Your Interview Emma Beadle
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Emma Beadle and I am a Lighting Designer at WSP in London and SLL's Young Lighting Designer of the Year 2018. Whilst undertaking my Interior and Spatial Design undergraduate course at Edinburgh Napier University, I was introduced to the world of lighting through a third-year module led by Malcolm Innes. The module then inspired me to undertake the Master’s course in lighting design at the same university. I've always loved playing and interacting with light. We had a number of modules that allowed me to do this, along with assisting Malcolm Innes and Euan Winton on the 12 Closes lighting project in Edinburgh.
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?
The 12 Closes lighting project was my first introduction into co-design. From a young age I helped my Dad coach tennis to children. During my Master’s course I began thinking about how little the general public know about lighting and how this could be changed. I began a Lighting Club with a number of children from the tennis classes, introducing them to the basics of light. We also went on to create a prototype Lighting Toolkit to help introduce lighting to children in a fun way. Co-design with children in lighting projects is important as it not only introduces them to the field of lighting, but also their teachers and parents. The children also create some wonderful and crazy ideas, things adults don’t always imagine. I recently had first-hand experience with this, where we got the local schools involved in creating lighting design ideas for bridges in their local areas. This is a worthwhile experience that I would recommend to any lighting designer to get involved in!
What project are you most proud of and why?
I have only been in the lighting industry for about 3 years now, so my project palette is probably quite a bit smaller than a 20-year veteran! I think my proudest project so far, which is currently at construction stage, is Old Street Roundabout. This project is like my baby, it is one of the first projects I started working on when I joined WSP and I have helped take it all the way through from concept stage to construction. I can't wait to see the final outcome!
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
I am sure my greatest career challenge is yet to come! However, I did feel when looking for a job after university it was quite difficult to find people that were looking for Juniors or Graduates in lighting design as the field is still growing.
How does light inspire you?
I love to get interactive and experiment with light in different ways, this is when I get inspired the most. I also love unexpected light that interacts with materials, such as light through water, glass and through trees! I feel that natural lighting can be very inspiring and also perk up your mood on a nice spring day!
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Let's share what we know with each other and grow together, but above all have fun with light!
“Let’s share what we know about lighting with each other and grow together, but above all have fun with light!”