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Time To Give Due Credit To Lighting Designers In India

Report & Pix By Noyanika Arora

NEW DELHI: Lighting Design is a fresh and upbeat field in India demanding solid recognition in the retail markets. As a field of design, it has always been thought of and limited to theaters, concerts and film sets.

Despite low recognition, the demand for lighting professionals is beginning to grow steadily and a variety of professionals like architects, interior designers, landscape architects and even urban designers pride on having good knowledge and function as lighting designers.

This was one of consensus at the two-day international conference on design CODE 2015, organized by the School of Fashion and Design of GD Goenka University. The theme for CODE 2015 was “Art of Attraction: Lighting Design for Retail and Commercial Interiors”.

This first-ever such conference on Lighting Design in India was organized in association with Oklahoma State University, USA; Politecnico di Milano, Italy; UN International Year of Light Celebrations; and supported by ELCOMA.

Nearly 100 delegates participated in the conference that brought together international experts from India, the US and Italy to discuss lighting design and technology for the retail and commercial establishments.

The conference Chair was Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta and the Co-Chair was Prof. (Dr.) Paulette R. Hebert. Mr Manish Joshi was the Organizing Secretary.

The lighting Industry in India is worth 95 billion rupees and is growing steadily, said Prof Sanjay Gupta, Dean of School of Fashion Design, GD Goenka University. He said it is growing steadily at 12% CAGR and is expected to maintain this growth rate over the next decade.

Prof Gupta said the growth is being fuelled by rapid development of infrastructure and real state, exponential growth of middle class income and the upsurge of the retail boom across India.

At the same time the lighting industry has undergone a huge transformation in terms of technology up gradation, new product innovation, creative lighting design and new areas of application.

In addition there has been a strong emphasis on energy conservation and sustainability as lighting alone consumes 18% of the energy generated in India.

As of today, there are roughly over 40 lighting designers in India. A Lighting expert, Dr. Amardeep Dugar, feels lighting designers are not able to work to their best for their respective clients because of only one factor, that is, budget.

“The clients might want an edgy design to introduce something new but not at the costs asked by the designers and setting margins does not leave much scope for the designer to showcase their true talents,” he added.

Even if given an opportunity to express, designers sometimes contain themselves as they have to design for the Indian market where not everybody wants cutting edge experimentation. They are not yet so open to new changes and thus, are somewhat reserved.

Inaugurating the conference, Italian Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni said that Italy has always been the design capital of the world and Italian designs have spurred competition world-wide. He expressed happiness at the growing education ties between GD Goenka School of Fashion and Design and Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Addressing the conference, Prof Raj Singh, Vice Chancellor, GD Goenka University, said new technologies, sustainability and economic development were shifting to rural areas where lighting is more deficient.

Prof Raj Singh said transition to greater LED inclusion is inevitable but Retail isn’t like offices or commercial projects. So chip manufacturers have to realize that the market needs a high light output at an energy consumption level below existing technology to generate the sensible ROI demanded.

In her address, Ms Sudeshna Mukhopadhyay, Senior Director, Philips India, said a revolution is happening in the lighting industry. A revolution something similar to what has happened to a mobile. You no longer just use it to make calls. Similarly, lighting would become a newer and better form of communication that would lead to better well-being of a human being.

She said UN Year of Lighting would also help in ending the light poverty in India.

Out of the 40 lighting designers in India, 15 designers who addressed the conference included Ashish Dhir of Wisedge Consulting; Dr Amardeep Dugar of Lighting Research and Design; Kaustubh Nandurbarkar of Semblance design studio; Preksh Baid of Y Walls; Lyle Lopez of Lirio Lopez Lighting, Satish Gokhale of Design Directions; Amit Gulati of Incubis; Amit Gupta of Vis-à-vis; and Amardeep Bahl of Design Habit.

Some of the international experts who addressed the conference included Prof. (Dr.) Paulette R. Hebert from Oklahoma State University, USA; Prof. Arturo Dell'Acqua Bellavitis, Dean of School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Prof Renato Lagana, University degli Studi Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria; Mrinalini Ghadiok from Mondo Arc; Suresh Sethi of Whirlpool Corporation; and Michael Foley of Foley Designs.

In addition to imparting a better understanding of this field, Dr. Kakoli Sen of GD Goenka University told us about retail lighting and its impact on consumer behavior.

Mrinalini Ghadiok, Editor of Mondo*arc india Magazine, gave us the various steps based on which a brand can be classified.

Lyles Lopez introduced us to Pin-Prick Theatrical lighting and Prof. Paulette Herbert from Oklahoma State University, informed us about Light Pollution, a concern never occurring before that needs to be addressed now.

As awareness for this upcoming field increases, Bharti Chaddha, Assistant Professor G D Goenka University, said one must not forget that like any other field, lighting design too requires laws. Why is it treated any different than architecture or interior design?

Guidelines and Laws should be put down and implemented perhaps, to curfew night lights and prevent excess usage and wastage of electricity and money and also to prevent light pollution.

