Lara Elbaz inspiring interview

Lara Elbaz was the project head for Site number 5: Room with a view. It was very inspiring to discuss with Lara her experience at the end of the Lights in Alingsas 2017 workshop week! 

Short Bio:

With a degree in Interior Design, Lara stepped into the Light world after taking a Lighting Design Course at the Istituto Europeo di Design, in Madrid. Since 1995, she is fully dedicated to the lighting field.

For the first decade of her professional life, she worked for Philips Lighting, where she acquired solid technical training as well as marketing and commercial experience.

She consolidated her lighting design experience with a 2-year collaboration with the well-known Spanish lighting design consultancy, Architectural Lighting Solutions (ALS) where she participated in the development of internationally recognized lighting design projects.

Since 2008 she combines her professional activity as independent architectural lighting designer for permanent and ephemeral projects, with intense educational activity, teaching Lighting Design at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Segovia and at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Madrid where she co-directs a Lighting Design Master course.

She is senior professional member of APDI (Asociación Profesional de Diseñadores de Iluminación).

Lara Elbaz
C/ Mayor 4 – 6º, Of.1, 28013 Madrid, Spain


Lara, what makes you passionate about your daily work?

Learning new things every day, meeting lots of different people, travel the world, contribute to make our environment a more beautiful and sustainable place.

Alingsås was a great experience in that sense. It was a big challenge that made me go beyond my comfort zone and it also gave me the chance to meet a wonderful group of people: the organization team, the workshop heads and of course my wonderful team!

Can you describe Lights in Alingsas workshop week in 5 words?
Challenging, Intense, fulfilling, wonderful and unforgettable

© Patrik Gunnar Helin

© Patrik Gunnar Helin

Workshop Team: Joao Fontinha, Salvador Melgoza, Niklas Kläboe, Tobias Bäck, Emilia Suciu, Janet Groves, Sergio David Hernandez Pascual, Mattias Lundin, Johan Liljeblad, Elliot Strandman

What was your magic tool to connect and inspire a group of multidisciplinary people to develop a project in 5days

There is no magic tool. The trick is to listen to people and hear what they have to say, read in-between lines, understand who they are, where they feel comfortable and what they can or want to bring into the team. Linking all of their strengths together is what made a strong and united team. Also, it was a good mix of people, architectural and theatrical lighting design and electricity students as well as young professionals, all of them with a passion for light and valuable experiences.

Since all the project heads must submit a concept idea beforehand for organizational matters, the first challenge was to make the team assume the ownership of the project. I threw some hints at the group and let them build the concept themselves and surprisingly enough, the result was very close to my original idea.   After that, it’s all about asking the right questions and keep the team together and on track. Give each member of the team responsibilities and help them find solutions when they are stuck.

For a workshop like this to work, things have to be prepared in advance, well organized and structured. It makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

© Patrik Gunnar Helin

© Patrik Gunnar Helin

What development you would like to see in the lighting design field in the next five years?

I would love to see LEDs with the physical and emotional characteristics of incandescent technology and less social and environmental impact.

What advice would you give to a passionate young designer who is starting now his career? 

To follow their instincts.

First impressions and feelings are often discarded but he “gut feeling” is very important.

To play. Light is a superb playing tool.

To enjoy what they do. 

To spread light and be light themselves. 

© Patrik Gunnar Helin© Patrik Gunnar Helin

With Lara’s Elbaz interview we are completing the Lights in Alingsas interviews series 🙂 If you haven’t seen Miguel and Simon interviews, check them out here>> Simon Malmström interview and Miguel Angel Calanchini

Follow Katia Kolovea:

Blogger/ Lighting Designer

Katia Kolovea is a young passionate lighting designer. After the completion of her studies in Greece, Spain, and Sweden, she moved to London where she has been working as a lighting designer. Her excitement about light and people led her to create her personal online project archifos. She loves public speaking, sharing ideas and collaborating in exciting projects and events to raise awareness for the lighting design profession.

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