From conceptual planning to product selection and budgeting, lighting’s comprehensive nature keeps this designer with The Lighting Practice coming back for more
I love that lighting influences everyone. We are all constantly stimulated by light, even though we only notice lighting when it takes on a unique presence around us. When we design lighting for a space, it affects everyone who goes there, from larger public projects to workspaces that house office workers just like me. It feels important and powerful to create comfortable environments for all people, and even more poetic that the difference we make is on a subconscious level.
The recently completed TD Bank office fit out at One Vanderbilt Avenue in New York City. This was the first project I saw through from start to finish since joining The Lighting Practice as a full-time lighting designer in 2019. It was also the first time a fixture I selected was installed on a project. It was gratifying to see the fruit of my own labor and to witness a design idea realized. In addition to being a new landmark tower in New York City, TD Bank at One Vanderbilt is also a corporate office with lots of unique branding moments. Lighting plays an integral part, from sculptural pendants in TD’s signature green color to NYC neighborhood-inspired pantries, with each floor featuring a different theme and lighting gesture.
Best part of your job?
It may sound a bit cliché, but the best part of my job is being able to use all parts of my brain. Lighting design is a comprehensive service and different skills are needed at different stages of a project—broad-stroke concepts are followed by photometric calculations; product selection is followed by budget planning. There is always a different challenge ahead and never a boring moment.
Biggest obstacle you’ve encountered?
I’m an introvert so the biggest obstacle I’ve encountered is having to talk on the phone and on conference calls, especially at the level of design coordination. It has become less intimidating over time, but it is still a challenge. My coworkers offer a lot of encouragement, and I always take time to hype myself up before a long meeting or a presentation.
Most important thing for the future of the lighting industry?
Climate change will continue to be an important topic for the lighting industry. While the wide use of LED sources is a huge step forward in saving energy, and there are more and more alternatives to electricity for powering lighting systems, it is important for the future to think beyond energy preservation to making our built environment friendlier to the ecosystems around us.
Dream project or collaboration?
I would love to be a part of interdisciplinary, multimedia, site-specific “architainment” projects like the work of Moment Factory, or to be able to incorporate elements into one of TLP’s projects—creating temporal lighting moments on somewhat permanent infrastructure and making architectural lighting more interactive with everyday users. I want to bring people closer to the world around them and to each other.