News – Lighting Magazine


Light.func readies for Saudi Arabia with new associate

Continuing its successes across UAE and Tanzania, independent studio Light.Func has appointed Abeer Nowailaty to head up strategic operations based in Jeddah.

Nowailaty brings with her over 10 years’ experience in lighting design, with a passion for architectural lighting. 

Abeer has extensive experience in lighting solutions for historical buildings within Saudi Arabia and holds both a B.Sc Architecture and MFA from Parsons Creative School, NYC. 

Her role for Light.Func will be pivotal to regional growth and developing existing relationships with consultancies with the kingdom. 

‘We see this as a strategic move, and is in line with the consensus that Light.Func brings as a strong local brand,’ said founder and design director Sakina Dugawalla-Moeller.

‘Light.Func is a lighting design studio that is driven by excellence in lighting everywhere we work, so having the right people is as crucial as the projects we work on”

The new hire represents an increased investment into partnerships with firms within the region, with a specific focus on the growth in Saudi Arabia. 

The construction industry is a major contributor to Saudi Arabia’s economy and accounts for more than 6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. 

The kingdom’s bold Vision 2030 aims to diversify and strengthen the economy, with analysts predicting the construction sector to grow at 6 per cent CAGR over the next five years (dependent on any growth headwinds due to Covid-19 outbreak).

Light.Func has positioned itself with a strong offering across its multi-disciplinary lighting design team, driven by creativity and passion for award-wining, innovative lighting design to create a positive impact for the wider community. 

‘I’m excited to represent an independent studio who are invested in the Middle East, and care about the region both from an aesthetic, environmental, socio-political and cultural perspectives. To reintroduce lighting not only as a fixture, but as an essence that can create the very notion of an architectural space; or even a sense of place that can spill out onto the public realm’, said Nowailaty.

lightspace supports Women in Lighting

Women in lightinglightspace has teamed up with Women in Lighting to support gender balance in the lighting profession.

Launched today – International Women’s day – the project is a celebratory endeavour that will set out to create an inspirational digital platform for women working in the architectural lighting industry to promote their passion and achievements, narrate their career path and goals, celebrate their work and elevate their profile in the lighting community.

It will look to gather statistics and answer the call to action issued by interior designer, Ilse Crawford but specifically for the lighting profession – how can we increase the profile of successful women working in lighting to help encourage the next generation? How can those who are established best support them?

Women in Lighting will have a specific website – – with a database of interviews with women from around the world.

Starting with lighting designers, the scope will expand to include women in all aspects of lighting – education, journalism, manufacturing, art and research.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is Balance for Better – a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

The campaign says it’s evident that women are under represented in conferences, committees, juries and panels. Its aim is that as there are approximately 50 per cent of female lighting designers, they get 50 per cent visibility.

The project launch is being supported by formalighting, a family owned lighting manufacturer with over 50 years and two generations dedicated to architectural lighting.

Light Collective – who developed the Women in Lighting initiative – approached formalighting with this project as they are a company with a strong inspirational women in a lead role – Sharon Maghnagi.

The project has already gathered support from individual female designers in almost 50 different countries.

These ambassadors are a point of contact in each location for other women seeking to find out more about the project.

The site will launch with over 30 interviews recorded by Light Collective and will then open for other women to upload their own interviews.

Project co-founder, Sharon Stammers from Light Collective said, ‘Having been involved in lighting design from the very beginning, women have had a greater role in shaping the lighting design profession than in architecture and engineering.

‘The lighting design profession is a supportive industry for women and the many routes into the profession offer opportunities from a diverse set of backgrounds. It is an industry that is good at sharing information amongst its community and can therefore offer support to other women who may need it. We want to create role models, redress the balance and encourage women to choose to work in lighting or other related jobs’.

Firefly merges with Oz firm Point of View

PointOfViewLondon- and Hong Kong-based independent lighting design practice Firefly Lighting Design has merged with the award-winning Australian firm Point of View Design.

The move is the culmination of 12 months of discussions and negotiations and will result in the one of the world’s largest and premier independent lighting and AV design practices.

