2023 Panel Discussion: The Impact of a Pandemic on Design

Dorothy Underwood, KGM Architectural Lighting; Stacey Bello, KGM Architectural Lighting; Shawn Fernandez, ETC; and Matt Emmi, OneButton

March 7, 2023

3:00pm – 4:30pm EST

Room Location: Murray Hill

Credits: 1.5 LU / HSW

Over the last few years, the way we go about our daily lives has changed dramatically. The new “normal” looks very different for all of us – each of us has adapted in our own ways. This panel will look at how the pandemic has impacted the way that we think about and interact with the spaces we are in. Lighting designers, controls manufacturers, and systems integrators will discuss the ways in which built environments are adapting, from small scale changes like repurposing spaces, to large scale changes like completely rethinking the way a building is used and programmed.

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze the new programmatic needs of buildings created by the experience of living through a pandemic
  2. Identify the ways in which physical, emotional, and social human health can be supported through design
  3. Investigate the ways in which advancing technology can be utilized to support these new design goals
  4. Discuss the longevity of the various ways the experience of the pandemic has influenced design from the creation of more transitional, flex spaces throughout the home to the increase of hygiene maintenance areas in commercial and hospitality spaces


Dorothy Underwood
Senior Associate, KGM Architectural Lighting

Dorothy Underwood is a Senior Associate with Kaplan Gehring McCarroll Architectural Lighting in the New York office.  She manages a variety of projects, from sports arenas to high end residential, including key projects such as the new NFL stadium in Los Angeles, and the award-winning Ballroom Renovation at the New York Botanical Gardens.  

Dorothy holds an MS in Architectural Sciences with a Concentration in Lighting, as well as a B.Arch from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  She is an Associate member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), and holds LC and LEED AP BD+C certifications. Dorothy is actively involved in women based groups such as Women in Lighting Design (WILD) and Women in Architecture (WIA), and is a member of IALD’s exploratory DEIR committee.
She brings what she learns at these events back to the partners, helping to open lines of communication about company policies, employee benefits, and office culture. She also teaches lighting design at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Dorothy also brings her dog Indie, who has been dubbed the office mascot, to work with her most days.

Stacey Bello
Associate, KGM Architectural Lighting

Since 2016, Stacey has been an integral part of the design team at KGM Architectural Lighting. Her background in interior design, coupled by her strong sense of creativity complement her ability to solve complex lighting design problems. The core characteristics that define Stacey’s design philosophy are adaptability, functionality, intention, and minimalism. The goal for each of her projects is to create intentionally illuminated environments that respect the architectural integrity of the given space and the needs of those who occupy it.

Shawn Fernandez
Product Manager – Architectural Controls, ETC

Shawn Fernandez is the product manager for architectural lighting controls at ETC. He invests his time into understanding how we can solve problems with products. He is fascinated particularly with controls as it is at the core of how we interact with systems. The less you have to think about your interaction, the more time you spend enjoying it.

Shawn joined ETC in 2015 as a project manager working on system installations. He handled projects as small as cafes, up to large projects like convention centers or Major League Baseball stadiums.

Shawn moved into product management in 2019 and soon after had to relearn how to product manage during a global pandemic and supply chain shortages, but he still enjoys the challenge this role brings.

Outside of work, nothing makes Shawn happier then spending time hiking with his wife and their dog.

Matt Emmi
Co-Founder, OneButton

Matt Emmi is the founder of OneButton—a Technology Design and Integration firm based in NYC and LA. Matt’s background in physics and his business partner’s in art in design together inform a minimal and classic approach to home technology. This process has been refined working with world class architects on iconic projects such as Hiroshi Sigumoto’s Floating Inner Garden at 432 Park Ave. OneButton has received 9 Lutron excellence awards the past 9 years.

When not deep in technology Matt can otherwise be found flying Drones at events such as Burning Man as an academy nominated and award winning Aerial Cinematographer.


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