Switch on Concrete
Photo credit: Ryno De Wet
'The presence of light is what defines a space more than anything else,' begins August De Wet, winner in the Industrial Design category at the 2015/16 PPC Imaginarium Awards, which challenged creatives to craft incredible things from concrete. His winning work, dubbed BEAM, is a simple cylinder of concrete that makes use of carefully angled cavities to arrange the light that is set into the item’s hollow centre.
'I didn't want to simply stick a light onto a concrete thing, but rather wanted to illuminate the concrete and accentuate its qualities,' August explains.
'It is ultimately the interplay or tension between solid and void, positive and negative space, that makes the object compelling.'
'The hidden light source invites you to look into this negative space and feel the material with your eyes. It's kind of hypnotic (for me anyway). The result is an object that is strangely familiar (in its cylindrical form) yet new as a result of the void cut out of it.'
As a lighting designer, August is fascinated by light's influence on space.
'Very often you don't notice good lighting but you just seem to feel good in the space. It operates and affects us on a subliminal level,' he explains.
He believes that the best lighting is 'human-centric', meaning that it helps to improve your experience of a space, even influencing your mood.
'I get really excited when I see the little village pizza shop creating this amazing mood. Sometimes a candle-lit space just works. Satori in Linden, Joburg has two bare bulbs and a lot of candles and the mood is perfect. The smell of pizza and some acoustic guitar in the background add to the charm. But the new Tashas on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton is quite incredible as well...,' he adds, giving examples of places that do lighting well.
Read about August's amazing small home in the HL March issue, on shelves 22 February 2016.