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Member Spotlight: Shahrzad Abtahi, Director of Lighting Design, AKF | Lightcraft


April 27, 2022

Education: MA, Interior Architecture

Years in the industry: 11

Favorite thing about working in the AEC industry:  My job is a great mix of art and science. Growing up, I enjoyed mathematics and science, but I always had an eye for art and creativity. As a lighting designer, I can bring technical and artistic powers to the table, and I truly enjoy working on a wide variety of projects.

Most memorable professional experience: One of the first projects that I worked on as a lighting designer was the Massachusetts State House. I’ll never forget the day I walked into the governor’s office for a site visit. I had the pleasure of working with an amazing team and eventually we won a lighting design award after completing the project.

Recent project you’re proud of (and why): Mclean Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital. As a new mom, I can feel the deep and hallowing pain of parents caring for a sick child, and I got a chance to help these parents with my design on this project. With security and safety in mind, we are implementing design strategies that can help develop a healing environment for the kids and lower stress for families. This type of project makes my career more meaningful for me.

Special skill we may not know about: Cooking, especially Middle Eastern food! I hope one day I can write my own cookbook.

Favorite place you’ve ever been:  Barcelona and Istanbul. Both are great mix of art, architecture, and culture.

The one thing in the world that you cannot live without: Days off! For the love of my work, sometimes I need to take break and disconnect.

What you’re likely to be doing on a Saturday: Spending time with my family and friends. Nowadays we try activities that are fun for my daughter.

Who or what inspires you most? Reading memoirs and autobiographies of successful people in any field. My recent favorites are Born to Crime and Educated.

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