What began as an electrical consulting firm, Lirio Lopez, gradually transformed into a prominent lighting design firm in India because founders (and brothers) Linus and Lyle Lopez approached their work “with the absolute humility and energy of the utterly untrained”. The firm was founded in 1995 — the year their father, whose name they chose to retain, retired. In 2000, the desire to pursue creative projects made them sidestep into lighting design. “We took on whatever was offered, and went at it with everything we had, hammer, tongs and complete faith that every kink in the tube would get unkinked if you hung in there long enough with the right attitude,” shares Lyle.
Interesting works followed, from restaurants to nightclubs, and finally, few prominent art galleries and homes of art collectors. “Working with artists, curators and designers in gallery environments is a great opportunity to try out new ideas and the best way to get your hands dirty,” explains Lyle. They also had to keep up with changing technology as they began to grow. “The tools and toys in the basket now are exciting and the society is changing too — buildings get taller and nighttime visibility takes on a new importance. Public spaces, particularly in dense urban environments, invite people to congregate for social events, art festivals, retail therapy, nightlife… These are all beautiful new canvasses to work with, and in all these cases, I believe we’ve only just begun. There’s bound to be some recklessness — and mistakes — as we explore these opportunities, but I think that’s part of the societal growing up that India has to do.”
Moving forward, they are keen to delve more into environmental conscience in the sphere of lighting design — the rule book is open, full of caveats, cautions and blanks that need to be filled, they say. “I think lighting is adding a graphic dimension to building forms and interiors that also demands exploration, and we’d certainly like to be a large part of this journey. Another aspect of societal maturity is visible in the growth of museum culture. Some of our best work has been, and will continue to be in museums and galleries,” Lyle adds.
Recognising the need for greater indigenisation, they are making efforts to build and craft locally, but the technology gap is huge. They believe the graphic potential that lighting brings is almost of the same magnitude as the architectural form — in the way it impacts the space and the experience.
While they say ‘mistakes’ is a subjective term, their advice to the fraternity is to build great teams, share knowledge and keep your environmental conscience as sound as your ethical conscience — both should be set to maximum gain.

Looking Back

There have been several great opportunities that have influenced the firm’s trajectory: Delhi Metro, The Kingdom of Dreams, Lebua resort, Gyan Museum, the Jawahar Kala Kendra renewal, offices for Sugal & Damani and Greenply.

Looking forward

The Lopez brothers are excited about the National Museum in Bhutan, another one that they are working on in Goa, some signature façades with prominent developers and, “fingers crossed,” are looking forward to a great heritage opportunity.

 

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