Beyond 2012 - an integrated Design Story

Lighting design for the opening and closing ceremonies
A built environment story

“The lighting scheme was the largest single lighting system ever created in the UK.”

Patrick Woodroffe,
Lighting Designer

Tell us about the early design brief

The brief was to create theatrical lighting for all four ceremonies and create a design that encompassed all the action including performers, volunteers and athletes, the scenery, architecture and the lighting of the Stadium itself.

What inspired your design concept?

The Stadium was the start of the design process and we considered how we could change the shape and character of the building during the hours of darkness. Then in collaboration with the four directors we started to understand the narrative behind each of the shows. From there we were able to create the states of lighting that formed the visual and dynamic scenery and effects for each of the productions.

What challenges did you face along the way?

The challenge was simply the scale of the operation. The lighting scheme was the largest single lighting system ever created in the UK. It involved literally thousands upon thousands of lighting fixtures, a crew of 73 people and enormous logistical challenges. It was also a show that played out in front of a billion people around the world and so the pressure to perform well was enormous.

Of course design was the solution as our job is simply and only about design – lighting design.

How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?

The shows, and the period of 18 months leading up to them, were by degrees exciting, nerve-wracking, terrifying, exhausting, inspiring and ultimately triumphant. We all feel very, very proud to have been part of such an event.


Company Name
Woodroffe Bassett Design

Lighting design for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies


Project team

Patrick Woodroffe
Lighting Designer

Adam Bassett
Associate Designer

Tim Routledge
Lead Lighting Programmer

Andy Voller
Lighting Programmer

Pryderi Baskerville
Lighting Programmer

Terry Cook
Followspot Captain

Miriam Evans
Design Assistant

Al Gurdon
TV Lighting Consultant

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