The conference offered a communication platform for established lighting designers, researchers, students, manufacturers, developers, architects and related professionals to network, exchange and share knowledge, ideas and new approaches in the field of light and lighting design.

Four Canadian colleges ranked among top 20 animation schools in the world

NEW DELHI, July 20: An analysis of submissions to the Autodesk-sponsored CG Student Awards shows that four Canadian colleges count among the top 20 schools in the world for visual effects, animation and game design.

The top 20 list was calculated based on assessments by industry experts of over 1000 submissions of portfolios from students and recent graduates studying at 216 international schools. The Canadian schools on the list include Think Tank Training Center in Vancouver, (number 3), Vancouver Film School in Vancouver (number 6), Sheridan College in Oakville (number 11) and National Animation and Design Centre in Montréal (number 18).

The panel of judges based their votes on such criteria as creative skills, technical skills, presentation, raw talent and future potential. “Having access to over 1,000 entries ranked from top-to-bottom by industry experts is an extremely powerful indicator of where the best talent is coming from on a global scale,” said Andrew McDonald, CG Student Awards Co-Founder.

Canada is home to a number of specialized digital media institutes, programs and research groups which enable students to gain professional knowledge and expertise required to work in the film, television, and interactive digital media industries.

Canadian institutions offer world class programs in computer science, innovation, gaming, software engineering and related fields at diploma, certificate, undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels.

Nano will forever change our lives, lifestyle: Prof Bulovic

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, July 15: “Nano World – those super tiny particles 1/25000th the size of human hair Will forever change our lives and lifestyle, said Prof. Valdimir Bulovic, Head of Innovation, MIT School Engineering, at a seminar organized by ALL Ladies League.

Addressing a large gathering here, Prof Bulovic said that “Nano is very small, but when comes to making any thing it is big, Very Big. We can not solve the world’s urgent challenges incrementally. If we want solutions we need a tool that will allow us to achieve broad transformations: Nano science and Nano technology. That’s because Nano is not a specific technology. It does not belong to a particular industry or discipline. It a revolutionary way to understanding and work with matters. Major benefits of nanotechnology include improved manufacturing methods, energy systems, physical enhancement, Nanomedicine, better food production methods, nutrition and large-scale infrastructure auto-fabrication which has a larger impact on our lives and lifestyle”.

Mr. Amit Goel, Group Vice Chairman, The Pioneer, said that “Nanotechnology enables and enhances products people use every day. Its science fiction coming true."

Dr. Tuli Banerjee, Chapter Chairperson ALL Boston, said that MIT continues to lead in Innovation and wants India to be very much part of this revolution.

The interactive session was attended by eminent business leaders, educationists, lawyers, doctors, media personnel, entrepreneurs, designers, beauty and fitness experts and the defence forces.

Recently the ALL Ladies League was in the news for organizing the a global Women Economic Forum in Goa attended by over 400 delegates from over 25 countries and with luminary speakers like Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Ambassadors, MPs, actor Vidya Balan, and film director Madhur Bhandarkar, and founder and Global Chairperson of ALL Ladies League and Women Economic Forum, Dr. Harbeen Arora.

French Ambassador François Richier confers highest French civilian honour on Raza

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, July 14: French Ambassador François Richier conferred the highest French civilian honour, Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur (the Legion of Honour) on visionary Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza here at a function to mark the celebrations of the French National Day.

This honour on 93-year-old Raza comes in acknowledgement of his peerless achievements transcending all boundaries, the lasting ties he has forged between France and India, and his continuing artistic quest straddling nations, cultures, religions and philosophies.

During the ceremony, a short film on the artist at work was played, which has been conceived and produced by Ashok Vajpeyi, noted poet, essayist, and cultural and arts administrator. Five recent paintings of the artist were also on view at the Residence.

Following the investiture ceremony, Ambassador Richier released an autobiographical account of the artist, entitled “Un Itinéraire” (Itinerary), written originally in French in 2003 and now translated into English.

“I salute France, it’s life art and people on this occasion and accept the honour greatly. I am deeply grateful,” Raza said in an acceptance speech read out by friend Ashok Vajpeyi.

The honour is presented on behalf of French President to “not only recognise those who work with us but also all those whom we believe are beautifying the world and making the world better and indeed it is the case of Raza,” Ambassador Richier said.

Terming Raza as “the most humble, the most extraordinary man”, the Ambassador said during decades of work in France, Raza successfully merged Indian inspiration with a little bit of French art environment.

Dressed in a dark coloured suit the wheelchair-bound artist gifted a painting based on his famous Bindu, which he completed recently, to the French Embassy.

Raza said, “France gave me for six decades an evocative ambiance inspiring confidence and creativity and imagination, openness of ideas and innovation. More than anything else France made me realise my Indian inheritance in colour and concept that came alive now at the age of 93 plus. I owe a lot to France and an honour from the French govt reconfirms this commitment.”

“This acknowledgment from France is spiritually and artistically most reassuring and rejuvenating for me and in all humility and as a token of my gratitude I am offering a painting of mine to the French embassy,” he said.

