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.
Emphasis on Independent.
Has your lighting rep shown you this fixture? What?? Why not? It is one of the most fun things I've seen since RGB LED!
Oh...your lighting rep doesn't represent this product.
One of the advantages of hiring an independent lighting designer is that we work on your behalf: to get you the best possible lighting solution at the best possible price. Whether that means you should actually eliminate light fixtures from an overlit space or if it means you should buy products from five different lighting reps - we can facilitate that!
As an independent lighting designer, ENvisionLD can often provide lighting design services for around the price of one decorative fixture on your project. Chances are, by hiring us you will save money in the long run - by avoiding products you don't need, or through energy savings, or by increased worker productivity.
Hire an independent lighting designer for your project today. Get better results and have more fun!
What have I been doing? I'm glad you asked!
The IES St. Louis Illumination Awards event is upon us! On Thursday, September 20, those most passionate about lighting in St. Louis will gather at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium to celebrate the art and science of lighting and its impact on our community.
I have been the chair of this great event for five years now. We have had casino-themed, baseball-themed, and kids-at-play themed events. This year it will be all about the stars.
The evening will begin with a red-carpet welcome followed by a Planetarium star show and then our own stars will take the stage. We will wrap up with a delicious catered buffet dinner and all guests will go home with over $40 worth of party favors. This night will include our signature light-hearted and delightful approach.
Hope to see you there!
I have been immersed in the architectural lighting world and its jargon for well over 20 years now. (What other industry uses such refreshingly technical terms as "Luminaire Dirt Depreciation"? But I digress.) Sometimes I forget that when I refer to a light bulb by its correct name, "lamp", that many of you picture this.
But I'm referring to this.
"Bulb" is the glass part of the lamp...er...light bulb.
So I want to illustrate some of the lighting terminology that I use.
In the picture below, we see several important lighting elements.
Ambient Lighting. In this example, ambient lighting is provided by the recessed lights that are mounted in the red ceiling. Ambient lighting is the general lighting in the space. It is the baseline that is just needed for walking around.
Task Lighting. In this example, task lighting is provided by the fabric pendants. Task lighting is lighting for the task. In this restaurant example, it is the lighting necessary for seeing your food and your dinner companions' faces. Energy can be saved by using task and ambient lighting appropriately.
Accent Lighting. In this example, accent lighting is provided by the track lights. Here it is the light that is aimed at the art on the wall. It accents this interesting parts of the space. Without accent lighting, there is plenty of light for seeing, but the space can be boring.
Daylighting. Light that comes from the sun. This could be from any kind of window or skylight.
Interior Surfaces. Wait, interior surfaces aren't a light source, are they? Well, yes and no. The reflectance of an interior surface makes such a huge difference in the impact of lighting on a space and on one's ability to see. You can perceive it in this photo. The yellow wall on the left hand side of the photo is brighter and reflects much more light back into the room than the dark orange or green wall on the right hand side of the photo. The color, reflectance, and contrast of interior surfaces are critically important.
There. You are enlightened. Maybe you will be able to understand me just a little better when I talk about lighting.
~ This post is dedicated to my mom.
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC