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The Lorenzo Lotto Exhibition at Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, Italy completed in 2011. “I do not consider Lorenzo Lotto’s exhibition to be the end of my research, but rather another step in a journey that began many years ago.”


HIGHLIGHTS


Projects that you would like to change: All of my projects, to tell you the truth. The technological revolution in progress is so impressive that if I could do it all again I would change every single project.


Projects you admire: Pic: Alfredo Cacciani


allowing the improvement of the human perception of space and in this way inducing wellbeing is, in Iannone’s views, the new frontier in lighting design.


“Debra Burnett, an expert in the new field of epigenetics, has established a new theory relating to the processes that environ- mental light can enhance both in human behaviour and physiology, such as learn- ing, efficient behaviour, productivity, the achievement of standards and reproduction. I myself believe that light, if appropri- ately balanced, can have a greatly positive impact on the improvement of human life,” Iannone claims.


The enthusiasm in his work and the trust in the new scientific frontiers of planning, paint the portrait of a man in constant change, both intellectually and literally. Starting from the top roles taken at the PLDA, an active role at the Design Perma- nent Observatory that assigns the Compasso d’Oro, the most important Italian Prize in design, up to the presidency of interna- tional juries and conferences, Iannone could be seen not only as a globetrotter of his profession but also a connoisseur of all that goes on in this field.


Iannone weighs his words, at times out of discretion, often as a way of genuinely not wanting to tempt fate. “I have two black cats, I am quite superstitious,” he says of himself.


He speaks his mind when it comes to offer- ing his thoughts about the present situation of the lighting design profession in Italy, where progress seems to be held back com- pared to other countries. “The fault can be found in the system that gives huge power


to the distribution chains and allows the manufacturers to not only sell the product but also to give lighting design services free of charge. In my view, this is the worst hindrance against the development of the profession, much more than bureaucracy. How can young people find their way in such a difficult and complex situation? Our country is full of talented people, fantastic ideas and an historic and cultural heritage that have no equal in the whole world. But when we speak of completed projects – and I mean quality projects realised by an independent lighting designer – the outcome is not satisfying. I myself work half of the time abroad!”


Culturally there have been some improve- ments, especially thanks to the efforts of the national and international represen- tative associations and the educational programmes they organise autonomously and in collaboration with Euroluce and Intel, the two most important Italian expos in this field. In spite of the modest practical effects of this commitment, Iannone still shows his strong temperament and bet- ter intentions: “It is on a worldwide basis that we must face this difficult situation because it is only through connecting to what is going on all over the world that we can reach measurable outcomes. Sweden is among the most advanced countries in this respect, because of the credibility, the au- thoritativeness that everyone – government and public opinion – acknowledges to the lighting design profession as an independent profession. This is the ideal we should try to reach.” www.consuline.com


This kind of choice is always very difficult, but one of the first projects that comes to mind is the Arab World Institute in Paris. The way daylight gets through the ornamental fretworks of the façade, as if it was the objective of a camera, is something really extraordinary.


Projects you dislike:


Every kind of excess, the extreme use of colour, the purposeless research of show effects. I mean all those projects – and there are a lot, unfortunately – where light is inadequate to the object it should illuminate, because basically it doesn’t respect its identity.


Lighting Hero:


There are many colleagues I esteem and even admire, but there is no doubt that William Lam fully deserves the definition of “lighting hero”. I’m happy we had the time to award him for his extraordinary career before he passed away, last April, because he was a real genius. His special sensitiveness and his philosophical approach to lighting design makes him an absolute master of our profession.


Notable projects:


Formula 1 Shanghai International Circuit, China (2004) Green Master Plan for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China (2008)


Lorenzo Lotto Exhibition at Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, Italy (2011)


Most memorable project:


One of the most touching experiences was lighting the Sala delle Cariatidi (Hall of Caryatids) of the Royal Palace in Milan,at a gala dinner organised for a first night at La Scala Theatre. Touching because the challenge of recreating the light effect given by the original chandeliers implied the even bigger challenge of reconstructing the memory of a unique place, both from an historical and a cultural point of view. And to come to the present, what can be more memorable than lighting the Iron Crown of Lombardy (Cathedral of Monza, near Milan) worn by kings and emperors in antiquity?


Current projects:


I’m quite superstitious, I don’t’ like to talk about the projects I have still to complete. But I want to make an exception and mention the Chapel of Queen Theodelinda (better known as Zavattari Chapel) in the Cathedral of Monza. It’s a sort of open workshop where the lighting of 15th-century frescoes by Ambrogio and Gregorio Zavattari involves different aspects of perception and emotion as well as the principles of neuroaesthetics we already applied to the Lorenzo Lotto Exhibition in Rome.


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