LytePodAug 06, 2020
Kimberly King - Transformative Not Transactional: Design-Minded Supply
The lighting industry has gone through a few evolutions, and the pathway from design to final delivery is undeniably one of them. Gone are the "transactional" days of interchangeable parts + pieces like lamps and ballasts -- for better or worse, today's lighting equipment has become unique and specialized, and staying at the forefront of change requires a new way of thinking about supply. Enter design-minded supply teams like Illuminate in Philadelphia, where Kimberly King works as a project designer and communication bridge from concept to completion. Join us as Kimberly talks us through some ways complex design outcomes can be achieved by rethinking partnerships and processes in today's evolving lighting landscape.
Elaine Cook - Equity in Lighting: An Inclusive Approach to Design
Born of the Black Lives Matter movement, Equity in Lighting's overarching mission is to equip the lighting industry with the ability to design for everyone — not just the white, neurotypical person that today's technology and practices have come to serve the best. Join us as Elaine Cook, Co-Founder of Equity in Lighting, talks to us about why they founded EIL and how their goals and strategies continue to evolve as new needs are recognized. From educational programming to research to outreach and more, learn how EIL is working to move the needle toward a brighter future for all.
Andrea Wilkerson - Doubling Down on Data-Driven Design
What if the lighting system in any given space could be your teammate? What if it could help cue you, guide you, inform you, and help you achieve your goals? That's one way Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Lighting Researcher Andrea Wilkerson sees lighting through the lens of her career in lighting research and analysis. Andrea believes that digging into data is the key to unlocking much of the promised potential of the digital lighting age, and she explains why you don't need a Ph.D. to do it! Listen in and learn how we can all contribute to the growing body of knowledge by embracing the power of research-informed design.
Archit Jain and Scott Hatton - Selling Time as a Service: Service-Based Businesses
Consistency. Balance. Efficiency. Three virtues most businesses strive for, but achieving them is a different story. Oculus Light Studio's business approach may be the exception, conceived of the idea that life and life in lighting can blend and coexist. Join us as Archit Jain + Scott Hatton, co-founding principals of Oculus studio, talk to us about how they look at time—one of life's most precious and limited resources—and how their systems of time management, proactive communication, and analyzing progress help them set and meet expectations, both inside the office and out.
Gerald Olesker - From Curbside to Poolside: A-List Lighting Design
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a lighting designer to the stars or design homes for celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and LeBron James? That's exactly the claim to fame for Malibu-based CEO of ADG Lighting Gerald Olesker. An architectural industrial designer by training, Gerald has amassed a star-studded portfolio of luxury projects around the globe, and ADG's custom lighting is the secret sauce. In this conversation, we dive into the details of what it takes to work for some of the most demanding clients, how he cultivated his design-centered mindset, and how lighting plays a crucial role in both the architectural process and the ultimate experience of a space – from curbside to poolside.
[In Memory] Howard Brandston - Rules are a substitute for thinking
Here at Lytei, we are of the opinion that architects never truly die. As long as their buildings live on, they live on. Today, we say the same about prolific architectural lighting designer Howard Brandston and his body of work that deserves recognition and gratitude for elevating the practice of lighting design to a profession. In remembrance, we spotlight his genius with this podcast episode, originally released in February 2020. Give the episode a listen, and be inspired by his legacy!
Lighting up the AV Sales Channel - Trent Mulligan and David Thomas
There's a new sales channel in town...and it's got exciting possibilities for the lighting design community. Trent Mulligan and David Thomas, the President and the Executive Director of Momentum Group and Rio Grande Reps, explain to us how great lighting is not only a natural fit in the AV and integration channels, but is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to high-end residential lighting. In this fascinating conversation, they talk to us about why lighting designers, integrators, and the end users are set up for a triple-win, and share their perspectives on how this strategy can position manufacturers for new levels of sales success.
