“Creative and technical is the sweet spo,t” according to LUMA lighting designer Haley Laurence. The multidisciplinary designer’s robust career in the built environment upholds that exact sentiment.
With an undergraduate degree in interior design, Laurence drew inspiration from light and spatial artist Olafur Eliasson during her time at the University of North Texas. “I started to realize that light doesn't just have to be functional,” she remembers. With that in mind, Laurence received a master’s degree in Illumination Design from the University of Sydney. “I wanted something more technical for my master's degree; science and research based. It was super beneficial once I started working and I applied those skillsets directly to project work.” After a stint in the interior design world, Laurence relocated to Washington, D.C. to dabble in hospitality design and master planning. Later moving to San Francisco, where she now resides, she spent time in the themed environment world, flexing her technical knowledge with lighting controls and unique color-changing installations. Laurence is now a strong asset to the San Francisco LUMA team, leading projects with passion and invaluable experience.
As if her intentional design work isn’t enough, Laurence has an extensive background in community building and volunteer work. “I love helping to build community, event planning, and hearing about the positive impact it has on people. Being able to share hidden gems relating to lighting is beautiful to me,” says Laurence. With time spent on the IALD Education Trust committee, conference panels, and WELL committee, Laurence is now working with the SF chapter of Women in Lighting + Design (WILD). With a goal to represent and amplify female voices, WILD is committed to assisting create a “balanced, equitable, and diverse industry that empowers women.” Laurence was instrumental in setting up the official committee in 2019 with a group of well-rounded reps, manufacturers, specifiers, designers, and contractors. Although aimed at women, WILD is open to anyone and everyone who believes in its empowering mission. Their networking events are open for all to join for discussions on women in the workplace and current lighting trends while making new friends and meeting mentors.
As of 2023, Laurence has been elected to the Board of Directors for WILD as outreach chair with a focus on national-level work. “I’m working with different media partners to highlight members and events. We’re hoping to see a lot of growth in the next few years!”