Light Breathes Life into a Space
Light is the one design element that takes up no room, yet has the potential to alter the space entirely. I use light and its companion, shadow, to define and sculpt a space, enhance the surfaces and objects within, and reveal their form, color and texture.
Painting with Light
My expertise with light is an extra benefit I provide. Because I am a lighting designer as well as an interior designer, I incorporate opportunities for concealing the lighting equiptment within the architecture, such that the effect, not the equipment, is seen. Sculpting the space, placing the furniture and selecting color and texture allows me to place the light where it needs to go to accentuate the features of the space.
Influenced by my early work as a photographic stylist (set designer), I became aware of the importance and magic of light. When making the transition from stylist to interior designer, the use of light as an artistic component of design became a quest. I took every opportunity to discover the secrets of light: the technology, the science, and the art. I studied at General Electric’s Nela Park in Cleveland, Ohio, one of the world’s first institutes devoted to the study of light and lighting. I took classes at the Lighting Institute in Chicago, the Cooper Lighting facility in Elk Grove Village, IL, and attended seminars and classes taught by prominent lighting designers across the country.
I was very fortunate to study in New York City with the late Abe Feder – one of the most distinguished lighting designers in Broadway history – who was also a major architectural lighting designer. He coined the phrase “painting with light.” He lit many buildings in New York City including Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building from the rooftops of adjacent buildings. On April 28 1997, several days after his death, the lights at Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building were turned out for one hour as a memorial tribute to him.
My master’s thesis at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago – an interactive exploration of simultaneous color contrast, colored light, and human perception – was installed in the children’s department of the Art Institute where it remained for several years.
I taught architectural lighting design to interior design students at the Art Institute of Chicago for ten years, and collaborated with architect Patrick Grzybeck in developing and teaching the architectural lighting class taught at both Harrington Institute of Design, and The School of the Art Institute’s Interior Architecture Department. I am a professional member of IESNA, The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.