On 8th November 2022, Powerhouse: Future Space hosted a day-long activities for schools. Our lunch-time session, Plantoid Forum, offered the students a glimpse in the life of plants in space and the challenges scientists face in sending plants to space. The enthusiasm and curiosity that stem from the students was my personal reward and stayed long with me.

The Plantoid Forum would not have been possible without SAAS Missions (UNSW) and Powerhouse: Future Space. Also, special thanks to Dr. Gioia Massa (NASA, USA), Prof. Julio Valdivia-Silva (University of Engineering and Technology, Peru) and Australian Start-up Lunaria One for providing pre-recorded messages for the cross-school challenge.



Creative Outlets

Reading time 3 minutes


When we started the renovations, the lighting plan was something I thought as being inherently complex; nearly impossible to make ourselves. We had an interior designer who decided to use down lights in every space, so I had to roll up sleeves and do something about it. But where do I start from? What type of light goes where? What is the mood we want in the rooms and how to achieve it through the interaction of colour and light? How do we use the rooms and how much light do we really need in each room? Should all light sources be fixed or do we need flexibility?  In the end, having the right lighting plan makes or breaks the space, right?


Well. Let’s break it down.

First thing I did was to start reading. Reading expert advice was invaluable, it helped me get my thoughts in order. Then I started drawing and instead of deciding on everything at once, I focused on the easiest rooms and then moved on to those that needed more careful consideration. Thankfully, our house is really small.


So, this is what we did.

KITCHEN AND CORRIDOR. Downlights were the easy choice for the kitchen and the corridor. We chose fittings that are recessed (so the light doesn’t get ‘into our eyes’), but give off enough light. A no-brainer for the kitchen where we need plenty of light as we cook a lot. The corridor in our house is a small and narrow space so down lights made a lot of sense. 

DINING AREA. The dining area has a beautiful loft and a big sliding door opening to a timber deck, so we have a lot of natural light during the day. At night we enjoy the beautiful light of three modern Art Deco pendants above the dining table accompanied by two wall lights on either side of the sliding door. All dimmable.

LIVING AREA. We wanted the East-facing and tucked away living area to have soft lighting. The room is naturally dark in the afternoon and we wanted to create an atmosphere of smoky jazzy room in the evening, where a single pendant of natural linen fabric casts gentle light now. We added a restored old Art Deco lamp in the far corner for the times we might need more light in the room.

BEDROOMS. We don’t really spend a lot of time in the bedroom, so we decided on dimmable wall lights, a couple of bedside lamps, and focused light into the wardrobe.


Well, that was pretty much it. As I said, it is a small house, and although it took a while to decide what goes where it was worth it. We have been in the house for a couple of years now and we do not regret taking the time to design the lighing to our taste. For me, the ability to be flexible and have as much or as little light in the house are the details that makes our house so very enjoyable.

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