Round 2 of the Designer x Designer series, hosted by the IALD, featured Selin Ergeneli, Senior Lighting Designer at Lighting Workshop and Vice President of the New York chapter of the IALD. She was interviewed by Alexandre Tougas, who was the featured guest on the first installment of the series.
After the customary round of ice breaking questions, the two dove into Selin’s story. Few kids grow up wanting to be a lighting designer, but she has always had a passion for design. She grew up wanting to be an interior designer or product designer, and her love for both fields was evident throughout the interview. After studying interior architecture as an undergraduate in Turkey, she moved to Pittsburgh as an exchange student, where she spent time in a theatrical lighting lab. Like her interviewer, the theater played an influential role in her career path. A professor from the theater department encouraged her to apply to the prestigious Parsons School of Design, where, to her surprise, she was accepted. And thus, her journey into lighting design began.
Selin considers herself lucky to live in New York City, where inspiration for lighting design can be found everywhere. From art shows and exhibits to Broadway, there is always something to stimulate her creative mind. A favorite project of hers was the nearby MLB headquarters, her first large scale project. Although not a baseball fan herself (I won’t hold that against her), she loved working on the years-long project, and said it was a joy to see it finally come to completion. She stated that the satisfaction of being able to finish a long project and behold the final product is one of the blessings of being a lighting designer.
When asked about the tumult of the last two years, Selin explained that she actually enjoys the freedom that working from home has given her. Although the pandemic has definitely made some things more difficult, it has allowed for more flexibility. And more importantly, it has given her a new appreciation for enjoying all the things that life has to offer.
As the interview continued, she spoke about her dream project. If given the chance, she would love to work with artist Bruce Monroe. She appreciates that his projects evoke an emotional response through lighting and would love to “create magical fairytale artwork with him.”
The interview touched on many more topics. She discussed her childhood in Turkey, the time she spent in Italy, and her creative work habits as a lighting designer. I found her story inspiring and her passion for lighting infectious. The full interview can be found here. It is definitely worth the listen.
The next installment will take place on March 10th, with Selin interviewing Gerd Pfarré. You can register for the event here.