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040


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Top and above left As part of its restoration, the Jal Mahal, sitting at the centre of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur, was given a lighting scheme that would allow it to shine like a jewel as visitors entered the city. Above right The lobby of the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat, Oman, a project completed with Crone Partners.


“I landed into architecture almost by accident, or perhaps one can think of it as destiny,” says Dhruvajyoti ‘DJ’ Ghose as he begins the story of his journey from archi- tecture student to Director of Sydney-based Lighting Design Partnership. Quietly spoken, with a precise gentility and an occasionally zen-like turn of phrase, Ghose has a pleas- ing knack of making the process of lighting design seem as much philosophical explora- tion as design solution.


Indeed it is the process of constant discov- ery that has stoked his passion for lighting design over his twenty year career. “Every project that I work on informs and educates me further in my approach,” he says. “One of the reasons that I continue to remain interested in this field is because I never know if I will have the right answers in the next project. Each project seems to present a unique set of new issues never encountered before and this requires us to experiment and explore. We have never


been able to create a ‘template’ for design solutions and perhaps this is because we look for the differences – the subtle varia- tions that bring identity and uniqueness to every project.”


His love of light is clear, but the attraction was far from instant. In his early years as an architect, Ghose was particularly drawn to the study of day-lighting design, but artifi- cial lighting left him cold – something to be passed on to a project’s electrical consul- tants. “It was a moment of epiphany when I considered the oddity of being comfortable modulating variable daylight but hesitant to take control of a predictable light source just because it ran off electricity!” he says. A few weeks of “mental reorganisation” followed, before embarking on a path that eventually saw him leaving his architectural practice, attending the lighting course at The Bartlett and focusing on professional lighting design.


After working in London, Ghose moved to


Sydney in 2000 from where, together with colleague Andre Tames, he began building the Lighting Design Partnership brand across the Asia-Pacific region. Today LDP provides lighting solutions throughout the Eastern hemisphere. From their studios in Sydney and Singapore, the team service projects as far west as the Middle East, taking in India, South East Asia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand and, of course, Australia. With a portfolio of completed projects in over 20 countries in the region, says Ghose, the practice’s network of designers is well versed in responding to the cultural nuances that bring identity to each location. Do atti- tudes to light differ across the Asia-Pacific? “It is difficult to generalise, but differenc- es do exist and can be quite apparent at times. One needs to keep an open mind and absorb the influences and aspirations of the client and context,” he says.


The greatest differences are, he suggests,


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