Dane Sanders - Smart Cities, Urban Light
Walking the walk isn't easy, but when it comes to rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty, lighting design firm Clanton & Associates and their President, Dane Sanders, make it look natural. Dane isn’t just a theorist, he and his colleagues have a passion for pushing lighting progress: putting into practice advanced ideas and technologies, and bringing stakeholders together to work through the detailed challenges of real-world applications. Listen in as we chat with Dane about the "smartest" way to tackle "smart cities," some of the strategies his firm uses to support meaningful collaboration, and what it's like to help lead a team to bring about real change in our industry.
2022 Wrapped: Mix Tape of Our Top 5 Episodes
What a year 2022 was for lighting. From new technology to exciting trends and research, the LytePOD featured a lot of great new episodes (27 to be exact). Sam recaps the top five most listened-to episodes of the year. If your taste is anything like the rest of the listeners, we hope you like them, too.
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Kelly Jones - Master Juggling: Finding Balance in Work and Life
In the last edition of our Enlighten Americas 2022 chronicles, Co-CEO and President of Lighting Design Alliance, Kelly Jones, shares why she says "everything is a phase" and shares some of the wisdom she's gathered in the different phases of her life so far. From starting off as a driven designer to co-leading one of the industry's most renowned lighting firms to another kind of co-leading on the parenting front, Kelly's found a way to juggle it all and keep a smile on her face. In this episode, she talks to Sam about how she's learned to encourage curiosity and collaboration] and the importance of staying flexible and keeping perspective as you take on challenges in life.
Catherine Leskowat - Making Progress: the Art of Advocating
It's always inspiring to see someone speak with authority and passion – two traits Catherine Leskowat, Senior Lighting Designer at Hartranft Lighting Design, has in spades! As anyone who's been to Enlighten Americas or Lightfair recently knows, Catherine is an advocate through and through. Whether it's advocating for designing more holistically for a wider cross-section of body types, abilities, and preferences (what her talk at Lightfair focused on), or for finding the right kind of support to grow and develop to the next level as a professional (the topic of her co-hosted session at Enlighten), Catherine applies her skill at thinking deeply about problems and analyzing solutions. She sat with us during this year's IALD Enlighten Americas and shared her thoughts on how we can continue to do better by prioritizing community.
Ben Cantu - Boldly Being You: Brand Secrets From an Industry Pro
With so many bright stars in the constellation of the lighting industry, it takes a little something extra to stand out. Ben Cantu, regional sales manager at LumenWerx, definitely has the secret sauce when it comes to owning his personal brand. Never without his meticulously matching eyeglasses and footwear, Ben's presence is often felt across the room before he can even say "hi!" In this episode, Ben talks us through part of his journey in light and life and how his bold personal style came to be — how being himself helps him make authentic connections with his customers and clients.
Claudio Ramos - The Art of Integration: Synergy Through Collaboration
Lighting that's felt but not seen: many lighting designers say that's the holy grail. The notion isn't new, but that doesn't make the lofty challenge any simpler. Brazilian-born Claudio Ramos, acclaimed director of Electrolight in San Francisco, phrases the idea a little differently. He says: "Designing lighting is like a Disneyland ride: if you see what's happening in the background, the magic is over." But seamlessly integrated design magic doesn't just happen. Join us as Claudio breaks down the essence of successful collaboration and explains his people-focused, emotionally tuned approach to bringing award-winning design ideas from lines on paper to light in real life.
Karen Jess-Lindsley - Building Sustainability Into Business
How do you build a company with sustainability at its roots? You start from the ground up and let every possible decision be guided by a foundation of principles that keep the holistic, big-picture view in mind. That's exactly what Karen Jess-Lindsley, CEO of Lindsley Lighting, set out to do when she teamed up with her partner to start Lindsley Lighting. From leveraging minimalism and timeless design to using tactical decision-making—like building around RoHS-compliant components—Karen outlines some practical steps that both lighting designers and manufacturers can take to boost the sustainable practices of the entire industry.
