Your Interview Ekaterina Kosmynina
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Ekaterina Kosmynina, I am a Project Manager and Leading Lighting Designer at LiDS lighting design studio in Russia.
I graduated from Moscow Power Engineering Institute with a B.A. in Light Engineering in 2007, and in 2009 I obtained my engineering diploma in quantum and optical electronics. Then, I got my degree in lighting design at LiDS Lighting Design School in 2017.
When I entered the university, my goal was to design lighting and realize the projects. In spite of a long break in my career due to the birth of my children, I found my way in the profession. Now I work with different segments of lighting - interior, landscape, facade, city lighting. I’m interested in all lightning projects.
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?
Architectural and landscape lighting projects are my favorite now. City facilities are more accessible to a large number of people, that’s why by implementing such projects, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of residents and the city as a whole.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of all my projects, as I put my soul into each of them and strive to make them perfect. Nevertheless, I am most proud of the project of facade lighting for one of the residential complexes in Moscow.
This particular complex was very unusual and interesting for its architecture and finishing materials. I can say that while it was not easy, it was definitely interesting to work on it. The lighting concept supports the idea of the complex “Between the sky and the river”, creating a waterfall of light, imitating the sparkle of the overflow of water. And at the same time, it maintains the chamberiness inside the courtyard spaces of the quarter, emphasizing the front entrances.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
There were a lot of challenges at the beginning of my career. For a newcomer, almost every project in a new segment is a challenge. I am going to tell you a story that happened to me in Polarnye Zori, Murmansk Region, in 2019.
For the first time, I had to take on the role of the head of one of the camp teams creating lighting design in Polarnye Zorie. As a part of the camp we were developing the concept of a unified light environment of the city of Polyarnye Zorie.
In addition to the fact that it was my first leadership experience, the team consisted of people who did not know each other and who came to the camp from all over Russia. Everyone had different background in light and skills to develop a concept.
In a short period of time, we got to know each other, got on well together and made a project that won the competition.
Another challenge for me was to report on the concept to the residents, the city administration and the deputy governor of the region. During my speech, I fully realized how difficult it was to convey my ideas in simple words to people with little knowledge of lighting design.
You can be a brilliant specialist and be able to do everything from the technical side of project development, but to tell about the work and our ideas in simple words is a completely different skill to learn.
How does light inspire you?
It's a real miracle when we create a unique light environment for a space, and when our ideas come true. It’s a joy of creativity and creation that can both be compared with anything. Light is beautiful. In addition, it is a powerful and flexible tool that we use to work with the space.
I believe that my work with light makes the world a better place and positively affects the lives of many.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Improve your skills, learn new things, and explore different aspects of life. Be true to yourself, don’t let anyone stop you on the way to your dreams.
There are a lot of women in lighting design, and gender issues are not acute, but they still take place in the society, and a lot of women face them even in their families. Always remember that you will definitely find support and inspiration in the WIL community!
“There are a lot of women in lighting design, and gender issues are not acute, but they still take place in the society, and a lot of women face them even in their families. Always remember that you will definitely find support and inspiration in the WIL community!”