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Lighting designer behind Fergie's "lit" black dress loves to experiment

Published on Oct 12, 2012 4:31 PM

At last year's Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, singer Fergie from American hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas dazzled the audience with a little black dress that lit up with coloured lights.

The man behind that dress, Rogier van der Heide, is not a fashion designer but chief design officer at Philips Lighting.

Better known for his striking architectural projects such as the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, and a recipient of the lighting industry's most prestigious accolade, the International Association of Lighting Designer's Radiance Award, he is in demand for his dynamic lighting designs and readiness to experiment with technology.

Which explains why the lighting designer, who was in town last week for the World Architecture Festival, chose to dabble in fashion with Fergie's dress. "Design has a functional component but a lot of it is also what it radiates in an immaterial sense," he says. "Using light, we created a beautiful illusion on a dress. We do these things to see where technology can take us."

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