Trends in Lighting asks 20 Questions to inspirational lighting industry minds to mark the end of the decade
Name: Paul Traynor
Job Title: Principal Director / Founder of Light Bureau
Where will you spend the holidays? Heading to God’s own country (Yorkshire) to be with family and hopefully get a few rides on my bike in those hills.
What is your favourite Christmas food? I like all of it – even the sprouts, but you can’t beat a cheeky mince-pie in my opinion.
What are you most excited about for 2020? Professionally it’s seeing how we can develop our brand – since merging and all coming under the Light Bureau identity last month we’re in a transitional phase – but in my view, disruption can be positive.
What do you most want to see from lighting manufacturers in 2020? I’m looking forward to Frankfurt next year and hope to see some innovation particularly in the workplace sector – how our clients want to use their spaces like co-working, short licenses and versatile habits isn’t reflected well in what manufacturers are currently offering.
Have you already booked your summer vacation? I’ve booked a long weekend in April which is a start. My daughter’s GCSEs happen next year so we decided to revolve our plans around hers in 2020, last-minute in other words.
Who is your industry inspiration? He’s not from our industry but someone who has always been a role-model is George Martin – the 5th Beatle. He was of humble origins and re-invented himself by working hard. He stood in the background and gave the band the tools and creativity they needed to do their job well. And by accounts I’ve read he was a gentleman.
Which product has inspired you in 2019? Well, it wasn’t the iPhone 11. I’m interested in how people live and what’s useful in their lives, so reckoning on the trend for urban micro-living, I think lighting products that respond well to space constraints and possibly have more than a single function are worth noting.
Which project are you most proud of? I’ll pick our charity project as being the most worthy which is Maggie’s in Leeds. We’ve worked on that with Heatherwick Studio since 2015 – it’s been a long journey but the outcome is a lovely space for the users, so it’s worthwhile.
Can you name another reindeer besides Rudolph? Yes I know both of them! Actually I think the one named after a kebab is my favourite.
Do you own a Christmas jumper? I was given one for a charity day – I managed to off-load it after one wear to my daughter.
How is sustainability changing your job? Sustainability is not a new thing – it’s been baked into our design approach always. Even on lavish project types, you can still be responsible. We’re really happy we’ve brought in a specialist in daylight design and WELL to build a team here and we’re already bringing in more to our Scandinavian offices.
What is your most listened to track this year? I listen to a lot of bands but according to iTunes the album I keep circling back to is Loaded by Velvet Underground.
What was the last good film you watched? Once upon a Time in Hollywood, I saw it twice. The film I hope to see before the year-end is Judy and Punch but persuading my wife to go to the cinema is hard work – so I tend to see more stuff on a small screen.
Have you already booked your flights to Trends in Lighting 22-24 September 2020? I haven’t planned that far ahead – next year Frankfurt will be the main thing and all 110+ designers from Light Bureau will attend that, then we’ll see what else we can fit in the diary afterwards.
Where was the most interesting place your job took you this year? I’m lucky in that I do get to see a lot of places but culturally I’d say India. I talked at a conference in Mumbai in November and people I’ve got to know through the Wismar distance learning program turned out to meet me, they really looked after me and I’m glad I got to spend time with them. And the Bombay sun-set is beautiful.
Will Brexit happen? For sure – now we have Boris it seems inevitable. Sorry Europe, it’s just a phase we’re going through.
What is your favourite Christmas song? Same as my wife’s: Andy Williams’ – It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s cheesy but very uplifting.
How do you say Merry Christmas in another language? god jul. Love the Norwegians for a simple sentiment. Arve Olsen and I set up an office in Oslo in 2014 and spiritually I find I connect well there.
Do you prefer LED Christmas lights or the traditional incandescent bulbs? Bone of contention every year – my wife hates the LED ones but that’s all you can get now. For ‘warm’ read ‘yellow’. They are meant to last a lifetime but we buy more every year in pursuit of better ones. If only Xicato made Xmas lights…
Can you remember the job/course you were you doing 20 years ago? Uh, yeah, it was lighting design. I started Light Bureau in 1999 so that’s bang-on 2 decades – coming up for 21 next February. In terms of projects, we were doing something for BP’s London headquarters and we were proposing this radical new product innovation called LED 🙂