Ideas in Action: Building the Lighting Community - Lauren Dandridge and Colleen Peach
"Filling the pipeline" is an ever-present hot topic in the lighting community. No matter where you get your lighting news, you're likely to see a focus on the challenge of engaging and retaining the next generation of lighting lovers — with an emphasis on diversifying the ranks of our industry and reaching new audiences. Sometimes, out of big problems — like social unrest and global pandemics — come big ideas and actionable solutions. The story of the LA Lighting Speakers Bureau is a story of one such solution, with its success stemming from the collective action of the Los Angeles lighting community. Lauren Dandridge, founding principal of Chromatic, and Colleen Peach, senior lighting sesigner at Arup, tell us why the Speaker's Bureau got started and how the model can be a beacon for similar community action.
Dance of Design: Leading and Following
Design is a dance - and in this week's episode, Addie Smith, Senior Lighting Designer at AE Design, explains why. Whether it be leading or following, the give and take of expertise and creativity in the dynamic process of design mimics the exchange of energy in dance. Learning to lead with heart and grace and cultivating an open-minded, curious mindset as a follower can yield beautiful results — both in a career in design and in the dance of life.
Loren Kessel - Changemaking: How to Thrive in the Lighting Business
Change is something you can count on in life, and that's true in the business of lighting, too. Loren Kessel, the newly-minted CEO of Delta Light Group North America, knows how to ride the waves of change better than most. His 37-year lighting career hinges on growing multiple lighting businesses from the ground up, building collaborative relationships, and leading by example — all of which culminate in his new role: helping imagine the future for a world-renowned manufacturing brand. Listen in and learn some lessons on business, light, and life from the school of Loren!
Renee Borg - The Power of Specification
Product specification has always been a complex process — one that is dependent on strong relationships. Renee Borg, Principal of San Fransisco-based agency, Sixteen5Hundred, dives into the importance of the specification process and how it should be championed to deliver the best outcome. In a world where evolving technology is complicating the procurement of products, the most crucial thing is understanding when and why substitutions should or shouldn't be a conversation.
Leigh Gice - A Lighting Lover's Mission: Making the Extraordinary Collectively Common
Not every career path is linear — sometimes they take a twist or two (or more)! Leigh Gice, Senior Market Segment Manager at Lumenpulse, is a prime example. From a childhood moment of theatrical inspiration, through television production, lighting design, and finally, to her role today translating product ideas into reality at an international lighting manufacturer... let's just say Leigh may not have seen it all, but she's definitely seen a lot! Join us as she shares her insights about the common language of lighting, finding ways to bridge boundaries, and following your heart to job satisfaction.
Sebastien Payannet - Competing in Life, Light, + Sports
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an athlete competing at the international level against Olympic champions? Now imagine living that dream — while ALSO climbing the career ladder as a rising star in the field of lighting design. That sums up a day in the life of Sebastien Payannet, international men's figure skating superstar and senior lighting designer at Oculus Light Studio. Join us as Sebastien talks about the similarities and differences between these two major parts of his world, and gives us his take on the mindset and discipline it takes to achieve big dreams.
John Roach - The Aesthetics of Engineering
What do lighting design and structural engineering have in common? Turns out, a whole lot more than one might initially think. John Roach, Associate Vice President, Structural Engineer, and Office Engineering Leader at CannonDesign, talks to us about the parallels between the professions and how through collaboration and a well-orchestrated design process, both lighting and structures can intrinsically augment the goals of a project.
Jon Penndorf - Real Sustainability: Doing More Good (Not Less Bad)
"Solving complex problems by providing multiple solutions at the same time," that's Jon Penndorf's definition of truly sustainable design. Jon is Perkins&Will's Sustainability Leader and believes that great design outcomes are more than the sum of their parts — especially when designing sustainably. Listen in as he discusses the influential role that lighting designers play within the larger project team, setting meaningful project goals, guiding clients via education, and going way beyond LEED to achieve the next level in sustainable buildings and spaces.
Jane White - Sustainable Manufacturing: From Vision to Action
Sustainability in lighting manufacturing is one of the community’s hottest topics. Following in the footsteps of the carpet, furniture, and building materials industries, owners and specifiers alike are asking for lighting products to be created with more than just energy efficiency in mind when it comes to sustainability. Join Sam as he talks through the fine points of Finelite’s sustainability journey with Jane White, president of the company, as she discusses the baby steps and the bold leadership needed for manufacturers to succeed.
