Raffaele De Vita is a Specialist Lighting Designer with MEDLAND METROPOLIS in Sydney, and recently spoke with Light Project about lighting design, architectural lighting solutions and his work on retail store fit-outs. As Raffaele says: “I see lighting like a handmade suit that needs to fit the client, every time.”
When it comes to retail – “It has to be a unique experience for the customer,” says Raffaele. “Each store needs to be the best store possible.” Part of Raffaele’s conceptual phase is studying his client’s company values. “I try to understand what the client wants, what they want to achieve…” Whether it’s high sales on certain products, or simply creating a pathway for the customer to follow – here lighting becomes the tour guide to a journey through a retailer’s entire product collection.
When it comes to retail lighting, Raffaele doesn’t see it as a standard approach. “It’s about trying to create different layers of lighting.” With Sephora, for example, the lighting is purposefully designed to be seen from outside and to give customers, visually, an idea of zoning and various pathways into the store. Meanwhile task lighting and undershelf lighting is used to properly illuminate the product.
“With Sephora, we really tried not to have a replica of what they had around the world,” says Raffaele, “while still being consistent with their business idea and design intent. The idea was to make the customer feel welcome, guide them to different products with cove lighting, general, accent and signage around the perimeter.
“Together these all create the experience.”
Having studied in Florence and Rome, and now living and working in Sydney, Raffaele brings some international perspective to the Australian lighting industry. “I think there is a general awareness about lighting. And the good thing about Australia, from a technical point of view, is understanding the importance of technology such as LED.
“Nowadays everyone is selling LED strips and downlights”; but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution with LEDs. “It all depends on the type of project and client,” says Raffaele. That education takes time and a dedication of process. “At Medland we look to educate our clients [and find] a good balance between budgets and good products.”
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