Interview with Till Armbrüster from Licht Kunst Licht

With LpS2018 just around the corner, we continue our series of speaker interviews with multi award winning designer Till Armbrüster from Licht Kunst Licht.

His work is enjoyed all over the world and has featured in exhibitions in many prominent museums, including New York’s MOMA. We spoke to Till about what is innovative in lighting, what are users’ needs and what excites him about LEDs today.

What has changed from the user/application perspective in regards to light/light quality in recent years?

Till Armbrüster: Lighting design today has many new ways of shaping and influencing light, which can give the user a totally new visual experience and higher comfort. In addition, the contemporary user has a much wider spectrum of possibilities of changing the light and adjusting it to their needs. However, this can also lead to excessive demands. More is not necessarily better!

Are users ready for smart/intelligent systems and do they want it?

Till Armbrüster: In my opinion there is not the one user. We see users who are very keen to explore the new possibilities of smart lighting and the interaction with the lighting system via smartphone etc. to change their personal light experience. But I would not advise designing a luminaire or a system that is only controllable via a smart device. The good old button is still important for the basic functions of the system like switching, dimming and even changing the color temperature.

What has changed in real projects with regards to how people and disciplines work together?

Till Armbrüster: We see a much greater need for flexibility in rooms and daily routines. In terms of spaces, especially in our office projects, we do not plan fixed layouts anymore because we are challenged with agile teams, changing team sizes and desk sharing or co-working. In terms of the daily routines, the challenge is the higher flexibility in working hours or working from home which engenders new demands on the lighting design or the design of products to provide a healthy light.

What do you consider innovation in lighting?

Till Armbrüster: In general, innovations are plentiful in lighting at the moment. For me the most exciting direction right now is human centric lighting, although it is a new name for an old approach and what it really means is still under discussion. The possibilities of combining daylight and artificial light have become so much bigger and can lead to a much better and healthier light experience.

What excites you about LEDs today?

Till Armbrüster: In terms of the LED chip itself I think it is really exciting that the researchers and manufacturers are playing with the spectrum of the LED instead of trying to imitate another light source. Blue free or full spectrum chips are very fascinating. I think tunable white will have a totally new meaning in the future.

Besides the latest advances in chips, I see a lot of innovations in miniaturization of the smart controls, which makes the interaction between human and machine a lot easier. A big topic right now is also new materials and technologies in optics.

Image credits: Johannes Roloff