Light Justice

How did Light Justice begin?

In the spring of 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were brutally murdered by men acting in the name of law enforcement, sparking many weeks of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States and the world. This took place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was particularly devastating to communities of color. Many professions, including the lighting industry, recognized that it was time to take a hard look at their own organizational shortcomings with regards to diversity, inclusion, and equality. On 24 June 2020, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) hosted a webinar entitled The Impacts of Racism in the Lighting Industry facilitated by lighting designers Edward Bartholomew, Nelson Jenkins, and Lisa Reed.

Soon afterward, lighting designer Mark Loeffler called to thank Edward and present support as a long-time friend and ally. Building on their shared advocacy for sustainable lighting design, which they had presented on as co-speakers at a lighting conference in Mexico City a decade prior, an ongoing discussion arose from their mutual concern for lighting quality and inequality, particularly in the public realm. They recognized that good lighting, a signifier of prosperity and privilege, is seldom available to marginalized communities. This has contributed to an increasing imbalance, which the lighting profession should recognize and address.

Through a collaborative effort to articulate this need and produce meaningful research that could be shared with the lighting industry, Edward and Mark developed the talk “Light + Justice.” They have since presented to many sustainable design and lighting conferences, as well as written articles for the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Lighting Design + Application magazine. The work of Light Justice explores the intersection of lighting with social and environmental justice, the impact of lighting on marginalized communities and human health, and opportunities for the lighting industry to help overcome these inequities.

Curators

Edward Bartholomew and Mark Loeffler established LightJustice.org in early 2022, along with their colleague Lya S. Osborn, as a forum to share their knowledge and to encourage other lighting and design professionals join the exchange. Together, they manage the intake and posting of contributed information. They are supported by a group of advisors who are experienced professionals and advocates for Light Justice.
Edward Bartholomew

Edward Bartholomew, IALD, IES, LEED AP is the principal of Bartholomew Lighting, a Black-owned design consultancy based in Cambridge, MA. He has over thirty years of experience designing sustainable, inspiring, and award-winning architectural lighting systems. He is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers, a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and a LEED Accredited Professional. Currently, he serves on the IES Diversity, Equality, Inclusiveness, and Respect Committee as a founding member. Edward is an invited speaker on lighting technology, energy efficiency strategies, and social justice at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition, Edward co-teaches graduate lighting classes at Morgan State University and at the Rhode Island School of Design. In his practice and advocacy, Edward promotes Light Justice.

Mark Loeffler

Mark Loeffler, IALD, IES, LEED Fellow retired from active consulting at the end of 2021. Based in Connecticut, he has dedicated more than thirty years to designing joyful, invigorating, healthful, and sustainable architectural lighting for notable academic, healthcare, research, corporate, institutional, and recreational buildings in the US and around the world. He is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers, a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and a LEED Fellow. Currently, he serves on the IES Sustainability Committee as an advisory member. During his career, Mark has written, taught, and lectured widely which he plans to continue, especially in his advocacy for lighting’s role in social and environmental justice.

Lya Shaffer Osborn

Lya Shaffer Osborn is a multidisciplinary designer, an advocate for design justice, and the founder of a collaborative, community-dedicated studio and workshop in Seattle, WA. She also serves as the North America Regional Director for Unolai Lighting Design, where for the past seven years she has contributed to a wide range of projects and award-winning design efforts on both sides of the Pacific. Lya received a double M.F.A. in Lighting Design and Interior Design from Parsons The New School for Design, where her thesis work challenged the industry norms and incentives that have long defined a designer's role in community, and proposed alternative modes of improving accessibility of design resources to the historically underserved. Lya is a member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and the Illuminating Engineering Society, and is Community Friendly Lighting Certified.

Advisors

Francesca Bastianini, IES is the principal of Sighte Studio in New York City, as well as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the MFA Lighting program at Parsons The New School of Design.

Lauren Dandridge, LC, IES is a principal of Chromatic, a lighting design firm based in Los Angeles.

Bob Parks, CFLC, LC, IES is the founder of the Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance.

Glenn Shrum, IALD, IES is founding principal of Flux Studio, a lighting design firm with offices in Baltimore, Maryland and New York City, as well as an Associate Professor of Lighting Design and Interdisciplinary Practice at Parsons School of Design.

Jane Slade, MID, LC, IES is a lighting researcher and educator on the impacts of light upon the environment, wildlife, and human health, and a Richard Kelly Grant recipient for her explorations into the social and emotional impacts of light.