Cristina Esposito How did you get started as a designer of lighting products?
David Morgan I was always fiddling with bulbs and batteries as a child but was also very interested in painting and sculpture. I took a degree in physics, followed by a masters in industrial design. I worked at Thorn Lighting before I set up my own business. When I started out, product design wasn't talked about much. Manufacturers had some superficial interest, but didn't quite make the connection between design and commercial benefit.
Cristina Esposito How has technology affected product design?
David Morgan Although I have a project team of six, I am involved all the way through the design and development process. And it is partly the computer revolution that has allowed me to keep such a hands-on approach.
Productivity among designers has increased substantially. The designer creates the 3D computer model on screen, it's sent to the factory and made directly from the CAD files. This process has been incredibly empowering.
Cristina Esposito How do you work?
David Morgan For the SPR range of floodlights for Louis Poulsen, I started with sketches and foam models followed by renderings. After the foam-model process, we used to make component parts via stereo lithography, using lasers and special resin, but we are now moving away from this with computercontrolled machining and cutting of aluminium, brass and polycarbonate.
Cristina Esposito How do you get your work, and how wide is the scope?
David Morgan Most of our work comes from North America, Europe and Japan.
We provide a full luminaire design service, including concept, design, engineering and testing. Far more responsibility falls to the designers these days. It's about knowing the client. You have to look at where they are - their ethos. You also have to look at it from the branding and marketing side. It's important to interact in the design's early stages.
Cristina Esposito How are you paid?
David Morgan Much of our income comes from royalties on past work, though some clients prefer the set-fee method. On a royalty basis, the time lag between doing the work and receiving payment can create some financial pressure, but the upside is royalties continue to be paid for sales success, so this tends to lead to a closer relationship with our clients than fee-based work.
Cristina Esposito What are your current projects?
David Morgan Louis Poulsen launched its 150W SPR 14 projector floodlight in 2003, but the small-scale 20W SPR 10 is only just on the market. We are working on a variety of LED projects, including a 3W low-voltage micro track system for display cases and general commercial use, and the Radiant Linear Lighting System for continuous cove lighting for Belfer Lighting.
Cristina Esposito What developments are needed in the future?
David Morgan LEDs that can operate at higher working temperatures, with higher efficiency and better white colour rendering. Lamp manufacturers are a main driving force in the lighting market - they come up with new light sources, so that we luminaire designers can create new products.
Cristina Esposito What's the most rewarding aspect?
David Morgan Thinking about all the opportunities and design issues a new product brief presents. Solving the technical problems is very satisfying, as is seeing one's products in use around the world.