Your Interview Maria Fernanda Castillo Morales
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
Hi, I’m Fernanda Castillo from Tucuman, Argentina. I’m an architect with a MAVILE (Visual Environment and Efficient Lighting Design) specialization and I’m currently studying an MBA (Master of Business Administration). I work at the firm Mega, which has 30 years of experience in the field of lighting design and electrical installations, being the first company to have a Lighting Applications Center in the North of Argentina, opened in 1998.
I was born with the lighting as part of my life because Mega is a family company founded by my parents. I was lucky to be able to play with light since I was little. I used to go with them to work and touch everything I could reach, asking, and learning as usual. Then I started to participate in training talks given at the company, I used to pay attention and admire the people who work in such a specific field. Today I’m one of them, I have the chance to share my experience in this amazing world, I love to teach by giving talks to designers, professionals, college students, and technical schools.
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 don’t work in any specific project area because the company I work for solves multiple and different kinds of projects. I have done everything from road calculations, buildings to sports complexes. The field in lighting I’m most interested about is architectural lighting, because it has the ability to highlight beauty.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of all my projects, whether they are more or less complex; they are so different from each other that they allow me to give the same importance to all of them. Each project is a new challenge.
So far, the one I’m most proud of, speaking in terms of beauty, is the sports center project for the city of San Miguel de Tucuman. It’s one of the few projects I worked with a multidisciplinary team, which means I had to work from the beginning with every one of the constructions areas involved. At the moment, the construction is waiting for approval from the city to its execution.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
The biggest challenge of my career is to achieve the interdisciplinary work and that the work of a lighting designer it’s given the importance that it has and deserves.
My biggest challenge was to give an alternative for the LED conversion of road lighting for the city of Yerba Buena with 1,111 luminaires with different sizes and models, under the concept that not only will lighting levels and visual comfort be taken into account , it also has to be the most efficient to get as much energy savings as possible. This was entrusted to me by a construction company to present to public tender, but at the end the city chose for other alternatives.
How does light inspire you?
For me light is magic, it’s like a game of shadows that allow you to appreciate the beauty of this world and hide what we don’t want to see but it’s simply there.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Irradiate your own light and leave the best of you in this wonderful world.
Maria Fernanda Castillo Morales
“Irradiate your own light and leave the best of you in this wonderful world.”