Arcadia Earth Art Exhibit - view 3

The Rawspace Design Series Part 1: Lighting

Published on Mar 3, 2020 by Dan Melwani

When building the perfect pop-up experience, one of the most critical elements is lighting. At Rawspace, we aren’t just selling an event, we are creating a mood- a feeling and ambiance that will serve to illustrate your product or art deeper and leave your guests with the sense that they just spent a few hours truly immersed inside the world of your brand. 

On a practical level, lighting is one of the key tactics for creating a sense of depth and illustrating a specific mood for the space. Lighting can illuminate a select part of the event you are looking to showcase, or focus the eye on the speaker, artwork, or performance. A specific and artistic lighting scape is also paramount in creating the exact tone you are looking to convey with your event while also dictating the overall composition of the moment. 

Arcadia Earth Art Exhibit - view 4

What this all comes down to is the ability to use lighting to generate an emotional response. What do you want your audience to feel when they attend your pop-up experience? Alongside music, lighting is one of the key factors in eliciting a reaction from your attendees- and the possibilities are endless. With just a few simple design alterations- you can give your event a feel of calm with a cool blue lounge scape, or you can pump up the energy with hot whites, yellows and other vibrant schemes to energize and vitalize the evening. 

Ultimately, guests won’t remember every last specificity and detail of the event. What they will be left with is an impression. Deep in their hearts, they will know how they felt, they will know how the world of your event made them react, and they will remember and associate those experiences with your brand. 

Today, lighting designers are equipped with a bevy of technologies, making the unimaginable possible. Anything you want, you can have. And while that can at times feel perhaps a little overwhelming, the great news is- at Rawspace we don’t believe there are any wrong choices. You can just have to make a choice. It all comes down to intentionality. Your guests will be able to feel the specificity of your design and conversely, they can tell when lighting choices are generic and uninspired. But together with the right team, you can make sure your event is building the precise mood and world you want. 

Here are some of our favorite uses of lighting from previous Rawspace events. 

144 Fifth Avenue - Event Space NYC - View 13

144th 5th Avenue 

Featuring a golden warm, low-light scheme, 144 5th Avenue hosts an intimate, cozy ambiance, perfect for book readings, company gatherings and smaller, familial affairs. The idea behind the lighting scape is to give attendees a sense of togetherness, almost reminiscent of a rustic living room. 

163 Mercer-The Style Arcade

Located at our 163 Mercer building, Rawspace joined with CondeNast to create The Style Arcade, an 80’s style retro event celebrating some of the best in NYC fashion. The lighting design revolved around neon fluorescents, creating a nostalgia filled vibrancy that kept the event pulsing with electricity well into the night. 

Event Spaces NYC – VMA event New York Museum of Missy Elliot – View 3

632 Broadway-Museum of Missy

One of our favorite events to date was our infamous Museum of Missy Elliot, a full-scale tribute to one of hip hop’s greatest icons. To create a sense of “elite chill”, the event’s lighting designer integrated a calming, blue scape that created a sense of artistry, class, and exceptionalism to properly honor this music legend.

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