‘Light has the ability to impact how we feel and behave in a space’, the anatomy of a lighting designer. Read about our newest recruit Katherine, what inspires her and got her hooked on lighting design.
What attracted you to the lighting design profession?
I studied Architecture and Urbanism at university and during the 5-year course one semester was dedicated to lighting. It focused more on the technical side than the creative, however I have always been interested in lighting. The comfort and beauty of the environments are related to the details once the space is completed. I saw lighting as the life of the buildings. Desirable things become visible to the eye and guide the experience in the room. I started to notice this as an observer of light even before starting my career . I feel attuned to the space and the light within that space.
Could you sum up your design ethos down into a couple of sentences?
I can read spaces from a particular viewpoint, with my background in architecture. I believe this helps me treat lighting as both functional and beautiful . I’m able to accentuate all other details of design, from a lighting perspective. I think this make the whole experience much more interesting.
Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know
I played futsal for 10 years (from 7 to 17 years old) and won a scholarship to the best private school of my state and play for their team.
(Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side
What for you is the most exciting aspect of working in the field of lighting?
Lighting is essential in every space. You are constantly exercising your creative mind with the infinite amount of designs you can build. Then there is the variety of projects and there is always something new to learn and see.
What for you is the most annoying / upsetting thing about working in the lighting industry?
When your ideas are turned into numbers. It is hard to measure quality of light with lighting calculation software. It’s a sensory experience. Lighting Design is more about using our skills as professionals to ‘ feel’ light and challenge guidelines, sometimes less goes a lot more.
Is there a place / space / experience that stands out in your mind as inspirational? If so, why?
Recently I visited a restaurant where you eat in total darkness and the staff are visually impaired. It was a great time to reflect on how light is vital to all our senses. I couldn’t make out the taste of an apple, the vegetables on my dish or which kind of meat I was eating. This was even when I knew what those flavours were. It’s interesting to see how our experiences form many aspects and how the brain works in different situations.
Is there a person who has had a big influence on you as person / designer? If so, why?
During my university course I’ve was inspired by Marcio Kogan who is a modern Brazilian architect. I love the pure geometric forms he uses combined with the natural textures of the materials. He likes to use natural sun light and to experiment with panels which he adds/subtracts on the walls and ceiling to create unusual effects within the space.
Could you list the top 5 reasons why you love your job?
Merging architecture with lighting.
Feeling involved and inspired by lighting every day. This is in simple activities such as having lunch in a nice restaurant, walking at night in the park, going to the theatre and observing the changes of scene lighting and the effect it has on a set.
Working in a place in which everyone has a different background and exchange ideas from different perspectives.