Your Interview Niloofar Behnia
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
My Name is Niloofar Behnia and I’m from Iran, Isfahan. In my last year at Isfahan University of Art as a Bachelor's student in urban planning, I discovered topics around urban lighting design to be intriguing. Therefore, I decided to pursue this field as my thesis project, which was then titled "Isfahan's Chahar Bagh-e Abbasi Street Design Guide with focus on Lighting Design Principles". In 2013, I presented my project as an academic research paper in the "First International Conference on Lighting Design in Iran". This presentation received considerable attention from a lighting company, Golnoor Co., which was then aiming at entering the design industry as well, and that was when my professional path in the field of lighting design officially started, and I was able to explore relevant topics more thoroughly.
Working in this company from 2013 to 2019, I then succeeded at being promoted to design supervisor, which gave me the opportunity to manage and lead several lighting design projects. In the meantime, I graduated from IAU-Science and Research Branch with a Master's degree in Urban Design. My Master's thesis investigated "Designing Jolfa Public Space with an emphasis on Theater Scene 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?
My job title from the year 2013 to now are listed below:
- From 2013 to 2015: as a member of lighting design team in lighting department at Golnoor Co.
- From 2015 to 2019: as a manager of lighting design department at Golnoor Co.
- From 2019 to now:
- Lighting Design of Several Industrial Sheds, Products and Stone Exhibition in AtlasNoor Co.
- Lighting design Consultant of several Project at Isfahan municipality.
- Lighting Design Consultant in Isfahan international exhibition project.
- CEO of Behinlighting.
Currently me as a leader of Behin Lighting Team, trying to show our lighting services to users, clients and investors in the best way.
Based on my research experience in thesis on the historical Jolfa Neighborhood in Isfahan City, my personal interested in doing a Lighting master plan for a city with historical background. We have many cities with historical culture, beautiful places and attractive façade in Iran that unfortunately they don’t have good lighting at night.
What project are you most proud of and why?
One of the project that I’m proud of and I really pursue that is Providing a Pattern to Identify Priorities and Feasibility Study for Smart Lighting using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems, this project make me a challenge because this is a new subject for research that links the two sciences of light and geography.
Another executive project that is important for me is lighting design of the Isfahan International Exhibition. This project is a combination of lighting the main building facade of the exhibition and the landscape lighting.
Also I really proud that I was Lighting Consultant of International Airport of Isfahan (Shahid Beheshti Building) with a beautiful and challenging building that every one land in Isfahan — as a historical city — at night can see it.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
Unfortunately in Iran, no university offers lighting design as an academic major. The only education available in this field is in the form of short-term courses which are usually offered by educational centers and groups. So careers in lighting design in Iran face many constraints, as this field is either pursued by electrical engineers, who have minimal aesthetics knowledge, or by architects who are unfamiliar with technical and functional matters. Cooperation between these two groups is very rare.
My biggest challenge was effort to making balance between this two field and enhancing my knowledge about them.
How does light inspire you?
Light inspires me because I can see the effect of that in all aspects of life, firstly due to the “interplay of light and colors, alone is capable of communicating a particular mood, producing optical sensations of space, volume, movement, and creating forces of both harmony and tension.” As a lighting designer you can enhancing the aesthetic aspects of any space, landscapes or buildings and you can also illustrate the main idea of a concept that was intended by the creator at night as in the daytime.
In addition I can make connections between light and other relevant disciplines, such as environmental studies (exploring both positive and negative effects of light on the environment), psychology (investigating the relations between light intensity, temperature and color in indoor and outdoor spaces and human psyche), etc.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
We can have a great perception of light with the help of the feminine spirit, so believe ourselves and try to enhancing our technical knowledge of lighting, to being better than always.
To all community of women in lighting: keep shining and know that light attracts light!
“Keep shining and know that light attracts light!”