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schemes for the Burj Al Arab Tower, Dubai and Bethlehem Steelworks, Pennsylvania, Jonathan always managed to find a way to get the very best out of a project and then some. Speaking as someone who had the privilege of sharing the years when he created so many of those ground-breaking lighting schemes it is still difficult for me to comprehend how he managed to achieve so much. Right from his formative years at LDP, through his creation of Jonathan Speirs and Associates in Edinburgh and the final coming together of Speirs + Major nearly twenty years ago, Jon was behind many hundreds of celebrated lighting schemes in countries all around the world.


In concluding this tribute to Jonathan, and on behalf of myself, Keith Bradshaw and all at Speirs + Major, I would like to send our love and sympathy to his wife Liz, daughters Lucie and Erin, his father, sister and brothers and wider family. Our thoughts also go with all his many close friends around the world who will all be feeling his loss. Dear Jon. Rest in peace. We will all really, really miss you...”


Paul Gregory: “Jonathan Speirs was my best friend. We met 30 years ago at the train station in Edinburgh. He was introduced by his old partner and we sat for hours talking about light. AND THAT BEGAN THE MOST WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIP.


A few months later in 1983 he came with Liz, his ‘wife to be’, for the first of many visits to New York and we did the grand tour. We saw shows, walked all over New York, went to the top of the World Trade Towers and managed to fit in, as Jonathan put it, ‘four good meals a day’. Shortly after that we began our World’s Fair Trips and went to Seville, Hanover, and Ma- drid looking for new ideas. That was always the most fun for us. Exercising our minds and imaginations. Seeing something, talking about it and finding the goodness it held. We took many trips together. We went to: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Switzerland, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Milan, Frankfurt, Fort Worth, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Copenhagen, Chicago, Boston, Reykjavik, Arizona, El Paso, and many others. We had a ball! We could talk about design for hours on end. How the mind or the visual memory worked. Whether an emotion could make a memory stronger?


Sometimes it was just fun; like the time we spent Christmas with our families in Barba- dos and waterskied in the ocean. Jonathan once arranged for us to go to Bochum, Germany to teach. We had 20 students from the theatre institute with the goal of artfully lighting up two build- ings in town, creating what we decided to call ‘Guerrilla Lighting’. We borrowed half a million dollars’ worth of equipment, four technicians, and control equipment and


worked with the students to ‘design it in the morning, set it up in the afternoon and program a show to be viewed by the town that night’. They loved him.


Then they asked me to teach for a week at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth - Texas, and I said I couldn’t go unless Jonathan came too. They agreed and that’s where we met Fred Oberkircher and devel- oped another great friendship. This was a typical trip for us. We met Fred at the airport, had a Champagne toast to celebrate Jonathan’s arrival, discussed our week of teaching, got back on the plane, flew three hours to El Paso, Texas, and drove five hours South to see Dan Flavin’s last Light Art exhibit at Marfa, Texas. Then drove back to El Paso, flew back to Fort Worth and taught for a week.


And there were many other trips. We were like little kids. He was so inspired and ex- cited by what he saw...


• Enjoy Life!! Make it an event!! He did! • Be inquisitive!! Experience as many things as you can. Then do more.


• Be considerate!! He was the kindest man I knew.


• Help others!! He gave freely of his time to help students and friends. He set a great example for us all!” Jonathan Speirs, Lighting Designer + Architect D.Sc Dip. Arch B.Sc(Hons) RIBA FRIAS PLDA FRSA Hon.IALD Hon.FSLL Born 2 March 1958, died 18 June 2012.


MORE TRIBUTES FROM THE LIGHTING DESIGN PROFESSION...


“I will truly miss my colleague Jonathan Spiers. He represented a particular maturity in our profession. Before him, most of the successful lighting designers in the world were outliers, iconoclasts, pioneers and scrappy outspoken individualists. Even now, there is a bit of hardscrabble in many of us, as it seems that we have to justify our value the hard way. Jonathan was different. He was self effacing, kind, complimentary and always the consummate professional gentleman. I admired his work and his impact on our profession immensely, and I admired him even more for his graceful qualities. Perhaps for the first time, a significant lighting designer on the world stage is not an obvious scrapper but rather, a respectably modest person whose work spoke highly of his skill, creativity and leadership. He is one of my heroes. RIP, Jonathan.” James R Benya, BENYA LIGHTING DESIGN, USA


“My experiences with Jonathan were in the field of education. I lecture at RMIT and had around 100 interior design/decorator students for him to engage with and enthuse. It took less than five minutes for him to have them in the palm of his hand and after two hours, I had to ask him to stop but that was very much against the mood of the room. They were all mesmerised by him. He was outstanding... in convincing the construction industry on the value good lighting design brings to our life... in providing encouragement to young designers and all around him. We will miss him dearly.” David Bird, 2B DESIGNED, AUSTRALIA


“Jonathan was a friend and colleague. We recognised our like spirits. I learned so much from him. In fact, it was the moment that Jonathan asked ‘Why are you using notes?’ for a talk at an IALD conference at least a decade ago, that transformed me from a reader to a speaker. Jonathan was so eloquent and himself at all times. I will raise a glass to him, his creativity and inclusiveness very soon. Jonathan, we are thinking of you. ” Leni Schwendinger, LIGHT PROJECTS, USA


“So many appropriate words have been said about Jonathan by so many people which illustrates just how much influence he had on all of us. The whole lighting industry globally and Lighting Designers in particular all have a huge debt of gratitude for Jonathan’s tireless enthusiasm to promote the importance of light. For us, Jonathan was a friend who we could always call on to talk about anything and this relationship was ex- tremely special. His passion, optimism, enthusiasm and energy are attributes that very few people in any industry could match. This, together with his raw talent made Jonathan a very special person. The loss to the lighting industry is incalculable but pales into insignificance compared to the loss for his family and our thoughts are firmly with them.” Nick Hoggett & Barry Hannaford, DPA, UK


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