The Nathalie Faubert Interview
Founder, Moonlighting
Senior Associate, CBBLD

Now in it’s third year, Moonlighting was another great success for the New York lighting community. Held at the new venue of NY Digital (Acuity) on September 7, 2017, it was a lively occasion for lighting designers to share some of their (now not so) hidden talents. Illumni caught up with Nathalie Faubert, the founder of the Moonlighting concept to ask her about the initiative that was designed to allow lighting professionals to share and exhibit their artwork. With support from the IES NYC, IALD and Designers Lighting Forum NY, over 30 works were featured across a range of mediums, including sculpture, photography, painting, film and indeed light art to a supportive crowd of over 300.

Nathalie, can you tell us a little about how the initiative came about?
I am a world traveler and an amateur photographer, my camera is always with me on my trips. When talking to my peers in the industry I realized that a lot of them had hobbies as “artists”. This is how the idea started. I wanted to have an exhibition where people showed what they did outside of work. I had been pitching the idea for many years to various people and organizations in the industry. Finally in 2015, the concept was accepted by DFNYC, IESNYC and IALD and so started Moonlighting. I cannot take all the credit for Moonlighting as we have a committee, each member puts their fair share of time in making the event happen. I also need to mention our sponsors, without them we would not have Moonlighting as we rely solely on sponsorships.

How does art influence your design practice (and how does your process differ when approaching art v design projects?
To me lighting design is art as I get to be creative on a daily basis. The process for lighting design projects is different than for my photography. For the design projects I need to deliver and make my clients happy with the final result. With my photography, since it is a hobby I do not feel obligated to deliver. If I take photos and I am not happy with the result, it do not beat myself up. I am still happy to have experienced the subject whether a country, a monument, a site, ect…

How do you find the lighting industry perceived as a creative industry? (are we artists?) How do you navigate between perception of designers v artists in the real world collaborations you’ve been part of?)
As I said previously, lighting design is art, just like architecture is art. It is not art that is exhibited but it evokes feelings.​

How have you seen this event evolve over the past 3 years and how does it contribute to the lighting design community?
The event has grown over the last 3 years but has always been a success. There are more exhibitors (past and new), some create pieces in anticipation of Moonlighting, and others attend the event and decide to go back to a medium they had let go. It is great to know that it is not only an event that the lighting community looks forward to attending but an inspiration for others. I believe that the lighting community is interested in seeing the artistic side of its peers. There is so much variety from paintings to knitting or print making, last year we even had food. Since it is a well-received event, I think it is here to stay.

Amer Maleh, i2Systems

Randy Sabedra, RS Lighting Design

Jesse Coletta, Lumen Archiecture

John Rebbeck, Solais Lighting

Jacquelyn Cacan, Tillotson Design Associates

Gene Lambert, OneLux

Mauricio Lopez, ML Studio, Inc

Alex Rossini, Tillotson Design Associates

Renee Cooley, Cooley Monato Studio

Tripti Sahni, Parsons School of Design Student

Maria Dautant and Lindsey Dieter, HLB Lighting

Photographer: Naomi Castillo