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Fellowship which he was granted to study Daylighting and Architecture at Massachu- setts Institute of Technology (MIT). When arriving at MIT he discussed his aspiration to study the daylighting of cities with Dean Anderson, who told him that they did not know anything about daylighting so he started a research programme on artificial lighting, which is where his career as a lighting consultant really emanated from. Derek met Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier and both these great architects discussed the importance of light in their work, this further excited and encouraged Derek to focus his career in this field. When returning from MIT in 1954 positions in architecture were restricted, so Derek took the opportunity to start work with the lighting manufacturer, British Thompson Houston (BTH) Company, where he spent four years. Towards the end of his time with BTH he was asked to design the lighting for the British Exhibition in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, but was restricted to only using BTH products which Derek found unacceptable to him. He therefore set up his own Practice in 1958 - Derek Phillips Associates and practiced as both architect and lighting consultant, this subsequently became dpa lighting consultants and the practice focused on lighting design. Nick Hoggett, a partner at dpa, paid this tribute: “Derek was a real pioneer, lighting consultancy as a professional discipline divorced from the commercial influences of supplying equipment was an unknown entity. He believed passionately in providing the best advice possible for his clients and the practice motto was a quotation from Christie of Glyndebourne, ‘not to be satis- fied with the best you can do but to do the best that can be done’.” Derek made great friends with American lighting designer Howard Brandston, who influenced his work a lot. Derek worked in collaboration with Howard on projects in Europe and the Middle East in the early days of the practice and remained great friends throughout his life.


Howard had this tribute to pay to his great friend: “Derek Phillips was a true renais- sance man, a pioneer figure in establishing lighting design as a profession. The long list and variety of the works to his credit give testimony to his many talents. The quality of his work was an inspiration. Derek was the consummate professional, a most mod- est gentleman. I had the good fortune of being a friend and occasional collaborator. It is hard to single out an example to illustrate the depth of his creativity but I would like to point my fellow designers to his book, ‘Lighting Historic Buildings’. I had


the honour of writing the Foreword. His appreciation and understanding of heritage work brings into focus a far better way to consider the work we do today. It gives an insightful look at how people lived and created in years long past. It makes one wonder and inspires a more thoughtful focus on the work we are currently producing.” Derek gave his time freely to lecture and help educate young designers, clients, other professionals and anyone that was interest- ed and passionate about light in all forms. Following his 1964 publication Lighting in Architectural Design, he wrote another book, ‘Lighting’, for the British Design Council which demonstrated the principles and planning of home lighting and was pub- lished in 1966. He believed education to be extremely important and participated with numerous institutions and their activities. He delivered the inaugural Waldram Lecture in 1990 and titled it ‘City Lights’, the influ- ence of his time at MIT was still resonating on throughout his career. He was Chairman of Hertfordshire Associa- tion of Architects, RIBA Council Member, and President of the Illuminating Engineering So- ciety and Vice President of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), to which Derek was made a Fellow in 2001 and received the highest honour of a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.


Derek was also hardworking and industrious, when work was slow in the UK economy in the early 1980’s, rather than just wait for things to get better he set up an office in Hong Kong where the practice thrived working on important projects in the terri- tory and mainland China. Projects included refurbishing The Mandarin Oriental Hotel that he had originally worked on in the 1960’s, the Academy for Performing Arts and the Macau Ferry Terminal as well as many others.


Derek retired in 1993 but his passion for lighting did not cease, he was the author of four books on the subject as well as his autobiography and attended many industry events. His other passions included sailing, his dogs and most importantly his family. Derek’s friendly personality and generosity of time for anyone who was interested in lighting was a great gift that we can all learn from.


Derek is survived by four of his children Adam, Rebecca, Jemima and Amelia, twelve grandchildren and was excited about the forthcoming birth of his first great-grand- child.


Derek Phillips FRIBA FCIBSE Honoury Fellow SLL MILE FIALD M.Arch B.Arch MCD 24th February 1923 - 5th November 2013


Below Derek Phillips accepts his International Association of Lighting Designers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 (see iPad and digital versions for video). Some of Derek’s landmark projects (top to bottom): Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hong Kong, 1963; Westminster Abbey, London, 1965; Foreign Secretary Office, London, 1980’s.


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