Growing up, Daniel Blaker spent much of his time in the company of his grandfather, a carpenter. His craft, says Blaker, the creative director of London-based lighting design firm Nulty, “was to create something out of essentially nothing—a bit of wood.”
It’s an idea that he likens to his work today and the applied approach of lighting. “You remove some of the darkness,” he explains, “like you’re shaving away some of the medium to reveal what’s underneath.” And just as with physical objects, Blaker thinks of lighting in terms of texture—how different materials interact with one another and with the light.
These kinds of details help tell the story of a place and create an emotional response.
“Whether it’s the façade of a building, a residential apartment, or a commercial space, it’s really important to have a thread, some sort of a narrative that’s running through it to reinforce the identity of the project,” he says. “The main point I try to focus on is, how do you feel when you’re in that place?”
Ever drawn to the tiny nuances of beauty he sees everywhere, Blaker believes true creativity is found by challenging one’s perspective.
“Taking a step back and looking at things from a different side can completely change the form of the object you’re looking at.”
The future of lighting, he believes, lies in limiting energy consumption to preserve the world around us, but also in offering a fresh point of view. “As long as you alter the status quo, you’ve delivered something new.”