I'm Huai Chun Liu, a seasoned lighting designer with a diverse journey in the field. My passion for lighting design began at Chung Yuan University, where I earned my bachelor's degree in interior design. Following my graduation, I serendipitously found myself working at a lighting design company.
My career then took me to Europe, where I embarked on a transformative gap year. Upon my return to my country, I joined another prestigious lighting design firm. Over the years, I honed my skills and expertise, eventually partnering with a colleague to establish our own successful lighting design atelier. With nearly two decades of experience in the industry, I am proud of my enduring commitment to the art of lighting design.
My grandfather, an enthusiastic amateur Chinese painter, had a big influence on my early artistic interests. When I was a little kid, I used to tag along with him to important calligraphy and painting exhibitions. I even had fun scribbling with his brushes, which laid the groundwork for my love of artistic design.
However, when it came time for college, I made a more practical choice. Instead of heading to the art department, I chose the design department. My decision was driven by my somewhat down-to-earth personality, favoring a structured and pragmatic approach to creativity.
Following my university graduation, my initial career aspiration was in window display design. Believing that lighting played a pivotal role in this field, I decided to kickstart my journey by joining a lighting design company, where I could gain valuable experience and knowledge.
After several years of dedicated work, I found myself at a crossroads, seeking clarity. In pursuit of this, I embarked on a transformative year in Europe. During my time there, I explored major cities and attended various exhibitions. It was during these experiences that I realized my unwavering fascination with lights. This profound realization reaffirmed my deep passion for lighting, prompting me to decisively continue my career within the lighting design industry.
Design is not just about dreaming up ideas and sketching out plans. To turn a vision into reality, you need to set clear goals and create a solid roadmap to get there. It's a blend of both creative imagination and rational execution, and you can't do without either.
When it comes to beauty, it's what you see on the surface. Striking the perfect balance between emotions and practicality, it's the art of harmonizing sensibility and logic. The end result is all about the captivating effects and atmosphere born from the dance between these two essential elements.
Human perception lies at the heart of our design philosophy. Through close collaboration with clients, architects, and interior designers, we craft space aesthetics and lighting effects to cater to individual needs. Each project becomes a canvas where we accentuate its unique qualities and shape the ambiance with a meticulous equilibrium of emotional resonance and practicality.
Imagine a light as exquisite as jade, radiant with its warm luster. In each project, we deliver a distinctive and refined interplay of light and shadow, akin to the elegance of this precious stone, ensuring a unique and fitting visual experience.
Lighting design is an integral part of the ecosystem within interior, architectural, and landscape settings. Our process begins by immersing ourselves in the space's unique conditions and design ethos. After a thorough understanding and thoughtful contemplation, we cultivate the essence of our lighting design concept.
This involves crafting a holistic vision of the lighting environment, carefully harmonizing multiple factors and making judicious selections to bring it to life through the most fitting and precise lighting techniques.
The lighting concept for our country's first synagogue draws its inspiration from the Jewish holiday song, "Banu choshech legaresh" (Song of Hanukkah). At its core, this concept embodies the idea of eternal light. We translated this notion into the very facade of the building, shaping it into the image of a candle flame, serving as a guiding beacon in the darkness. The spirit of eternal light seamlessly weaves through every nook and cranny of the interior.
This unique project beautifully showcases my country’s rich cultural diversity and spirit of tolerance. The simplicity and strength of the lighting concept are woven into every facet of the project, resulting in a well-executed masterpiece. It's this remarkable integration that led us to choose this project as a testament to our design prowess.
The Jewish Taiwan Cultural Association is a remarkable renovation project involving an old building. To breathe life into the façade, we incorporated custom-made low-wattage lamps into the original characteristic windows, effectively conveying the historical and emotional facets of Jewish teachings.
Indoors, we harnessed the essence of eternal faith through meticulous attention to details and the careful selection of unadorned fixture designs, allowing us to encapsulate the rich culture and spiritual essence of the religion. Despite the need for multi-functional usage, we opted for a budget-friendly approach by implementing a switch-based control system. Managing to divide the circuit into 6 zones to cater to various functional requirements proved to be a formidable challenge that we successfully overcame.
Our confidence has received a significant boost! As a lighting design company with less than five years of history, our maiden entry into a competition resulted in not just one but double awards. This accomplishment serves as a profound validation, indicating that we are indeed headed in the right direction.
Moving forward, we are even more committed to our mission. We'll double our efforts to craft top-notch lighting environments that enhance our lives with the transformative power of light.
My country is a vibrant, multicultural society, and it's our open-minded, friendly attitude that fuels our dynamism in the design field.
We thrive by embracing the strengths of diverse influences while preserving our unique local characteristics. My country's design industry is all about elegantly expressing this rich tapestry of cultural diversity, turning it into a source of inspiration and innovation.
Looking ahead, the design world is gearing up for some exciting shifts. It's not just about fresh creative techniques and styles; artificial intelligence and big data are quietly weaving their way into our lives. There's a chance that computers and machines will start taking on tasks like data collection and generation.
With this data explosion, designers will need to take on a broader role, steering the ship and building deeper collaborations across industries. But one thing's crystal clear - the special spark of a designer's perspective and creativity can't be replicated by machines, and that's something we firmly believe in.
The comic "One Piece" has been a profound source of inspiration, particularly its emphasis on valuing friendships. In the realm of successful design projects, it's important to recognize that credit doesn't belong to the designer alone. The owner's support sets the foundation, while architects and interior designers provide the essential groundwork.
Lighting designers tailor plans to human and environmental needs, and mechanical and electrical consultants contribute their expertise in pipelines and systems. Manufacturers supply high-quality lighting equipment, and on-site crews meticulously execute the design requirements.
Huai Chun Liu, a seasoned lighting designer, developed a passion for lighting design at Chung Yuan University. With almost two decades of experience, she co-founded a successful lighting design atelier and remain committed to their craft.
Read more about this interview with I-Wen Chien of Gukang Co.,Ltd, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards.