Let’s Connect! Design DNA

by | Sep 16, 2021 | News

Imagine attending a show and being able to compare your career experience with peers from all over the world. You can do that at next week’s ArchLIGHT Summit. Or if you can’t make it to Dallas for the first in-person commercial lighting event in nearly two years, you can do it from your computer or phone. How? Design DNA is a partnership between Dallas Market Center’s ArchLIGHT Summit, UK lighting consultancy Light Collective and branding platform The Lighting Exchange, brought to life in an interactive light installation featuring the U.S. premiere of LIGEO.

Design DNA Looks at how we connect with each other profiling our career similarities and our differences.  You can submit your own DNA here by answering a few questions.

I spoke with Light Collective principals Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupkin, as well as Jonathan Ayala from the Lighting Exchange and Cindy Foster-Warthen who manages the event strategy for the September 21-22 ArchLIGHT Summit. Sharon explained that the idea, originally called Lighting Design Family Tree, started initially with her and Martin’s career paths. After they had a small database, she and Martin began to invite their colleagues in the UK to participate and the project grew exponentially.

They wanted to appeal to a wider audience, and the ArchLIGHT Summit, became the perfect venue since it not only draws lighting designers, but also architects, specifiers and interior designers.  For the show, Sharon and Martin created a spinoff of their Lighting Design Family Tree with a slightly different data set called Design DNA which is now open to anyone in the lighting industry—whether you attend the show or not. Martin stated, “We finally have a real live show with real in-person attendees so we can take the data and put it in a physical form.”

The survey asks 7 questions, and each question has five choices, so there is the possibility of over 16,000 different answers.

The team brought in Jonathan Ayala, because his company, The Lighting Exchange, is all about connections.  The Lighting Exchange has a bank of roughly 10,000 users that comprise of all different areas of a sales process.   Jonathan will use Linear RGBW and DMX with a BACnet converter to bring the Design DNA data to life allowing participants to realize the physical experience.  The user can see their actual data in a light pattern and can compare their DNA to others all over the world.  We will be able to see the commonalties of a designer in Seattle with a designer in the UK.

The Design DNA installation will be available throughout the ArchLIGHT Summit, as well as the concurrent and co-located Dallas Design Week, but there will be a special event on Tuesday evening, September 21, called DNA Discovery. This science-themed event celebrates the project and light installation while allowing attendees to explore permanent lighting exhibits that are part of Dallas Market Center’s January and June Lightovation residential lighting shows.

Because there are five answer choices for each question of the survey, the light strand will be in the shape of a pentagon, and each pentagon will be rotated 7 degrees.

Cindy explained, “This is a tradition we want to continue year to year to build the global map.  The light Art installation will only be seen at ArchLIGHT Summit.

In the words of award-winning information designer Giorgia Lupi: “Data represents real life. It is a snapshot of the world in the same way that a picture catches a small moment in time. Dense and unconventional data visualisations promote slowness—a particularly poignant goal to set in our era of ever-shortening attention spans. If we can create visuals that encourage careful reading and personal engagement, people will find more and more real value in data and in what it represents.”

Submit your own Design DNA here.