Your Interview Federica Orselli
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
I’m Federica from Italy, currently based in Hong Kong where I work in sales & marketing for a lighting manufacturer.
Since I was young, lighting has always been a unique interest, fascinated by the interaction of light within spaces and its ability to create emotions. It took the 2020 pandemic to transform this passion into a professional career when I moved to Hong Kong for a new job. In 2021, thanks to this growing personal and professional interest, and with the aim to expand further into this discipline, I enrolled at University of Arts London for an intensive course on lighting design.
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?
Since 2020, I have had the opportunity to experience working with both architectural and decorative lighting, seeing different approaches within the same industry. In architectural lighting, I worked more on the light source characteristics, while in decorative with the possibility to integrate light with different materials and textures (specifically glass and metal) which is fascinating. In terms of projects, I worked across different segments, but mainly across luxury retail and hospitality. I enjoy working in different areas as it always gives a new perspective on how to do things.
What project are you most proud of and why?
Working with luxury brands and with top lighting designers and architects is stimulating as there are always new challenges, especially in terms of performance and the importance of sustainable lighting. One great project and challenge was the possibility to work with a luxury goods leader for its flagship boutique store, where we were able to propose several solutions to create consistent lighting across the store but also improve the overall sustainability of the boutique thanks to reducing the energy consumption while integrating specific control systems (thanks to this, the customer obtained the Platinum LEED certification).
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
I believe my biggest challenge in lighting has yet to come, as I still have many ideas within this field for the future, but I can say one of the biggest so far has been at the beginning of my career in lighting, when I was developing the market for a small local brand of architectural lighting in Hong Kong with high performing products. The challenge was to get the recognition of lighting designers and architects, as well as brands. I believe brands not only need a great product, but also great services, the possibility to speak with people who understand your passion, your needs, your language and somehow help you realize your concept ideas and even improve it thanks to their expertise. Designers and manufacturers should work hand in hand to always improve and look for better sustainable solutions.
How does light inspire you?
I love how light shapes its surroundings and how it interacts with different materials and surfaces. I'm passionate about enhancing emotions with light - from natural light interacting with architecture, to architectural light defining it, to decorative lighting adding value to the space.
I also believe in improving experiences sustainably. Designers and manufacturers together play a significant role for the future of light and its circularity - from lighting design to its applications and recyclability. I’m curious to see what’s next, especially within studies on Human Centric Lighting and how lighting is impacting each of us everyday and how we make it more healthy for us and the planet.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
My very first mentor used to say “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I’m amazed by this community, and how this group of women has found its way to collaborate, spread knowledge and improve the world of lighting. Your passion is contagious: keep pushing for now and for the generations to come.
“This group of women has found its way to collaborate, spread knowledge and improve the world of lighting. Your passion is contagious: keep pushing for the generations to come.”