Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment.

Vol. 2, No. 1

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Julle Oksanen Joins the Lighting Research Center

Finnish lighting designer Julle Oksanen has joined the LRC as a visiting scholar. Oksanen, whose home is in Helsinki, brings a background of more than 25 years in several fields of lighting to his work at the LRC. He has worked for international luminaire manufacturers, given lectures all over the world, and had his own lighting design practice. He serves as editor-in-chief of Valo, a Finnish lighting magazine whose name means "light." He has co-written a lighting design book and, with his partner, Vesa Honkonen, designed luminaires for manufacturers like Philips and Louis Poulsen. "I value teamwork and creativity in my work in lighting," Oksanen says, "and I appreciate the fact that the LRC shares those values."

Oksanen was working as a lighting designer and teacher in the Finnish Theater Academy when he came to the LRC. "I wanted to see for myself the kind of lighting research being done in the U.S.," he says. "And even more appealing than that was the fact that the LRC is the center of the lighting research world. I just had to become involved with the work going on here."

In addition to his work at the LRC, Oksanen continues to serve as a visiting examiner at The Bartlett University in London. There, he mentors students and gives feedback on their exams and projects. Has held this position for four years, and he taught at other universities for more than 15 years before starting at The Bartlett.

Oksanen is involved with students at the LRC, too, teaching lighting design to the first-year students in the M.S. in lighting program. In working with his students, he draws on the experience gained from projects all over the world: opera houses, amphitheaters, concert halls, museums, plazas, and city centers. He tells his students, "Be proud and design creatively." Of his teaching he says, "I've taken from the lighting world for 20 years. I'm here now to give something back."

Oksanen's other lifetime career aspirations include bringing together an interdisciplinary team to produce a book of architectural lighting design recommendations, but this book will not be a traditional handbook. "Every country has handbooks of lighting recommendations. It's time to create something else—the missing piece for good lighting solutions. This something else will be a mosaic of elements from architectural lighting that will inform lighting design practice in new and useful ways. "Our book will provide functional lighting solutions to design problems." Oksanen feels that people too often seize on gimmicks that please them personally but do not add anything functional to a design. "For example, many lighting designers today want to use color everywhere," he observes. "They shouldn't use color unless they can say why they want to use it. Everything in lighting should have a function."

"We're proud to have Julle Oksanen join our staff," says Dr. Mark Rea, Director of the LRC. "His unique point of view and his international perspective on lighting design will be great assets to our staff and students. Working with him will be an exciting time for all of us, professionally."

About the LRC

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. Founded in 1988, the Lighting Research Center has built an international reputation as a trusted and reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. Its mission is to advance the effective use of light and create a positive legacy of change for society and the environment

2003 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180 USA.

Rennselear Polytechnic Institute