November 24, 2003
by Canadian Architect
The Lightouch Lighting System Design Competition for 2003 attracted 69 entries from around the world and awarded a top prize to Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen of Forsythe and MacAllen Design of Vancouver, for their Soft Light. This lighting concept partitions larger open spaces into more intimate yet ephemeral surroundings. The lighting envelopes and can also act as elements within the smaller spaces. The fixtures vary in scale from furniture to an actual room, or fragment of room. A glowing table can become a gathering place, for instance, and a room becomes a private place of repose. The illumination can come from within the piece; it can be integral to the piece; it can pass through it from another source or can be reflected off of it. The lamps are made from hundreds of layers of flame-retardant treated paper, forming a honeycomb structure that can expand and contract in a soft flexible way.The awards scheme, launched by DesignSingapore Council, challenges participants to develop design solutions for unique, non-intrusive, mixed-use modular lighting systems that can shape a creative and interactive live-work-play environment. Soft House, an architectural proposal that borrows from the Soft Light honeycomb morphology, has recently garnered Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen a Golden Prize in the Design Beyond East and West housing competition in Korea. The firm has received two ar + d awards from Architectural Review magazine, a first prize in a competition to design 200 units of housing and community facilities for Aomori City, Japan, and the Ron J. Thom Award from the Canada Council, among other accolades.