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DETAILS [tribute] RUSSELL LIPSCOMBE 1964-2013


Russell Lipscombe, retail lighting design specialist, recently passed away following a long battle with illness. mondo*arc editor, Paul James, remembers him fondly.


Russell Lipscombe’s lighting designs included Burberry with office of [light], who’s London flagship store made our front cover last year; and World Duty Free, Heathrow with Light Tecnica


Russell was a fantastic lighting designer and someone I was proud to call my friend. We had known each other since 1999 when we first launched mondo*arc and, as Creative Director of Into Lighting (1995-2005), along with Darren Orrow, was very supportive of our new venture. In fact, he was part of a hilarious night in a bar in Dusseldorf during Euroshop in 2006 when I first met the wom- an who was later to become my wife. Educated architecturally and trained as a lighting engineer by ERCO, he was able to visualise spaces in a dynamic way to enhance the many retails spaces he worked with.


In 2005 he set up his own practice, Light Tecnica, specialising in the retail and leisure sectors. This was a tremendous success but in 2011 he decided to set up another prac- tice with more autonomy so office of [light], again specialising in the retail and leisure sectors, was born. In a short period of time the consultancy had worked with clients like Harrods, Burberry, Selfridges, Reiss, Jaegar and Victoria’s Secret with many of his proj- ects featured in mondo*arc.


Only a couple of months ago he contacted me about some projects that were nearing completion by his new venture, Office of Vi- sual Perception, a new type of consultancy offering a unique solution that combines the design of lighting and audio visual technol- ogy providing a seamless solution for all the sensory elements creating compelling visual


theatre in retail, leisure and entertainment environments. The retail environment is a much poorer place now.


Colleague Gregor Jackson of gpstudio paid this tribute to his friend: “Russell loved life and loved design. With a background in architecture he eased seamlessly into lighting design where he found his forte, and championed a number of lighting design businesses over a career spanning more than 20 years. He was instrumental in the retail arena particularly, and excelled at ampli- fying lighting design as a vital ingredient to any successful scheme. There are I’m sure, more suits sold in a Reiss store, more lingerie sold in Harrods, and more Burberry raincoats sold internationally as a result of Russell’s flair.” Darren Orrow, Robert Crow, Russell Ford, Tony Cutting, INTO Lighting: “We had the good fortune to know Russell both as co-di- rectors at INTO and a friend. Russell had a unique ability to captivate an audience whether it be in a social or work environ- ment. His contribution to the lighting design industry especially in the retail arena has been phenomenal and he has inspired many generations of lighting designers, architects and interior designers. After Russell left INTO to do his own thing he continued to be very supportive of everything INTO and we did. He will be sadly missed.” Terence John, 8point3: “I had the privilege to know Russell, mainly during his time at


INTO and also to work with him on designing and manufacturing bespoke luminaires for a significant Habitat project some years back. His vision, his passion, his attention to detail and, above all, his creativity made it a pleasure to work with him.” Martin Valentine, The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City: “I shall miss Russell’s sparkle and dry sense of humour. I too was out on that mad night in Dusseldorf during Euroshop all those years ago which Paul mentioned in his tribute. I will always smile (and wince) at those memories and will miss him.” Howard Lee-Smith, Light Vessel Automatic: “I had worked alongside Russell as both LightTecnica and office of [light]. He cer- tainly knew how to have fun, and his ability to deliver lighting excellence at the turn of a hat (and virtually that fast) was impres- sive. A light goes out.” Mark Kemp, Kemps Architectural Lighting: “I always found him to be a true professional and always passionate about lighting which was so infectious. Difficult to believe he is no longer with us.” Simon Berry, Illuminate Lighting Design: “Russell was always full or energy and drive and it’s a sad day that we lose such a de- voted and committed individual, he will be sadly missed at many gatherings, gone but never forgotten.”


Russell Lipscombe 22nd September 1964 - 6th October 2013


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