Light + Justice in Practice

Edward Bartholomew, Bartholomew Lighting | Lya Osborn, Unolai Lighting Design

Location: Murray Hill

March 20, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Credits 1 LU | HSW


Light Justice is the practice of planning, designing, implementing, and investing in lighting for historically neglected communities through a process of stakeholder respect and engagement. But how does light justice impact our design practice? This presentation will demonstrate through case studies and research how lighting designers can provide equitable good quality lighting for all occupant spaces, regardless of status or building location. This presentation will interrogate the present practice of lighting design and show a better more just way to provide quality lighting that equally impacts and improves the environment for all occupants.

Attendees should have a willingness to critically look at our design practice with an open mind.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will learn various methods for addressing lighting inequities in their projects
  • Participants will see how the impact of unjust lighting practices impacts occupant inequity.
  • Participants will understand the mechanisms that enable lighting injustice and how to “redesign” projects to create a more just visual environment for all occupants
  • Participants will examine current lighting practices and discover how to alter their design practice to provide better quality lighting for all occupants


Edward Bartholomew
Edward Bartholomew
Bartholomew Lighting

Edward Bartholomew is the principal of Bartholomew Lighting, a Black-owned design consultancy based in Cambridge, MA. He has more than thirty years of experience designing sustainable, inspiring, and award-winning architectural lighting systems. His extensive project list includes memorials, corporate headquarters, parks, and non-profit facilities. Edward is an invited speaker on lighting technology, energy efficiency strategies, and social justice at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition, Edward has an MFA in Architectural Lighting Design (1995) from Parsons School of Design. He is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Edward serves on the IES Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Respect (DIER) committee. In addition, Edward is a founding member of Black United In Lighting & Design (BUILDup) and —a lighting social justice resource and forum that advocates for lighting equity.

Lya Osborn
Lya Osborn
North America Regional Director
Unolai Lighting Design

Lya S. Osborn is a multidisciplinary designer, writer, literary translator, and the founder of a collaborative workshop in Seattle, WA. Lya also serves as the North America Regional Director for Unolai Lighting Design and has contributed to a broad range of award-winning international design projects over the past eight years. Lya received a double MFA in Lighting Design and Interior Design from Parsons The New School for Design, where her thesis work challenged the industry norms and incentives which have long defined a designer's role in society, proposing alternate modes of directing design resources to historically underserved or disadvantaged populations. Lya is a member of the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the International Dark Sky Association, and is Community Friendly Lighting Certified.

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