Born in Madhya Pradesh, where he spent his early years, Raza took to drawing at the age of twelve. After high school, he enrolled at the Nagpur School of Art (1939-43), followed by the J J School of Art in Mumbai (1943-47), before moving to Paris to study (1950-1953).

France pays tribute to special forces in annual Bastille Day parade

PARIS, July 14: France paid tribute on Tuesday to the elite armed units which intervened to end sieges after January's deadly attacks by Islamist miltants, showcasing the secretive forces for the first time in its annual Bastille Day parade.

Forces including the RAID assault unit marched down the Champs Elysees avenue, some wearing sunglasses and helmets to hide their identity. Broadcast media were told not to zoom in on the faces of other special forces members.

"This march is more than ever the glue that holds the nation together," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

France is on top security alert after a suspected Islamist beheaded a company's boss and tried to blow up an industrial gas plant in the suburbs of the southeast city of Lyon in June.

Criminal intent was also suspected in two fires which broke out on Tuesday at a petrochemical facility near Marseilles airport on Tuesday. There was however no indication of a link between the two or any underlying political or religious motive. 20 people, including three of the attackers, were killed in January when gunmen targetted the headquarters of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and another shot a police officer and took hostages at a kosher supermarket near Paris.

In a television appearance, Hollande said police and army forces would stick to maximum security at least until the end of the year. An extra 10,000 soldiers drafted in to maintain surveillance across France will continue to be deployed, he said, despite regular reports of chronic stress and fatigue.

"We are faced with an enemy, the threat is there ... in 2015, nothing will be eased up."

Tuesday's procession showcased French military equipment, from regular infantry vehicles to Dassault's multi-role fighter Rafale and Airbus' military troops transporter A400M.

In first, American woman to take helm of giant cruise ship

MIAMI, July 15: An American woman soon will be in command of a mega-cruise ship -- an industry first. Celebrity Cruises says San Francisco native Kate McCue in August will take the helm of the Celebrity Summit, which sails to Bermuda from the East Coast.

The 91,000-ton vessel carries 2,158 passengers and 952 crew.

Just 37 years old, McCue comes from Celebrity's sister brand Royal Caribbean, where she rose through the ranks to the position of Master Mariner. She's a graduate of California State University's California Maritime Academy.

The appointment comes seven months after the 10-ship Celebrity brand was put under the charge of its first female President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

"From the first time I met Kate, I looked forward to this moment, when I could extend my congratulations to her for being such a dynamic and highly respected leader who will continue to pave the way for women in the maritime industry," Lutoff-Perlo says in a statement accompanying the announcement.

While McCue will be the first American female to command a mega-cruise ship, several other women of other nationalities have gone before her in taking the helm of giant cruise vessels. Royal Caribbean is widely credited with hiring the first female of any nationality to command a major ship, Karin Stahre-Janson of Sweden, in 2007, and the line added a second female captain from Portugal in 2008.

Britain's P&O Cruises and Cunard followed in 2010 with the hiring of female captains from the UK and Denmark, respectively.

Americans as captains of giant cruise ships are almost as much a rarity as are women as captains. Many deck officers at major cruise companies come from such seafaring nations as the UK, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Greece.

A bunch of 26 grapes sell for $8,000 in Japan

TOKYO: A bunch of Japanese grapes has sold for a record one million yen (USD 8,200), or $315 per berry -- no trifling matter even in a country where fruit can cost a small fortune.

The record-setting bunch of 26 " Ruby Roman" grapes was the highest-priced at this year's first auction in Kanazawa, 300 kilometres (180 miles) northwest of Tokyo, smashing the previous record of 550,000 yen set last year.

Each berry weighs at least 20 grams (three-quarters of an ounce) and is the size of a ping-pong ball, according to the local board of agriculture.

Winning bidder Masayuki Hirai, head chef of the Nikko hotel in Kanazawa, told media he had been under strict orders, with local tourism chiefs eager to capitalise on a new train line to the area.

"With the opening of the Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet train) line, I was told to win the bidding at any cost," he said.

For connoisseurs of eye-wateringly-priced fruit, Japan is Seventh Heaven.

Earlier this year, a pair of Yubari melons from Hokkaido, northern Japan -- considered a status symbol -- were snapped up for a jaw-dropping 1.5 million yen.

Meanwhile, a Japanese department store thought nothing of shelling out 300,000 yen for a pair of pristine mangoes grown in southern Japan.

Japanese often give top-notch fruits such as melons as gifts, and virgin batches often sell for extraordinary prices, making national headlines and creating a lucrative market for fruit boutiques to flourish despite Japan's sluggish economy.

Square and even heart-shaped watermelons are all the rage and, while 38,000 per grape is extreme, many Japanese will happily pay through the nose for fruit -- even the regular round-shaped variety.

Single white peaches the size of a newborn baby's head can go for more than 2,000 yen while a bunch of Muscat of Alexandria grapes could lighten your wallet to the tune of a cool 7,000 yen.



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