We can never get enough. This could be the one slogan condensing the franticness of our lifestyle rhythms. There’s never enough. Of everything: never enough time, never enough money, never enough emotions. It’s a frenzy that condemns to everlasting dissatisfaction. The more we have, the more we’d like. One big part of the economy is propped up by the production of goods and services which serve to fix the damages made by the voracity of the other part. We can never get enough of eating: we stuff ourselves, get obese, and then we need saunas and gyms to get on our feet again. We are never beautiful enough: and so we keep up the industries of cosmetics, fitness, aesthetic surgery. We never have enough energy: and so we struggle to produce more, at all costs, and the environmental failures that follow are under everybody’s eyes. Never enough emotions: extreme sports, adventure travels, one can never stay quiet.
And for what concerns more closely the interest we share on these pages, we never have enough light. We have associated the meaning of light to that of wellbeing, wealth, safety. And so we want more, at all costs. It’s a pity, though, that quality and quantity don’t always go hand in hand, for light as for everything else. Really beautiful light is rarely abundant. With light, the more you have the less you can perceive its nuances. We should start again looking for quality in the small things, working more on the how rather than on the how much. As lighting designers, we can do our bit trying to know when to stop. It’d be a small contribution to a new concept of wellbeing.
(Published in the column “Il corsivo di Oscuro”, in Luce e Design, n. 6/2007)