The new enterprise – which will be branded Firefly Point of View – will comprise a team of over 40 designers across eight offices across the globe.

‘Not only will the studios continue to offer world class lighting design services,’ said Peter Veale, principal of Firefly Lighting Design, ‘but we will also offer integrated architectural audio visual design services’.

The changes will not affect any current projects, and the key personnel will remain unchanged.

‘As a group we are truly excited about the future and the possibilities this unification brings,’ said Veale.

Dark Matters

Kerem Asfuroglu low res sideLighting designer Kerem Asfuroglu aims to put social and environmental values at the centre of his fledgling practice Dark Source.

With a CV that includes a master’s in architectural lighting design from Wismar University and almost eight years at Speirs + Major, Kerem Asfuroglu’s new venture will be keenly anticipated in the lighting design world. Asfuroglu’s passion is the urban night and darkness. At Speirs + Major he worked on projects such as Covent Garden’s site-wide lighting improvement, Battersea Power Station’s redevelopment masterplan, Shakespeare’s New Place in Stratford Upon Avon. His fledgling practice, Dark Source, aims to put social and environmental ‘core values’ at the centre of what it does.

‘Dark Source is coming from the lighting design world, but we’ll promote a set of values in delivering a new vision of design,’ says Asfuroglu. ‘So this means considering the social and cultural impact of lighting while taking other aspects into account such as the energy usage and light pollution. Dark Source believes creating an intriguing atmosphere is still possible within the realm of sustainability and respect to biodiversity. ‘So it won’t be about creating an image that simply looks good’. He agrees that it is time to regard these issues as an integral part of the design process. ‘But unfortunately we know that the single dimensional visual aesthetic is the driving force in what lighting design has become’. While Dark Source will focus on social design, it also aims to undertake a wide range of exterior and interior lighting design projects to convey its artistic vision.

He believes lighting design belongs to a broader conversation with other stakeholders interested in the urban nightscape including policy-makers, politicians, night workers, architects and urban planners. Unusually, the practice will create ‘influential’ content – he cites video, podcasts and ‘thought-provoking’ productions – that will aim to reach a wider audience. 

The idea is not that Dark Source becomes a multi-media production company. ‘That’s not what we’re aiming for,’ says Asfuroglu. ‘It’s more about nurturing diversity and broadening the discussion. We’re interested in producing creative content which looks at issues with a distinct approach’. 

He cites the example of London, and the advent in recent years of the night tube and the upgrades brought by the mayor’s office. With the night-time economy moving up the agenda, it’s creating opportunities for lighting designers to influence the direction of conversation in city-planning and represent an informed voice about issues such as light quality, levels and experience. 

He’s also concerned at the macro scale impact of lighting. ‘How does it read on the city scale?’

‘Our visual system is sensitive to contrast rather than actual light levels. So what does it mean if a city suddenly becomes much brighter as a whole? Why lighting standards don’t take perception psychology into consideration? What does the shift to LED mean for future cities? 

‘The sources are getting brighter and cheaper to produce while the optics are getting more aggressive. More manufacturers are only providing cool colour temperatures simply because they’re more efficient than warm ones, whilst various studies show how blue-rich LEDs worsen the sky-glow’. 

He believes that the speed of LED adoption has marginalised considerations other than energy saving. ‘The paradigm shift happened so quickly. Considering that it took decades for the gas to be taken over by electric lighting, I don’t think the society had the chance to fully adapt to this transition’. He worries that only a small portion of the booming LED market adheres to a strong environmental & recycling ethic when it comes to manufacturing.

 ‘It’s difficult for me to understand why there isn’t a broader conversation about LED lighting.’ These include light pollution and a perverse proliferation of LEDs as the price of luminaires fall. Asfuroglu’s interests include considerate light-planning at city scale, a process he is familiar from his work with Speirs + Major, a specialist in the art.

As part of that, Asfuroglu will be one of the keynote speakers at The Illuminated City conference taking place at Lightspace London 2019 at ExCeL London. It will explore urban lighting with an emphasis on planning and place-making with light. See more at