Your Interview Marie Yanagida
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My name is Marie Yanagida. I am a project designer at Uchihara Creative Lighting Design, Inc.
I first became interested in light after I took lighting design lectures at university. While a student, I would often take part in lighting design activities. I participated in illumination events at a temple in Kyoto to help setting up lighting fixtures. I also won the student design competition for a new streetlight object installed on the shopping area's sidestreet in Ginza, Tokyo, and my proposal became real. I learned more about how exciting lighting could be through these experiences.
My major was environmental design, such as architecture and landscape design, and I wanted to try everything related to what I'd learned after graduation. I chose lighting design for my career because I thought I could do that. Every space and place needs it.
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 do various projects. Recently, I've mainly worked on illumination events and interior design projects.
I like the time to think about new ideas of design intensively in the process of a project. When doing it, I have one standard: it should be where I want to take my family or friends. It's fun to design with that. I want to create places to make you feel you want to go with someone or spend time there.
What project are you most proud of and why?
COREDO Muromachi Terrace, an extensive shopping and business complex in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is the most impressive project in the last few years.
The complex has a square for events, and we set up the theatrical lighting fixtures there so event organizers could control the whole atmosphere of it with the lights depending on the occasion. It was challenging for me to mix different types of lightings: for architecture and events/stage. I'm very much looking forward to seeing it used in various events from now on.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
It is tough for me to tell my thoughts and ideas to others accurately within a team. I feel the difficulty even when I hand over my project to my co-workers or ask a part-time worker to do something. Also, sometimes, other company's person in charge of the project I'm in changes. It's not easy to convey a design concept or idea to someone.
However, at the same time, I think the project becomes successful when I make myself understood enough. It's hard work, but it's essential.
I'm involved in public projects a lot, and I often wonder which age group I should base my design on—the sense of visual brightness and darkness changes with age. Even if I feel the light is appropriate for me now, it may not be proper when I get older. When designing, I think about whether I will accept it in the future as much as I do.
How does light inspire you?
Light colors the world and spaces.
When I hear the word "light," I think of just a physical phenomenon. On the other hand, I think lighting design comes from a designer's intention.
What do I want to show up with the light? How do I focus on the object? I think these intentions enrich the space.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
I haven't felt disadvantaged as a working woman in particular, so I may not fully understand the concept of "Women In Lighting" yet. I hope this industry is becoming the place where anyone of any gender enjoys working without barriers. It would be great to respect the characteristics of gender each other as a positive factor, not a negative one.
Interviewed by Lyshus; Translated by Akane H
“I want to create places to make you feel you want to go with someone or spend time there.”