After graduating from NYSID in 2016 with a Master of Professional Studies in Lighting Design, Jennifer Shum landed her dream job at ICRAVE Design in New York City, focusing on illuminating high profile hospitality projects around the world.
Why did you pursue a MPS in Lighting at NYSID?
After working as an interior designer for a few years, I started to realize that having the ability to light a space is very important for creating a well thought out, functional and beautiful space – which can greatly change the mood or sense of scale in an area. After exploring several design schools in New York City, I learned that NYSID offered one-year, post-professional degree in the art and science of architectural lighting design. It was perfect because courses were held in the evening, which allowed me to further my education, without conflicting my work schedule.
Tell me about the process you use to transform ideas into work.
I’m often inspired when I visit museums, browse window displays or just walking around the neighborhoods. Sightings outside of the studio inspire me to come up with innovative ideas for current and upcoming projects. After being enthused, I’ll create a mood board and start putting my ideas together in a sketch or model. Discussions with my peers are also inspirational and very important for exchanging ideas and creating a collaborative environment.
What’s your take on NYSID’s efforts to make its curriculum more diverse and inclusive?
I feel very lucky to have attended NYSID for this program. The curriculum is diverse and covers topics including studio, presentation, science, and business of light. The wide range of subjects prepares graduates for many things they may encounter as a professional.
What were some of your best moments at NYSID?
My best moments at NYSID were going on field trips. Field trips really helped us get a sense of the lighting designer’s role in the professional world. We visited museums, retail shops and restaurants located near campus. Each one teaching us something different – from how to light art work in an exhibition setting, to lighting commercial environments. We also had the opportunity to visit BPI and Focus Lighting to see what it’s like to work in an influential lighting studio, as well as to USAI to learn and view their product presentations. Each field trip were platforms for us to build connections and network within our industry.