Visualization of Light: Ernesto Pacheco and Coffield King
The emergence of virtual reality (VR) technology for architecture and design has been making headlines in the past few years — in the future, they've said, VR will become an integral part not just of a client presentation but also of the design process. Well, the future is now. Ernesto Pacheco, Director of Visualization, and Coffield King, Senior Lighting Designer at CannonDesign, joined Sam on the LytePOD for an in-depth discussion on how VR applications can make a lighting design go from good to great and sell an idea better than any other medium can.
Melissa Mattes - Material Transparency in Lighting: The Butterfly Effect
You can't miss the buzz in the lighting industry around material transparency, and in part that's thanks to people like Melissa Mattes, senior lighting designer and sustainability specialist at Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting. Melissa shares the "why" that fuels her passion for advancing sustainable lighting design practices and discusses how she took her sustainable values to help create a sustained voice in the design community — calling for improvement and change.
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Ryan Poole - Building Green: The Power of Collaboration
Moving the needle on climate change isn't something the lighting industry can do alone — but we can start by looking at what the AEC sector has put in place and build on that progress. DPR Construction's global sustainability leader, Ryan Poole, talks us through some of the real and perceived obstacles surrounding sustainability in the design and delivery of the built environment and offers his thoughts on the power of collaboration to help us rise to the challenge.
Paul Boken - The Cloud Revolution: Collaborative Platforms for Design
There's something seriously wrong with the way we specify and procure lighting today — ask any lighting designer, and you'll hear a horror story or two about packaging, substitutions, and pricing games that clearly show the system is broken. Enter Paul Boken, VP of Mulvey & Banani Lighting, and one of the contributors to Sourcery, a new content-sharing platform for the lighting design community. Paul talks to us about the need for a better way to manage the procurement piece of the lighting design process, so we can get back to having fun on the design side!
Lighting Design in 2022 (Part 2) - Dan Weissman, Kate St. Laurent, and Sara Schonour
In part two of Sam's conversation with the Boston Lighting crew: Dan Weissman, Senior Associate and Director at Lam Partners, Kate St. Laurent, Associate Vice President at CannonDesign, and Sara Schonour, VP of Education and Engagement here at Lytei, the group dives into a new set of topics: what designers really want to see in new products, what they need as manufacturer and rep support, and new frontiers they see for lighting design services.
Lighting Design in 2022 (Part 1) - Dan Weissman, Kate St. Laurent, and Sara Schonour
When it comes to lighting design today, Sam sat down with Dan Weissman, Senior Associate and Director at Lam Partners, Kate St. Laurent, Associate Vice President at CannonDesign, and Sara Shonour, VP of Education and Engagement here at Lytei, to explore everything from current design visualization software to designing and documenting and the tools they wish they had but don’t have at their design disposal.
Chris Slaughter - Leveraging Technology and Automation in Lighting
Want to know what's at the cutting edge of lighting tech? VR, AR, data leveraging, and new frontiers of visualization and production aren't just "somewhere on the horizon" anymore — they're already transforming everyday life. Listen to Chris Slaughter, Senior Lighting Engineer at Visual Interest, talk us through some exciting ways technology is changing the way we work in the lighting industry.
[REPLAY] Jay Wratten: Smart Isn't Something You Install
From the Archives: Touchless buildings, automated climate control, and lights that make you feel good are all great ideas, but how do we build a space that can successfully implement and integrate all of that technology? Join Jay Wratten, Practice Leader of Innovation Advisory Services at WSP, as he takes us on a digital journey through the built environment and walks us through the system infrastructure that has to be in place.
This episode was originally released on July 27, 2020.
[REPLAY] Howard Brandston: Rules are a Substitute for Thinking
From the Archives: A hero of the industry, Howard Brandston shares his advice after 60+ years of pioneering the lighting design profession. Learn the lifelong "mind over matter" mentality that guides his approach to everything and how he went on a 30-day safari in Africa to test his skills as a world-class hunter.
