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Arianna Ghezzi takes part in [d]arc sessions ‘The Value of Design’ Panel

Posted by Lighting Design International on 21 May 2024

Arianna Ghezzi takes part in [d]arc sessions ‘The Value of Design’ Panel

Our Associate, Arianna Ghezzi, last week attended [d]arc Sessions in Troia, Portugal. As well as joining prospective supplier meetings to understand new technologies and products on the market, Arianna also participated in a panel discussion on ‘The Value of Design’.

Moderated by arc Magazine Editor Matt Waring, the panel consisted of designers Darío Nuñez Salazar from Hildiberg, Chiara Carucci from Noctua, and Matteo Bianchi from Daruma Design Studio. As a panel they discussed the value of design services and the role of designers.

When discussing the value of design, it was questioned what happens when a lighting designer isn’t on board on a project, perhaps due to scheduling or budget limitations. The overall aim is to make sure the value of the lighting designer is recognised, collaborate to bring the lighting designer on early enough in the project and make the process as collaborative as possible. The panel highlighted the need to educate other stakeholders that lighting designers are needed and a vital player within the project, and design process.

The best approach is a collaborative one. One where the lighting designer collaborate closely with the client, architect, interior designer – the other consultants involved but also the manufacturers. Manufacturers know their products and its capabilities better than anyone, and they can provide all necessary information tailored for the specific project and application area. They will also advise when a product is not suitable for a specific project, and hopefully suggest alternative solutions.

The panel discussions evolved to discuss the integrity of design, and the need to appreciate that designs sometimes change. Original ideas or designs do not always go to plan due to preferences or budgets, so designers have to be open to these changes, and embrace the challenge and be proactive in suggesting alternatives solutions.

Expanding on this, the panel highlighted the need to listen to all contributions from the interior designer, architect, and other visionaries to create a design that works. One element cohesively raised with the panel is that lighting designers are here to help clients navigate through these changes and to embrace them but also listening and to be able to read in between the lines the reasons of some client’s aspirations. As Matteo mentioned, clients are influenced by experiences from their past, even from their childhood memories, and when those are not vocalised, the challenge of the designer is to be able to perceive them and include them in the design, understanding the reasoning behind them.

The panel concluded that commitments are changing in relation to projects. The focus could be the guest experience and the attention to the environmental impact. The legacy of the project is now very important to consider with a key focus on sustainability and committing to a design that can last longer. It is also important to consider how easily replaceable the lights are and whether they can be reused or repurposed.

Previous panels explored different topics, for example where the challenges that other consultants may have with value engineering were raised. This included the budget of the project, and how we as lighting designers look after the specification. It's all part of the challenge when designs or specifications are changed. As designers, we need to respect this and see what other ideas can be brought to the table to find a happy medium between all stakeholders and indeed the end client.

Expanding on the rest of the [d]arc sessions events, Arianna said the speed-dating opportunity to meet with manufacturers was really valuable. It provides a great opportunity to get lots of information in a short space of time so is an efficient fact-finding exercise. In some instances, designers are paired with manufacturers that wouldn’t have potentially been explored previously.

In addition to supplier meetings, and the conference. [d}arc sessions also provided the perfect setting to network with other industry friends, to discuss challenges and industry updates in a relaxed environment.