Your Interview Banu Manav
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Banu Manav. I started my career in Ankara, Bilkent University, where I received my bachelor’s and M.Sc degree in interior design. I have spent 25 years in the field of lighting education and research. My research field focuses on light and space perception, user and visual comfort, light and color studies and in the last twelve years I try to improve my knowledge on light and health. Taking a path in lighting in 1995 in Turkey was recognizable, especially as being an interior designer, working on the effects of different lighting arrangements on space perception by a 1/1 scale model. The Master Project was granted by the Bilkent University Research Council. In 1997, the outcomes of the study has been published in Architectural Science Review which is a Q1 journal and it still takes references today. Similarly, my Ph.D studies at Istanbul Technical University was granted by the University Research Council. The thesis was on the Appraisal of Visual Environment at Offices in Relation to Colour Temperature and Illuminance which has been published in Building and Environment in 2007, again a Q1 journal and it received high number of citations from various important researches from different countries. In the field of lighting, many experimental studies we conducted on space perception and user comfort at 1/1 scale experimental set-ups also provide a basis for simulation studies of today. These scientific studies have a multidisciplinary validity (environmental psychology, psychology, visualizing technology, space perception, computer programming, etc), and are referred to by many research papers which motivates me. My last Project has recently been granted by İstanbul Development Agency in Turkey, which aims to be a Design Training and Application Center with this initiative and bringing the funding to Kadir Has University.
Meanwhile, I am undertaking the role as being the Dean of Kadir Has University in Art and Design Faculty. I am also the General Secretary of Turkish National Committee on Illumination for the last 2 years and taking active part in the Board of Directors in the Committee for 11 years. Since 2020, I am a representative for Turkey in CIE, Division 6 (Photobiology and Photochemistry).
I got inspired by lighting design during my undergraduate education. One of our instructors’, who has passed away a few years ago, Assoc. Prof. Cengiz Yener taught how to solve complex design problems by unifying them with realistic solutions. In a series of courses on acoustical design, thermal comfort and fire safety, I found lighting much more closer to my interest area and I wanted to make real case experimental studies and to get involved in projects to improve user comfort by means of interior lighting. This was my starting point.
Tell us about your work – is there a specific type of project you like to work on or an area you specialise in and why?
Apart from experimental studies and research based projects, I generally act as the academic consultant to the lighting projects and we prepare lighting design concept, schematic design stages and their presentations. Among these, I liked to a part of the 3 lighting design projects for the historical Mimar Sinan Bridges in Istanbul which were also realized. Other than this, residence and office lighting projects can be the specific group we worked on, some of them are realized.
How does light inspire you?
With its visual and non-visual effects, light is a multidisciplinary topic which unifies interior design, architecture, visual arts, medicine, science, physics, technology et cetera. While you are studying light, you keep on updating yourself. Light is a powerful design instrument with its dynamic, aesthetic and technical sides. It also urges you to find creative solutions.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
I am honoured to be nominated by one of my younger colleagues who was also one of my students. This motivates me to study more and to open doors to young generation. My message to younger self is “Life is a balancing act and light is the basic energy for a healthy life! Always have targets in life, plan your time, learn and try to reach those targets and never give up!”
“Light is a powerful design instrument with its dynamic, aesthetic and technical sides.”