Your Interview Elisa Montanaro
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Elisa Montanaro and I am a Lighting Consultant Manager for Linealight GCC DMCC in Dubai, UAE. I graduated in Architecture on 2013 in my home country, Italy where I was tasked to design a lighting proposal for an historical park for my final exam, which happened to be my first experience in lighting.
I moved to Dubai right after graduation to work for an interior design firm but I grew unhappy and dissatisfied with my job before long. I thought I wanted to do something I really love and passionate about, and I realized that was Lighting. So, all the universe conspired and finally, after moving from one company to another, I got myself a job in Linea Light GCC DMCC, where I learned to understand what’s behind the beautiful light effect and the instruments to create one.
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?
My role in my company has evolved over the years, from a junior level where I was giving my support by doing Lighting calculations, to Lighting Consultant Manager. I assist Architects, Interior Designers and Lighting Designers with their projects by providing them support in terms of product selection and by keeping them updated on the latest technology and solutions.
Working with talented professional around the world with a diverse portfolio of projects is both a challenge and a learning opportunity. My background in Architecture helps me bring their concepts to reality more efficiently making it easier for them to fully understand and experience what a space will look and feel like to ensure the final design is exactly what they want.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
My greatest challenge was to start believing in myself and my abilities especially when I was new to the industry. I was insecure about my knowledge base and hesitant in giving technical advice but eventually I gained confidence by studying hard and doing my research intensively until providing support and solution became a second nature to me. I believe you have to push yourself through your doubts and insecurities to achieve the best results.
How does light inspire you?
I am that person who sees the sunset every day and still amazed by its magnificent beauty and perfection every time. There’s something about the sunset that always inspires me and I hope that the end product of all the projects that I work on gives the same magical feeling.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Always be confident in everything you do and never be afraid to express your thoughts and feelings because you never know how you will inspire someone else. To quote Susan Jeffers, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
United Arab Emirates
“Always be confident in everything you do and never be afraid to express your thoughts and feelings because you never know how you will inspire someone else. To quote Susan Jeffers, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’.”