November 2018

Colin Conroy, LC, MIES
Senior Lighting Designer

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
Growing up in Ireland, I very much desired to be part of the design community from the early beginnings, but at that time, unfortunately, there was a lack of employment opportunities in the industry. This was before Ireland joined the European Union and before the Celtic Tiger came alive. Software engineering was the most practical pursuit for me in academia and for attaining a stable job with prospects, and I graduated from Griffith College in Dublin with a degree in that area. When I made the bold move to New York City many years later, I thought, let’s be bolder and do exactly what I really want to do in life. With this in mind, I went back to college to study interior design at FIT in 2002. It was a great decision and a new beginning as a second career! In those early classes, lighting stood out, and I felt an affinity toward mastering the art of architectural lighting. New York City is a great place to be in the field of design where we are surrounded by so many astonishing projects with amazing lighting design.
Local museum exhibitions feature retrospectives of talented artists that use light as their medium, such as Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, and James Turrell, who have made an influential impact on the way we look at light. I feel very fortunate to be living in New York City and to be part of the Lightcraft team working with Susannah Gilbard for the past six years. Lightcraft continues to play a role in my growth and passion as a lighting designer.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
Shortly after I began working at Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (CBBLD), I realized very quickly how the IESNYC was part of the daily life of every lighting designer. My first year attending the Lumens Awards opened my mind to all the possibilities and opportunities that the Section and the lighting community has to offer. As a guest lecturer of the IESNYC Education Fundamentals of lighting class, I was made aware of all the individuals from varying backgrounds who are interested in learning more about the many facets of lighting design.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
I have been recently appointed to be co-chair with Mike Barr of the IESNYC Sponsorship Committee. I am excited to work with the committee to help gain yearly financial support from our IESNYC calendar sponsors. Our sponsors help the lighting community in so many ways. We have begun our 2019 campaign, and hope to raise more awareness about the importance of the program in the coming weeks.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
I like to encourage new designers to learn more about the lighting field through the IESNYC. The Section has such an active group of members who are very talented and passionate about their roles and expertise. The IESNYC joins the New York lighting community into one big family. The IESNYC schedules events throughout the year in a handy fold-out calendar, which we always enjoy receiving and displaying in our office. This year I took part in the fourth annual Moonlighting event, which is a collaboration between the IESNYC, IALDNY and DLFNY, showcasing the hobbies and passions that members of the lighting community pursue outside of work. I exhibited my illustrations using pen and ink hatching technique.