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Rebecca Weir, Lightbout.iQ

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Our next Surface Design Show Isolation Talk is with Rebecca Weir, award winning lighting designer and Creative Director of Lightbout.IQ

Rebecca's passion for lighting is driven not just through the design process, but more significantly on the impact light has on our lives and the way we live.

A highlight at this year's Surface Design Show, was the Light Talks Theatre designed by Rebecca. With emphasis on the essential link between light and materials, the Light Talks Theatre featured a range of surface materials creatively lit to accentuate and play with their intrinsic essence.

Hi Rebecca

Thanks for letting us self-isolate with you, keeping in touch with our friends makes us all feel better.

Where is your isolation home right now?

I am tucked in to a wonderful spot in Gloucestershire, the birds and geese are making themselves known. It is the only sound. It is very peaceful (except the children asking when the next meal will be!)

I think we are now into week 6 of lockdown - how are you coping with this new lifestyle?  

WOW! We adapt so quickly - I am blessed with a team that is very 'can do', I was pretty stressed in the beginning with so many unknowns, but as we start to come through, my sight is very much towards how we can sustain the size of the practice and flourish under these new conditions. A lot of our business is international, so not being able to fly off will present challenges. Interestingly there have been several enquiries for the smaller jobs which the company grew up on so - as always - flexibility will be ever present.

Have you developed a daily schedule?

I am lucky as both I and my children like a plan. Even if the plan is to do nothing, my son also likes to know what will be for lunch at breakfast, this ensures I am fairly organised. Our dog Monty, also likes a plan, this involves at least two decent walks a day. Like everyone, organisation and communication is vital to everyone to ensure things run along as happily as possible.

What tends to be the highlight of your day?

We are on a lake so I love being out on the water, could be swimming, windsurfing or paddle boarding - it sure puts the world to rights out there!

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What are you missing most? And what don’t you miss at all?

I definitely miss the buzz of the office, I don't need it everyday, but I love the warm welcome and banter!  I miss hanging out with friends and family - it is definitely BBQ season now which is when the family often gathers. I have absolutely not missed the tube or commuting, that has been a blessing!

Are there some long neglected jobs that you intend to get around to doing during the lockdown?

I have started to learn the piano again and have started to repaint the house - I need more lockdown time as I have only done a third of the ground floor!

You designed and installed a fantastic Light Talks Theatre at Surface Design Show this year, did you enjoy the experience?

We had such a good time, everyone was so relaxed and friendly, the feedback was amazing, all round a very positive experience!

What was your inspiration behind the concept?

We wanted to show how different surfaces respond to light, whether framed in light, backlight, static or with movement, various colour temperatures and outputs -  many people were surprised by what they learned from the displays.

You hosted many of the presentations within Light Talks, which talks impressed you most?

I had the pleasure of hosting Oliver Heath, an incredibly engaging and charismatic speaker who is so knowledgeable on Biophilic Design. I spent months preparing and researching the subject which I found inspiring. I learnt so much from the experience.

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How do you think the lighting sector in the UK will manage these difficult times?

Gosh! Difficult to say - I think some companies were struggling before so we might see a smaller market. As is often the case, service will be key - getting back to people quickly, honesty and transparency. UK companies have been surviving Brexit so this is just another challenge!

Which projects that you are working on at the moment particularly excite you?

The team have several hotels in South America as well as a stunning new shopping mall in the Far East. I am very busy with lots of smaller projects, which we call Fast Track - enough to keep us on our toes for a while.

When 'normal service' resumes how will the lighting sector have changed?

I think my team would like to work from home more! I wonder what 'normal' will ever be...

It's been a great chat Rebecca, thanks for letting us self-isolate with you!