Randy Sabedra

April 2014

Randy Sabedra
Principal, RS Lighting Design


Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
As I child, I was fascinated with light, but never thought of it as an art form and  medium that can be designed, controlled, engineering, and played with. After graduating with a BArch from California Polytechnic State University I participated in the IALD Internship Program which opened my eyes to a whole different world of architectural design.  At that time, I really didn’t know anything about light or the lighting profession. Fortunately for me, I was placed in the design offices of Howard Brandston Lighting Design (now known as Brandston Partnership), where I was trained to become a lighting designer by Howard Brandston, Chou Lien, Hayden McKay, Robert Prouse, Thomas Thompson, and the late Gene Stival. After working at Brandston Partnership and Kugler Tillotson, I founded RS Lighting Design in 2008. Though I’m proud of all of my projects and all of the awards the firm I have won, I am particularly excited to have won four LUMEN Awards, given by the IESNYC. In addition, to being a lighting designer, I am an educator of light.  I have been teaching lighting design at Parsons the New School for Design since 1996 and have also taught at the Art Institute of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), School of Visual Arts (SVA).

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
In 2000, while teaching a course in lighting design at Parsons, Patricia DiMaggio and Ann Schiffers dragged me in kicking and screaming (just joking) into the Student Lighting Competition Committee. They had heard about my class assignments and used one of them as the basis for the first competition. I continue to be involved in the competition, serving as its advisor, and every year, as the student competition continues to evolve and grow into the success it is today, I thank Patricia and Ann for getting me involved. This experience also prompted me to become a member of the IES. I did not follow the typical ladder and jumped in as vice president in 2003, and president of the section from 2005 through 2007.  Currently, I am chair of the New York City Lighting Council and the Website/Communications Committee, and prior to, I chaired the Programs, Education, Centennial, Finance, Nominations, and Awards Committees. I have been on the Board of Managers since 2008.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
Its leadership.  I’ve been fortunate to serve under and with some amazing section presidents and members of the Board of Managers. I appreciate their passion for lighting, education, and dedication to showcase excellence in design and technologies and share them with the profession and public. Most importantly, they are committed to advancing the lighting industry in New York City.

Q: How do you see your role as a member of the BOM?
To continue the legacy and mission of the section, explore and bring forward the needs of the lighting community. As a lighting designer, I think it’s important to challenge the board to expand their definition of what it means to be a lighting designer, and to continue to provide education for lighting designers.