Jonathan Speirs, 1958-2012

It was with great sadness that late last night I read that Jonathan Speirs had passed away after a long battle with cancer.

You may not know who Jonathan Speirs is, but I am sure you will know his work. Speirs is the lighting designer responsible for such incredible designs as the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Barajas Airport in Madrid, and the Gateshead Millenium Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Working as a lighting designer myself I am more than aware of his work and what he has done for the industry.  I never met the man, but like so many others, was continually inspired by his works. My Creative Director at Neolight Design knew Jonathan well and worked with him for many years, not least on the facade of one of the world’s most iconic structures – the Burj al Arab, with nothing but praise for him.

Through others I was very much influenced by his teachings and works, the cleverest of details simply transforming buildings and projects to something awe-inspiring.

Jonathan is a huge loss to all involved in the creative and design industry, not just constrained to either lighting or architecture.  I even noted Speirs as one of my greatest sources of inspiration when Lighting Magazine interviewed me last year!

Tributes from colleagues of Jonathan’s over on Lux Magazine say so much, as does an incredibly poignant tribute from Mark Major, Jonathan’s friend and creative partner.


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