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“Momentum of Light”

Capturing the light and shadows of Burkina Faso

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Describing the role light plays in our lives is as obvious as it is difficult. Much more complex and interesting is seeing how the peoples of the world have adapted to the light in their corner of the globe, their traditional architecture modulating the ingress of light. Large glazed openings flood interiors with light in places like northern Europe where light is scarce, while small openings and solid walls block the harsh light in hot countries.

The advent, first of artificial light and later air conditioning, has wiped out these architectural differences and standardized our response to natural light. Today, faced with the looming consequences of climate change, seeing how our forebears handled issues of light and heat will be a critical step towards better, more sustainable architectural design.

Contractors, builders, planners and designers all have a key role in understanding the future needs of inhabitants and encouraging the adoption of effective sustainable solutions. This includes looking at the solutions devised by those who came before us.

Working with light to improve people’s quality of life has been Zumtobel Group’s goal from the outset. Its sustainable, forward-looking, energy-efficient lighting systems are the result of decades of sector experience and understanding of light and its effect on people. Not only acquired through hands-on experience in the field, the company’s know-how has been built up by closely partnering architects, artists and designers, who, as an integral part of the group’s corporate culture, have helped Zumtobel maintain its broad, cutting-edge approach.

Now at its 30th edition, the Zumtobel Group’s Annual Report testifies to the company’s close association with art and culture, each year seeking out different viewpoints to enrich its design capability in ways that go beyond standard corporate guidelines. Started by Jürg Zumtobel and...

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