Envision Lighting Design, LLC welcomes our newest employee - summer intern Courtney Sheets! Courtney is a senior at Southeast Missouri State University studying Interior Design. St. Louis is her hometown.
ELD: Courtney, how did you discover lighting design?
Courtney: I became interested in lighting through my first internship at a lighting showroom (suggested by one of my professors.) I had never considered that aspect of design, but I quickly realized I had a passion for it.
ELD: What are you hoping to learn while you're with us here at ENvisionLD this summer?
Courtney: This summer I am excited to be experiencing hands on what it is like to be a lighting designer. I look forward to learning if this is what I want to do after I graduate.
ELD: I sure hope you love it as much as we do, Courtney! Besides lighting, what are your other interests?
Courtney: I like golf, shopping, traveling, and the Cardinals. I also have two dogs, Cody and Coco.
ELD: How do you ENvision your future?
Courtney: I want to travel the world, establish my career, and because my family is a source of inspiration to me, I hope to someday start a family of my own.
Join us in welcoming Courtney to the Envision Lighting Design team and to lighting design as a career!
At the start of my career whenever I attended a meeting, I often found myself to be the youngest person and the only woman in the room. Nowadays I am not typically the youngest person in the room, but all too often I am still the only woman.
Why are there so few women in our profession? And what can I do to make sure the ones there are (or the ones who have been) do not get forgotten?
The architecture community is currently in a bit of an uproar over the fact that Denise Scott Brown was not included in her husband and partner Robert Venturi's 1991 Pritzker Prize Award. In fact, Despina Stratigakos recently wrote a wonderful article about "Unforgetting" Women Architects and Architecture Magazine is challenging its readers to recommend a woman architect for a Wikipedia article to be written by the magazine. I even just learned that Frank Lloyd Wright's first employee was a woman architect.
One of my more popular old blog posts includes a little story about a lighting designer named Lesley Wheel. She was the first female architectural lighting designer, and a great mentor to many people. I think so highly of Lesley's ideas and her work that I'm currently helping to author a book about her design philosophies.
What are you doing to encourage women in our profession? What else needs to change so that the lighting design profession doesn't follow architecture in overlooking this talented segment of our membership? Are we too late? The Wikipedia entry under "Lighting Design" lists 13 men and one woman, the talented Motoko Ishii of Japan. The IES, a 107-year-old organization has only had three female presidents. Maybe lighting designers have some Wikipedia editing to do, as well.
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC