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360 Degrees

Focus on Lighting Design

Humalisto Tomi, Karjunen Kimmo, Kilpeläinen Raisa

The Theatre Academy Helsinki began teaching lighting design in 1986.  Since that time, instruction in the degree programme has focused on  artistic and technical competence in its mission of helping students form  an independent artistic identity. A bold move in its day, the establishment  of the lighting design programme has had a profound impact on the  Finnish performing arts, as artistic teams have been enriched by a new  class of practitioners – artists, thinkers, designers, executors – whose  contributions are integral to creating total works of art.  Three decades later, lighting design has become established as an  artistic field in its own right in the Finnish performing arts; lighting- centred thinking and the use of light have also made strong inroads  in other fields, including the fine arts and architecture. The work of lighting designers has left a critical, concrete imprint in the form of  both powerful works and collective learning. Despite this, research and  articles on the field are rarely published in Finland. This collection,  360 Degrees: Focus on Lighting Design, aims at stimulating conversation  about the profession and its history through a diversity of phenomena  and perspectives. The hope is that deeper self-understanding will spur  further evolution within the field, while making lighting design visible  as one art among others. Contributors responded to an open call for submissions, and their  writings fall under three broad themes. The first section of this book  covers the history of lighting design and its instruction in Finland. In the  second, lighting designers reflect on their approach to their work and  professional identity as designers and artists. The third and final section  delves into questions of visual perception, conceptions of transparency,  and the relationship between designer and technology. Originally published in Finnish in 2017, this volume was  commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the lighting  design programme at the Theatre Academy of the University of  the Arts Helsinki. University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy

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