Your Interview Florentina Stoian
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Florentina Stoian, and I hold the position of Sales Director at Genled Brands, an American manufacturer of lighting solutions. I was born and raised in Romania, and I spent the last 11 years living in different countries such as Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, and Norway. Recently, I have returned to my home country of Romania where I now reside.
Upon finishing my Master's in Business Administration in Romania, I moved to Singapore where I started my career in lighting at Philips Lighting. With the opening of a new Philips office in Brunei Darussalam, I was offered the opportunity to relocate and spend the next 3 years there where I had the great opportunity to meet and work with amazing people and professionals who expanded my knowledge, capabilities and network.
During my early months at Philips Lighting, I underwent intense training from the company's top experts in the fundamentals of lighting, LED technology, lighting controls and lighting applications. This experience fueled my fascination and passion for the lighting industry and the role that good lighting can play in enhancing the ambiance, appearance, and well-being of people and environments, while also contributing to a more sustainable world.
Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working closely with lighting designers and architects, who have shared their visions, requirements, and challenges with me. I was inspired by their creativity and the impact that lighting could have on their projects. This experience strengthened my desire to be a part of this dynamic and constantly evolving industry, to contribute and support these professionals in finding the right lighting solutions for their projects. To this day, 10 years later, I continue to pursue this goal with passion.
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?
I am very enthusiastic and passionate about my work and I enjoy all the projects I am working on. At Genled, I work on a diverse range of projects all around the world, that encompass both interior and exterior lighting, and spans across various applications including hospitality, residential, office, retail, healthcare, education, art and architectural façade lighting.
I love seeing the impact that lighting can have on a space, bringing out the beauty of its design, improving the atmosphere, creating the right ambiance and mood, and contributing to people's well-being and a better experience for those who use it.
Working in the lighting industry has allowed me to not only witness the transformation of spaces through lighting but also to form meaningful connections with clients and colleagues. One of the things that I cherish the most is the opportunity to collaborate with lighting designers and architects from around the world, learn from their unique perspectives and visions and understand their needs and challenges. Being able to bring their lighting visions to life by providing customized architectural lighting solutions is truly a fulfilling experience for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this industry and to make a positive impact on people's lives through good lighting.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I am very grateful and proud of all the projects I have been working on, each of them had its uniqueness. It is hard to pick a single project, but there is one that I remember fondly as it was my first turn-key project and not only gave me a sense of accomplishment but also added to my skill set and deepened my knowledge of the lighting industry.
It is the façade lighting of the Sungai Kebun Bridge in Brunei Darussalam. It represents a landmark for the country and is the world’s second longest single-pylon cable-stayed bridge. It was a complex project as I was also the project manager for it and that required a great deal of attention to detail and coordination with multiple stakeholders, but the end result was stunning. It was such a great teamwork experience and it's amazing to see how everyone's contributions came together to create something truly special. The lighting design and different light scenes showcased the beauty of the bridge and created a dynamic, welcoming atmosphere for both drivers and pedestrians. Seeing the transformation of the bridge and the positive impact that the lighting solution had on the local community was incredibly rewarding, and I am proud to have been a part of it.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
One of my biggest challenges early in my career was working on a project where I was the only woman involved. I faced the challenge of earning the respect and trust of the Main Contractor, as it was not common in their culture for a woman to give instructions and be in a leadership role. Despite this, I learned a lot from this experience, and it helped me to grow both personally and professionally. That was the moment that taught me that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a never-give-up attitude. The project was a great success, and I am proud of how I handled it. The most rewarding part was seeing the end-user's happiness and satisfaction with the final result.
How does light inspire you?
I have an immense appreciation and will always be grateful for the sun, which is the source of all life on our planet. I am dedicated to contribute to a greener and more sustainable mother earth who has been gentle with us this whole time.
Good artificial lighting plays a crucial role in our lives, as it affects our health, well being, and safety. I am fascinated by the way lighting can influence our mood and emotions, highlights specific features, transforms the look and feel of a space, creates the right ambience and atmosphere, triggers memories and brings people together.
Light is a powerful tool that has its own unique language and has the ability to bring people together. It is that powerful and magical!
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Don’t let anyone make you doubt about your strengths, always do your best and never give up. Always believe in yourselves and let your inner light guide you.
Let’s own our power and together we can make the change. We are here for each other, here to help each other, motivate, learn from one another, here to share our experiences and learn from them and only get stronger together.
Let’s use our knowledge, capabilities and experiences and contribute to a better environment for generations to come.
“Let’s own our power and together we can make the change. We are here for each other, here to help each other, motivate, learn from one another, here to share our experiences and learn from them and only get stronger together.”