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Jamon gluttony in Madrid

Now that a week or so has passed since the jamon gluttony occurred, we can actually bring ourselves to talk about it. We will mostly remember the Professional Lighting Designers’ Convention in Madrid for the amount of tapas consumed, but there was a lot of other good stuff going on, although it might sound like a page at the back of Vogue!

We left at the crack of dawn on Tuesday and arrived at the convention venue with our first challenge set – to build the Xicato stand that we had designed. Rocking up amongst the professional (and super speedy) stand building guys was a little daunting but with the help of Luke Smith-Wightman, our stand went up like a dream (and the fact that it was made entirely of cardboard helped immensely!)

Light Collective

Image: Sanna Fisher-Payne

After seeing the wastage of materials during our last foray into stand design at Euroshop, we vowed to do it more cheaply and in a more sustainable way. We found that cardboard was the answer so we moved in the cardboard chairs, cardboard shelves, cardboard light, cardboard table and so on! We then collapsed into bed at the fabulous Puertas Americas Hotel (not before consuming some ham though).

The next day was spent threading 500 rainbow-coloured paper cranes onto strings to show the Xicato module off in its best light. We had 1,000 but got crane fatigue and needed to get to the official opening of PLDC on the roof of the building.


Image: Sanna Fisher-Payne

The highlight of the opening was Tapio Rosenius’s hand-held follow spot on the speakers. The evening ended up with more ham and a lovely get together with old friends including Colin Ball, Malclom Innes and Iain Ruxton.

Apart from being a global education summit, the opportunity to meet old and new pals from around the world is a beautiful thing. After a catch up with Debbas, Paulina Villalobos, Ong Swee Hong, Christopher Knowlton and Martin Valentine, we went for more ham and not sure what else.


Image: Sanna Fisher-Payne

Friday saw us support Luke in the realisation of his idea for our Xicato event. Our favourite client, they are always up for our crazy suggestions and the Friday night party was no exception. There were 150 people with their own Xicato balloon light – say no more. Seeing them go off onto the streets of Madrid was pure joy.


Image: Sanna Fisher-Payne

More ham followed with Paul Traynor and Richard Hall. Even after this, all the socialising wasn’t complete with a glamorous gala dinner and award ceremony at the Matadero on Saturday night. Thankfully the meal was beef…

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