While driving across the country (Boise Idaho, to Bordentown New Jersey),19 years old, on my way to my first assignment in the USAF, I was struck by many new experiences and sights. Prior to this trip, the largest city I had ever visited was Seattle. So, when I came off the plains of Wyoming, through Nebraska, Iowa, and Western Illinois, the skyline of Chicago came at me like a beacon from nowhere. Standing proud of the already impressive structures, was the Sear’s Tower, just 4 years old, black, ominous, and the tallest building I had ever seen. A full 104 stories taller than the One Capitol building in Boise, and towering 66 stories over 901 5th Avenue in Seattle. All I could think when seeing the Sears tower for the first time was “Wow!”

To say that the experience left an impression would be an understatement. Looking down from the observation deck on the 103rd floor was mind bending, and intimidating to someone who had only flown in an airplane twice, before the experience.

My 1973 object is inspired by that iconic Chicago structure and homage to the impression it left on me.

Archfroms 1973

From small Northwest towns where the tallest structures around were grain silos and water towers, with a desire to see new things and travel, I knew at that moment – I was on the right path.

As an artist in the making, and a fan of Architecture – having joined the AF to pay to attend Architectural School – I noticed that the structure was actually four sectional blocks stacked on one another. I retained that in my interpretation of it, as well as the vented floor sections that divide the larger glass facia. I left some of the structure open, and added lighted panels at the lower mid and upper sections, and down facing light at the lowest street level.

You can see a great deal more, and a 360 degree video of the finished work at the Lumenique Site under Archforms 1973.

The skyline in 1977. I remember wondering how it was built, and just how much money Sears must be making to have afforded to pay for it. (Image source of unknown origin)

As a strange twist of fate – in my later life as Director of Design for Winona Lighting, I was part of the team that created a new ceiling “chandelier” that was part of a large building update in the early 90’s, when Sears put the building up for sale.

New Lobby ceiling, Produced by Winona Lighting

I have an affinity for Chicago, born from these experiences. I enjoy its scale, and its island-like presence surrounded by the plains of the Midwest. In fact, I like it so much that I now life in the Chicagoland suburbs, perhaps the first place of residence I chose intentionally, over others I have landing in for positions I have held. Since the Sears tower experience, I have seen and visited taller structures. Yet, this remains one of my favorites.

If You Like What You See

If you like this object, and are interested in having it for your own collection, or know someone else who might enjoy it for their collection, please visit, or forward a link to my web site Lumenique Main Site.

Over many years, I’ve done a solid amount of work for a significant number of customers. This includes design work for homes ranging from $150,000 to $45MM, hospitality work on projects right under the $1B mark, museums, retailers, health care, schools, and golf courses – to name a few. I have designed hundreds of lighting products and held executive positions in lighting companies. In this time, I have never found myself in a position to ask for anything. Word of mouth led me to clients and projects all over the country, while jobs have come from contacts and connections.

My current venture in creating creative lighted objects presents a unique problem. The path that led me to customer work and employment prior to this, is not as effective in leading to sales of the art objects I create now. As a prior marketer, I recognize this as a particular challenge. As someone who wishes to see the product of my work actually be valued and purchased, I realize it is critical to cut a path forward.

There is a phenomena that all in sales folk recognize that is important to overcome. Cold calling is a very low percentage approach, that consumes a lot of time, to get to a lot of “no” responses. Word of mouth references are far more successful overall. I experienced this personally. I have also become accustomed to the feeling one gets from receiving an unsolicited request for participation.

Unfortunately, with Social Media clouding everyone’s vision, and filling screens with millions of voices on a regular basis, it is actually more difficult than ever to be seen, or perceived as intended. Messages get muddled, and then lost to the constant shifting of feed content. Social Media is both a blessing and a curse in reaching new people and making new contacts.

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I’ve experienced lighting directly (as a VP or Director of Design of Design, Engineering and/or Marketing) through 5 very different organizations, and indirectly (as Consultant, contract designer, etc.) through another 7. My roles has always been associated with advancing revenue goals. Over a span of 31 years working with these manufacturers, the diversity of approach has been striking, in both character and realized results. What follows are some observations based on this background.

My philosophy is that growth in the lighting market demands persistent effort on 5 specific fronts. Market intelligence, NPD, marketing presentation, sales channel development, and operational excellence are the common critical areas. The interrelationships of these are perhaps as important as the elements themselves.

  • Market intelligence demands a clear vision of existing position, market trajectory and insight into end user needs, pain points, and future potential demand.
  • Market intelligence is key to NPD focus and success, as well as product line maintenance.
  • Well developed NPD requires great marketing presentation to stand out in a busy marketplace.
  • Without proper sales channel development (internal members and channel partners), the message and NPD deployed will fall short.
  • If the company falls on its face operationally, every other effort suffers.
Backstory Approaches

Every organization I have played a role in has had one common underlying goal – to grow revenues and advance income. Pretty typical. To this end, there were similarities between them:

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New Objects 2021 – Artifact 1

Posted: September 8, 2021 in New Objects 2021

This recent work is inspired by the ironwork of the late 19th century. While we see this still exposed on bridge construction today, ironwork is the skeleton of brick structures over a few stories, and for the most part, remains within the skyscrapers to this day.

artifact 1

I’ve always been fascinated by the cold riveted assemblies of a million parts, that come together to create rugged, stiff, long lasting structures. Assuming they are cared for properly. In the case of this particular presentation, I’ve finished the surface in iron and applied a chemical to produce the rust patina, then clear coated it to make it touchable. This is how most iron looks exposed to the weather in the Desert Southwest, where trusswork was used heavily in mining operations. Artifacts of this type stand after a hundred years of exposure.

