Your Interview Nonita Sabin
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
I am Nonita Sabin, Project Lighting designer for neolight global, Dubai. It was by pure coincidence that I discovered the field of lighting. I’m an engineering graduate and during my final year of college I got an opportunity from college interviews to do an internship for 6 months in a lighting supplier firm in Dubai. Totally unsure of what it holds for me and not even knowing what the field is I decided to take a chance and that’s what changed my life in a way. After graduation through college placements, I got a job again in a much bigger lighting supplier firm in Dubai.
My love for lights began there. Initially I was handling a lot of sales and site commissioning. I kept meeting lighting designers as part of the projects I was handling and every project showed me the endless capacity of lighting design which inspired me to pursue my masters in this field.
I completed my masters in lighting design at the university of Wismar after which I was given the opportunity to work at neolight. Everyday since then has been challenging but with that comes the opportunity to learn
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?
The earlier stages of my career included larger volume of small-scale projects such as independent villas, galleries and restaurants. Architectural lighting is something I am passionate about and neolight has given me the opportunity to handle projects of much larger scale such as masterplans, hospitality and public realm. As my passion for learning is what drives me, my recent researches have got me interested in stage and theatre lighting which is something I look forward to learn in the future.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I pamper all my projects and am proud of all of them as they all have added to my learning curve. Bluewater’s Island in Dubai was one of my major projects which after completion felt great and I’m proud to be a part of it, but if I had to choose, I would definitely pick my first project which was a private villa in Dubai as you always have a sweet spot for your first one.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
Creativity has no bounds, but as a lighting designer, bringing your concept to life in reality is quite a challenge. Especially in a market like Dubai where the quench for being exclusive can never be satisfied. Considering your technical possibilities of your concept from the initial stage is something I have learned over the years through multiple mistakes. I believe creativity and technicalities go hand in hand for lighting design, therefore knowing what constrains your design holds technically is very important to me.
Keeping all these external factors aside, I would say a lot of challenges has been internal too. From not knowing anything about lighting to learning quite a lot as of now has been a big challenge in itself.
How does light inspire you?
It is beautiful how light can bring meaning to a space. A good design has the ability to make you feel happy, vibrant and sets your mood right. This possibility of connecting with a human mind is something light can do in effectively and it is fascinating to me. Light in every form is inspiring, be it natural phenomena’s like a sunrise ,sunset or the most advanced artificial forms like projection mapping.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Women in lighting is a great initiative, just reading through stories of my fellow designers itself is very inspiring. Our goal has to be to promote the community of young lighting designers to take the leap of faith and follow their dreams. Even though I myself had my doubts initially, if you’re willing to work hard enough trust me there is a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow. I hope that even my story can be inspiring to someone out there.
United Arab Emirates
Huda Lighting, Dubai
“This possibility of connecting with a human mind is something light can do in effectively and it is fascinating to me.”