Can you tell us about one of your favorite lighting projects? What was it about the final product that made it a standout project for you?
The project that continues to stand out to me is one that we’ve been working on for the last three years. The Tribune Tower Redevelopment is a project where the former home of the Chicago Tribune is being renovated into luxury condos. Schuler Shook was brought on to provide all new color-changing façade lighting, in addition to all exterior terraces, courtyards and the adjacent public plaza.
A landmark of Chicago, the Tribune Tower is a detailed historic façade, so careful consideration for fixtures and fixture locations was required. We evaluated many manufacturers for the project, had an in-house mockup for potential products, and four on-site mockups – one daytime and three evening mockups with the Chicago Landmarks Committee. We’ve worked hard to make sure that the best and most appropriate products were selected for the new lighting.
The Tribune Tower is a pillar of Chicago high-rises and prominently featured in many iconic skyline shots. Its well-known history and proximity to the lakefront and river make it one of the most iconic buildings of Chicago. It’s impossible to deny my pride in being involved in such an exciting and prominent project, but I’m also honored and humbled by how much I’ve learned and will take away from the job. I look forward to the completion of the new lighting scheme as it will transform the Chicago night sky, featuring the tower once again as a treasured monument. Stay tuned — we’re hoping it’ll be complete by summer!
Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
Someone once told me that in order to be the best, you have to surround yourself with the best. At Schuler Shook, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best lighting designers who continue to teach me on a daily basis. There are also many other incredible designers across the globe who do things differently and I love to take inspiration from them.
In the states, we often joke about the Europeans and their love for “sparkle,” which we more crassly refer to as glare. Yet, I believe that there’s a time and place for everything. I’m certainly not suggesting we go filling our spaces with uncomfortable and disabling lighting, but rather, let’s explore the idea of sparkle as a concept. A perforated metal panel sits in front of refractive glass that together enclose a wall cavity filled with LEDs, slowly pulsing independently of each other. And look, we’re on to something. Or, maybe we’re not, but that really doesn’t matter. What is important is that we look at the work of others and use it to provoke our own ideas.
I also really enjoy seeing the work of our friends in Central and South America – I find a particular uniqueness in their work. Personally, I’m drawn to two particular directions I see from their projects. The first is design with airy and playful undertones, while the second is the more serious projects that exude romance and sincerity, while both retain this effortless quality. What inspires me most is the obvious fearlessness in their work. The passion in their designs is palpable and I strive to connect to my work in the ways that they do.