This episode was originally released on January 29, 2020.
[REPLAY] Chip Israel: The Need for Transparent Pricing
From the Archives: As lighting technology and the design process evolve, Chip Israel, Founder + CEO of Lighting Design Alliance, argues that designing within a lighting budget gets more difficult every time. He points out that the distribution system for architectural lighting has not changed in over 40 years, but it's time it did. While it's inevitable that change is on the horizon, what will it take to make it happen? Tune in for one decision that involves the entire community.
This episode was originally released on April 9, 2020.
Lighting for Health and Wellness: WELL V2 - Rachel, Alison, and Jessica
Leveraging collective expertise is the best way to design — at least, that's the premise behind the newest version of the WELL standard. Join Rachel Fitzgerald, Alison Fiedler, and Jessica Smith of Stantec as they talk us through the lighting features in WELL v2, and discuss the ways holistic design thinking sets up a framework beyond problem-solving and defines a vocabulary that ensures an integrated team process.
Stephen Lees' Story (Part 3): Designing HLB's Legacy
Much has been said about HLB and its principals, but what may surprise people is that there is more to the operation and collaborative culture of the firm than outsiders might assume. In this final installment of Stephen Lees’ three-part story, he walks us through four decades of milestone moments in his career and HLB’s trajectory and touches on the culture and the legacy-driven model that defines their leadership and work.
Stephen Lees' Story (Part 2): Building Bigger Boxes
In part two of the Stephen Lees Story, we hear how embracing change and thinking big picture helped build the business legacy of HLB. Stephen shares his insights on combating "corporate amnesia," the key to successful mentorships, and why he feels building bigger, more inclusive boxes will accelerate the growth and advancement of the lighting industry.
Stephen Lees' Story (Part 1): From Actors to Architects
Ever wonder how a living lighting legend like Stephen Lees got his start, how he frames design challenges (not to mention career challenges), or what keeps him motivated? In part one of this three-part series showcasing his life and career, Stephen tells the story of his beginnings in the architectural lighting industry. Drawing inspiration from his experience and education in theater, learn some of the perspectives and perceptions he has formed in his decades-long journey as a lighting designer.
Oscar Cobb - The JEDI Mindset: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion — four powerful words that point us toward a better future as a society, and the guiding principles behind SmithGroup's groundbreaking J.E.D.I. Committee. The J.E.D.I. team focuses on representing the communities the firm serves: the wide and varied mix of races, genders, backgrounds, and voices that don't always have a seat at AEC industry table. Oscar Cobb, Principal, Mechanical Engineer, and J.E.D.I. committee member, talks to us about why the group formed, the mindset they've developed, and how they've translated words into actions to help change the landscape from the ground up.
Jess Krometis - Live from Lightfair: A Recap of Lights in Alingsås
While it may not be fully back to business as usual, one treasured lighting event made a comeback in 2021 [albeit on a smaller scale] — we’re talking about the world-famous Lights in Alingsås festival and workshop! Recorded live on the Lightfair show floor, hear from Jessica Krometis, Senior Designer at Hartranft Lighting Design and member of the Lightfair Content Advisory Committee, as she recounts her once-in-a-lifetime experience participating as a workshop head of the festival in Alingsås, Sweden.
There's a New Color Tool in Town: TM-30's Annex E - Jason Livingston and Tony Esposito
The spectral flexibility of LEDs has opened up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to color rendition, and the IES's TM-30 — specifically Annex E — is the new standard to guide you through it. Jason Livingston, Principal at Studio T+L, and Tony Esposito, Founder & Head Researcher at Lighting Research Solutions, take us through the basics of the new measures introduced in Annex E, and discuss why TM-30's multi-dimensional approach to quantifying color preference is superior to the old-standby in the industry: CRI.