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Inside the 1966 Needle

Posted: September 1, 2021 in New Objects 2021, Uncategorized

Here is a summary of how the 1966 object is made (wiring and driver components are not shown for clarity). The lighted objects I am creating are more involved in the design, engineering, and building stages than any manufactured product could ever be. This is part of their character. Just as sculpture artists using numerous process steps to create art from bronze or steel, making lighted objects also demands a great deal of pre-planning and numerous steps to realize the final work completed.

Exploded view of the 1966 object.
WIP Time and Raw Investment Involved
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New Objects 2021 – 1966

Posted: September 1, 2021 in New Objects 2021

This is the first of the series of lighted objects I have created for offer on the Lumenique site. I will publish each one with a brief on what inspired it.

Most will recognize this from one of my favorite cities on the West coast. As a kid, we visited the 1966 World’s Fairgrounds numerous times. We visited the museums and displays, then played on the grounds. My last visit there was many years ago, on a working tour of projects I was doing as a Lighting Designer in the area.

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I live in awe of many accomplished individuals. I’m constantly amazed at what exceptional people have done, from building empires or find solutions to scientific problems – to artists who create objects or imagery that imparts a sense of wonder. From my personal perspective, I have done nothing to compare. Yet, I don’t allow this to inhibit by own pursuits. To the contrary, I use this to inspire, to drive me to continue to try new things, to continue to perfect what I already do, and to remain committed to be who and what I am.

The common theme of those I admire, is that they do what they do within context of their interests, not for fame and/or fortune. They are not seekers of recognition; recognition is a by-product of their success. Conversely, I have a real distaste for the likes of Kardashians – who will do anything for fame while contributing nothing. The artists, scientists, developers, a couple of financial gurus, and more than a few dozen business leaders I draw inspiration from, are those who have accomplished great things as a product of what they do or how they do it.

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The lighting universe has always been a blend of science, art, and practical realities. Since the introduction of LED technology, there has been an explosion of new players coming at lighting from a primarily academic or purely scientific viewpoint. This has created a landslide of potentials and compelling promises of new technologies. It has also created interest in visual sciences in lighting application, including non-visual responses to light, color performance, circadian effect, and now with COVID upon us, the use of light as a sterilization source. Then, there is the whole SMART initiatives, BIM, and the IoT push, on top of the ongoing battle for efficacy and energy efficiency. Layer onto this the discussion of power distribution that includes low voltage DC grids and Power Over Ethernet, not to mention integration of solar and battery powered sub grid integration. Further, are the discussions regarding controls technologies, from occupancy sensing and daylight response to reactive controls that change the character of light in a space based on occupant activities, viewer eye movement, coupled to time of day, daylight availability, and scene presets. We also now have tunable optics to accompany tunable CCT. Just over the horizon are steerable light patterns and progress of OLED technology.

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In the process of creating lighted objects using 3D printed components, the choice of what material to employ becomes a significant consideration. Unlike novelties and hobby interests, which generally focus on cost or printer compatibility issues (material print temperatures, warping, cracking, etc.) my focus is on creating objects with high surface finish quality, extremely long life, bonding strength, overall toughness, and secondary finish capability.

Primary Materials Considered

There are three primary materials commonly used in FDM processing.

ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is the most commonly used material in FDM printing of end-use parts. It is also used to produce a wide range of plastic products you encounter every day, from toothbrushes to kitchen appliances. It is tough, can tolerate some heat, and is impact resistant. It has enough flexibility to move before it breaks. ABS glues very well using solvents, making strong bonds between parts to create larger assembled components. It sands and well, and since it is a medium surface energy plastic, so wil, wet out and takes paints and adhesives well – when properly prepared. However, ABS, due to its high Butadiene rubber content, is not tolerant of UV Light exposure, which will break it down over time, making it brittle and causing it to shrink and crack around fasteners. ABS can also be a little brittle in thin wall sections, resulting in cracking around fasteners and between layers.

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Iron Inspiration

Posted: August 13, 2021 in Lighted Objects

I have always been attracted to the iron work that was used so heavily in the 19th century. The art of ironwork spanned basic structural engineering approaches, which have elegance founded on their function, and the embellished work, where ornamental design was either added to or integrated into the work. All held together with hot rivets and bolts, thousands of them.

My next object, or two, is going to explore this. Not to duplicate a structure, but to use them as inspiration for new design that is a take on the metalwork age. I also like the irony of using modern 3D modeling and 3D print technology to render work. Many of the same mechanical details that gave the soft metal work its rigidity, will render a plastic object additional strength and character.

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