Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 19–20, 2024
New York Hilton Midtown, New York City

2020 PANEL DISCUSSION: Compassionate Lighting for the Future Urban Night

PANEL DISCUSSION: Compassionate Lighting for the Future Urban Night

Wednesday, August 19
11:00am – 12:30pm

Outdoor Lighting

Credits: 1.5 AIA LU HSW

By 2050, two-thirds of the world population will reside in cities. The life of a city does not stop at dusk, but continues through the night. Lighting establishes an identity for the city skyline that can unite residents and drive tourism. Yet if improperly applied, lighting can blanket the surrounding landscape with light pollution, impacting both natural ecosystems and the well-being of the population. Our panel will discuss current studies on light's impact on biology, look at lighting as part of a city's identity, and formulate action plans for municipalities to shape a compassionate night experience for all city life.


  1. Health - Light pollution has a measurable impact on the ecosystem of a city
  2. Safety - application of controls for exterior lighting can strike a balance between lighting for security and tasks, and experiencing the night
  3. Welfare - The identity of a city skyline does not need to be at odds with a night experience for residents
  4. Outreach - Designers can engage municipalities directly via public outreach, ordinances and other strategies


Francesca Bastianini, Principal, Sighte Studio

As a co-founder and principal of the Brooklyn based architectural lighting design practice, Sighte Studio, Francesca Bastianini is committed to a practice that folds education, research, and community engagement into design. Drawing on her background in theatre and psychology, Francesca's design work is attentive to people's interaction with space, considering both an individual's well-being and their aesthetic experience.

She serves on the DLFNY board as the President and teaches Graduate Lighting students in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design.
Francesca earned her Bachelor’s degree in theatre and psychology from Smith College, a Master in Psychology from Lesley University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Architectural Lighting Design from Parsons the New School for Design, earning the Richard Kelly Grant for her thesis work on lighting for underserved populations. Francesca was named one of Lighting Magazines 40 under 40 in 2016 and once again as a member of the North American class in 2018.

Shaun Fillion, Program Director, NYSID | Lighting Studio Manager, RAB Lighting

Shaun Fillion, LC Educator IALD, is an award-winning lighting designer and educator. Fillion is Program Director for the Masters of Professional Studies in Lighting Design program at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), as well as Lighting Studio Manager at RAB Lighting.

Fillion has received Illumination awards, the IESNA Section Service Award and the Princess Grace Award. He has presented seminars at SXSW, LightFair International, LEDucation and the IES National Conference on topics including lighting and media, wireless technologies, and light pollution.
Fillion volunteers as vice chair of the IES Progress Committee, and serves as a member of the Libraries and Residential RP Committees. Fillion serves on the board of managers for the IES New York City Chapter, and as adviser to the Student Lighting Competition Committee. He is a certified instructor for AGi32.

Alexandra Pappas-Kalber, Founding Partner, Sighte Studio

At Sighte Studio, Alex steers the design direction of the studio’s public work along with sharing an active role in the leadership and management of the office. She has extensive experience with lighting design for public spaces, urban cityscapes, and infrastructure – including award winning public projects such as Shoemaker Green at the University of Pennsylvania and St. Patrick’s Island in Calgary.

Prior to co-founding Sighte Studio, Alex spent several years as a Senior Associate at Tillett Lighting Design where she led the studio on museum landscape projects including the Menil Collection Campus in Houston, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and The Meeting Room - a public art installation by Maya Lin in Newport.

Alex is a part-time faculty member at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, and a faculty grant recipient for her research on equitable lighting guidelines for future cities. She has also been a guest lecturer and invited critic at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and at the University of Virginia Department of Architecture. She holds an MFA in Architectural Lighting Design from Parsons, and a BFA in Theater Design and Technology from the University of Miami. Alex was named by the U.K. based publication Lighting Design Magazine as one of 40 Under 40 Lighting Designers to Watch in 2019.

Jane Slade, Specification Sales Manager, Speclines

Jane Slade, MID, LC, IES is the Specification Sales Manager for Speclines in Massachusetts, a lighting manufacturer’s representative agency specializing in outdoor lighting for municipalities, universities, corporations, commercial developments, and transportation agencies through an interdisciplinary approach of blending design, science and the latest technology.

She is also a lighting educator, consultant, and researcher at Anatomy of Night (, researching the many ways in which light impacts our environment, human health, wildlife, biodiversity, and interdependence.

Slade is a recent Richard Kelly Grant recipient for explorations into the social and emotional impacts of light and lighting, through her work in creating lighting fixtures from waste materials in India, and through art installations focused on manipulating emotional experiences with light and color.

Slade is a member of the IES Committee for Outdoor Environmental Lighting, as well as a past Vice President of the DLF of New England, having chaired the scholarship which sends university students to both Light + Building in Germany, and Lightfair in North America.

Slade practices light art in her studio, Anatomy of Light (, and also teaches yoga in her home city, Cambridge, MA.