Get to Know the Queer Community - Alana, Amy, Martin
Diversity shapes, colors, and enhances our world. Although acceptance and awareness have increased, we can still do better when it comes to create equitable opportunities and leverage the power of diversity in design. Alana Shepherd, Martin van Koolbergen, and Amy Karn unpack their thoughts about the queer experience in today's lighting community, and light the path towards meaningful changes within our reach.
Charles Stone - Design in 2021: Change, Challenge, and Opportunity
2021 has been a year like no other. Considering all of the challenges of the pandemic and the resulting shift in social and economic conditions that have come with it, the "new normal" has also created unique opportunities - opportunities to rethink the way we work and do business in today's lighting world. Charles G. Stone, President of Fisher Marantz Stone, gives us his observations on the changes our industry has faced — which shifts are good, which are bad, and which are here to stay.
Sustainability: Green Means Go - Accelerating Transparency in the Lighting Industry - Melissa Mattes, Karen Jess-Lindsley, Jonathan Penndorf, Reiko Kagawa, and Jane White
As the buzz around sustainability continues to grow, a clear signal is emerging: designers and their clients want more transparency in the products and materials they specify. Our cross-sectional industry panel — Melissa Mattes, Karen Jess-Lindsley, Jonathan Penndorf, Reiko Kagawa, and Jane White — breakdown designer and manufacturer mindsets on one of lighting's most impactful topics, and discuss how the design community can continue to advance frontiers on sustainable practices.
Alriah, Alyssa, Sarah, and Michelle - WILD on the Rise: Texas Edition
Creating a safe and inclusive space to share and connect—for women and allies alike—is what Women in Lighting + Design (WILD) is all about. Alriah, Alyssa, Sarah, and Michelle, four of many vibrant voices for women in the lighting industry, tell us what it's like to start new chapters of life and take on new frontiers for WILD in the Lone Star State.
Paul Pickard - Behind the Curtain in Manufacturing
In a sea of competitors, what do manufacturers prioritize to set themselves apart? Paul Pickard, CTO at Ecosense, draws from decades of experience in lighting manufacturing to dive into the DNA of product inception, R&D and production, and shares what's on the horizon for lighting technology.
Granville McAnear - School of Rock Meets School of Light
What do rock ‘n roll and lighting design have in common? Turns out, more than you might think! Granville McAnear, President, Owner and Design Director of GMLD shares his story of how curiosity, exploration and being open to life’s lessons took him from rock star dreams to an all-star career in lighting design, and everything in between.
Caitlin Mulligan + Ryan Weiss - Being a Rep: Understanding what People Need and Connecting the Dots
Now more than ever, the role of the lighting rep is pivotal. Agents who make time to get to know their clients and understand the key drivers of their designs have the opportunity to lead. Caitlin Mulligan, Manager of Business Development & Key Accounts, and Ryan Weiss, Director of Specification Sales at SCI Lighting Solutions, discuss how listening, building relationships, and delivering timely, curated information can add significant value to the design process.
Paul Pickard - The Social Responsibility of Manufacturing
The final step in deploying light comes down to how a luminaire interacts with a space. Paul Pickard, CTO of Ecosense talks about the nature of quality light versus affordability, configurability, and what the industry must be aware of as technology continues to drive a more competitive marketplace. Learn more and take a journey down the path of who's responsible for quality lighting solutions.
Tina Aghassian - Lighting for the Less Fortunate
Light is a basic human right, yet so many do not have it when the sun goes down. As an industry and a community that advocates for the use of electric light, we must realize that there is something more we can do to give back to those who are less fortunate. Tina Aghassian, Principal at HLB, shares her story and will inspire you to think about how you can help others who aren't your clients but need you more than you know.
Jess Baker - Two Parallel Professions: Theatrical & Architectural Lighting
It's not often you find two separate professions and career paths with so many similarities. Did you know light has a magical way of doing things other mediums cannot? Jess Baker, Design Studio Leader at Schuler Shook, has had the opportunity to work as a lighting designer in the theater and in an architectural environment where everything can be developed from a similar set of practices but yield different results. While the performance of life lasts a little longer than a Broadway show, the impact light makes on both is a key component of the experience.