October 3, 2013

Giving shape to light in the workshop led by Jorge Herrera

Under the title Working the Shape / Shaping the Light we have developed a full lighting design workshop as part of the Master of Product Design Labs, along with the designer Jorge Herrera.

Over one week, the students have visited the Flos factory in Valencia, a company that is closely linked to Jorge Herrera, and they have developed a lighting design project, from the original idea to the final execution, at the workshops of the IED Madrid with a wide range of very interesting results.

A Technical Engineer in Industrial Design, his first professional contact with design was through the studio headed by Carmelo di Bartolo, Design Innovation. Since then, he has worked at Alfa Romeo, Arkoslight, Mormedi, etc. until late 2007, when he took over the design direction of Dona Living. After this valuable professional experience, he launched his own project: Jorge Herrera Studio, which encompasses all the areas of design. He has received numerous awards, such as the IDEA International Design Excellence Awards 2013, the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2013 and the Good Design Award 2012.

INTERVIEW Can you tell us about the lighting design workshop?
What was it like to visit the Flos factory? We have worked on light and shape. It is not just a matter of dressing a lamp, but of delving into the lighting aspect of the design. For this workshop, all the students had four shared materials that they could use, and one different one, as well as the LED panels, which could be either circular or linear.

At the Flos factory in Valencia, students visited the showroom with the latest novelties, as well as the Engineering, Design, Quality and Production departments, to help them understand the product design process, with the in-house team, which constitutes a different way of approaching design. We took advantage of the visit to start the workshop, with an introduction to the lighting world.

What results were obtained by the students of the Master of Product Design Labs?
Results have been optimum, given the brevity of the workshop, as the lighting world is not easy. In general, I am satisfied with the results. One of the students is even going to send her prototype to a design competition. Students must understand that many product designs are particularly complex, as a result of issues such as electronics, handles, functions, moving pieces, the heat emitted, the use of buttons, etc. With this kind of workshop, they have a chance to start working and resolving these issues, bringing their initial concepts to life.

How important is light within product design?
The best designers in the world have participated in the history of lighting, along with large companies, often producing true masterpieces of product design. It is, without a doubt, a very innovative and important sector, not just in terms of decorative lighting, but also in the technical realm. The lighting in a space, along with other elements, is responsible for making you feel good as you enjoy a drink. It is one of the essential elements to achieve the atmosphere we want. Light is more than product design.

What advice would you give to a young designer who is interested in lighting? That he or she should be very curious, researching the effects of light on a range of materials and their behaviour. It is also very important to be aware of the latest advances, as it is a highly technical field.

Start Date: January 2014.
Schedule: Monday to Friday, from 9.30 to 18.00 h., divided into lessons, tutorials, research and trips. Language: the lessons are taught in English.