it for so long?


I started in theater in New York city, I was a theater designer and I didn’t want to spent all my life on the theater life because it was not a very good way to go, so I learnt about architectural lighting and became a architectural lighting designer. Being an architectural lighting designer can affect people's life by doing good lighting for their buildings. By doing this you can make people more productive and comfortable.

 

 


What is your understanding of the profession as lighting designer?


The most important thing in lighting design is to pay attention to what people need. So it is not about making decoration for the building and it is not about energy efficiency and it is about people. If you satisfy people's need then everything else will just follow.


Sustainability is the design conception you advocate. What do you think should be followed in order to realize sustainable lighting design?


The first rule is to put the light only where you need it. Don't waste any light. Shut the lights off when you don't need it. Focusing on what is required, decoration is wonderful, but it can't be the only thing to do. So it is important to combine the decoration with the energy efficiency.

 

 

How do you control the quality of lighting design in a project?


You need to begin with the strong understanding about the intentions. Right in the beginning of the projects, we try to understand what are the promises, what are you going to do and how you going to do, we have responsibilities to each other.


All the enterprises are built on promises. Promises need to be kept.


To work as a team , you need to have a understanding person to person, company to company, My principal interest is how do we work together to make it better.


Enough person to person communication is very important. No email!

 

So, communication and cooperation are crucial to the result of a project. Is that what you mean?


The design process is not as difficult as the design management. Because design management have construction issues, issues of digital delivery , budget issues , people issues. So the coordination, integration and the collaboration is the hard part.

 

 

We learn that you have once been the president of IALD. During your term of office, what did you do impresses you most?

 

Right now IALD is working on a project to create a worldwide certification for lighting designers. So the project that IALD is working on, which is called CLD (certified lighting designer) , was something I began when I was a president, and has been going on now for 4 years. Once you pass the CLD , means you have met a very high standard.


There will be standards, rules and norms for lighting design in the future. We have to establish lighting as standard profession .lighting design will be absorbed by different organizations, because big companies and enterprises are now having their own lighting designers in house, independent lighting designers will be very hard, that's a very strong trend.

 


Could you please talk about your plan or idea about your future?


My interest now is not just in design but also helping lighting companies. I work as a consultant to lighting companies and help them understand the market and to value of the products, make their products useful. Because lots of companies out there want to do better but they just don't know what to do.


I already working on some projects with some Asian lighting companies, but I can't tell you what projects we are working on now. Because they told me not to. I am working as an consultant to the Asian lighting companies, reviewing and recommending the products, helping them to understand the market, to introduce themselves, and invite them into the American market.

 

Jeffrey Miller

 

 

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