What happens when interior designers and lighting designers connect?

Aug. 31, 2022
LightSPEC West conference director CLIFTON STANLEY LEMON teases a presentation that will demonstrate how user experience can be realized through application of precise techniques for conveying comfort, beauty, and health in a space.

For leading West Coast designers Janelle Drouet and Joel Villalon, light is a uniquely powerful tool design tool, and when used sensitively it can greatly enhance the narrative power and experience of interior spaces.

On Sept. 21 at LightSPEC West in Los Angeles, Drouet, the West Coast Lighting leader and senior associate at  Mazzetti Lighting Design Studio, and Villalon, principal at BraytonHughes Design Studios, will present an intimate and illustrated design conversation where they explore their approaches to envisioning beautiful spaces, creating delight in inhabiting them, and understanding health and wellness in the built environment. They will show examples of their design work in residential, hospitality, retail, and office projects that evolve from a natural interplay of light, interior architecture, furnishings, materials, color, and finishes, and will discuss specific techniques and design visualizations that facilitate optimal creative collaboration. 

In their talk, "Balance, wellness & delight: A design conversation," Drouet and Villalon will examine and challenge current ideas of the role of beauty and aesthetics in architecture and design and present qualitative and quantitative data on user experience of beauty, health, and comfort in interior spaces through a perspective of common sense and useful evidence. They will also explore users' cognitive processing of architectural spaces through narrative sequencing enhanced by contrast, visual comfort, clear navigation paths, and layers of light, and occupant health and productivity outcomes related to lighting in different building sectors such as health care, education, and hospitality.

An international lighting design professional and lighting leader, Drouet focuses on creating expressive, sustainable, and award-winning concepts in light and has contributed to the success of a broad spectrum of project types and scales. Before her position at Mazzetti, she was associate principal and lighting group leader at Arup in San Francisco; principal of J Drouet Design Studio; director of Lighting Design at Lightswitch, San Francisco; and founder and director of Lighting Design at Harris Consulting Engineers (HCE Architectural Lighting Design Group). 

As a child, Villalon discovered beauty during each of the many summer vacations he took with his parents and siblings. Whether he was hiking in the painted Grand Canyon or driving through the magnificent Centro Historico of Mexico City, his fascination with travel and the differences he noticed in space, light, and architecture in different parts of the world began to take form. He still retains this sense of wonder and observation and brings that focused eye and attention to detail in each of his projects. Villalon worked with Larry Speck in Austin, Texas, Rafael Vinoly Architects in New York City, and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in San Francisco before he joined BraytonHughes in 1992. He was made a principal in 2007 and currently serves as executive advisor. Since joining the firm, Villalon’s hand is evident in many of our hospitality, private clubs, and corporate projects. He has a bachelor of architecture from the University of Texas.

The inaugural LightSPEC West showcases design and innovation in lighting for the built environment. Carefully curated by top industry experts, it is a networking, education, and solutions platform for specifiers and buyers of commercial and residential lighting and controls. With a program covering a wide range of topics vital to building designers, owners, and operators, the two-day conference and expo includes networking events, site tours; product showcases, and CEU accredited educational material in plenary and individual sessions as well as panel discussions. Register to attend this premiere September event.

Get to know our expert

In addition to his role as program director for LightSPEC West conferences, CLIFTON STANLEY LEMON is a contributor to LEDs Magazine and CEO of Clifton Lemon Associates, a consultancy providing strategy, marketing, and education services to the lighting and energy industries.  

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About the Author

Clifton Stanley Lemon | Strategies in Light Conference Co-Chair

In addition to his roles as conference program director for LightSPEC West and LightSPEC Midwest events, Clifton is a contributor to LEDs Magazine and CEO of Clifton Lemon Associates, a consultancy providing strategy, marketing, and education services to the lighting and energy industries. He was formerly business development director for the California Energy Alliance; marketing communications manager for Soraa; director of business development at Integral Group; and founder and CEO of BrandSequence. An active writer and speaker and a past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society, San Francisco section, Clifton has extensive experience in curriculum development for professional training in lighting and energy efficiency. Along with Randall Whitehead, Clifton is the co-author of Beautiful Light: An Insider’s Guide to LED Lighting in Homes and Gardens (Taylor and Francis, 2021).