Headed by Kayzad Shroff andMaria Isabel Jimenez Leon, SHROFFLEóN is a Mumbai-based architecture, landscape and interior design studio. According to Kayzad, every great design is an outcome of team effort and collaborative approach. It is never a one man’s job.He adds, “We tend to highlight our design parameters with lighting.”Excerpts from his interview with Lighting India:

What sparked your interest in lighting?

Initially lighting for me was more about lighting up a space, a basic requirement to be fulfilled. But as our design complexity evolved, we discovered the power and potential of lighting. The realisation that with the use of lighting you can completely change how a space is perceived is what sparked our interest in it.

Fiber optic lights enhancing the linearity of the pool and revealing its inner joinery

What made you take lighting more seriously and make a career out of it?

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When we started accentuating material textures with lighting, we realised we wanted to explore it more because the effects were dramatic and the possibilities seemed endless. The right intensity and direction of light can be used to enhance or downplay design features. You can perceive planes differently. There can be highlights and shadows and you can see depths.

Are you self-taught or did you study lighting design?

Self-taught. I would rather say that our design experiments taught me.

Hand blown glass sculptural light hovering over a gurgling water body

What’s your lighting designing philosophy?

We like to reveal the making and coming together of our design elements as well as the functioning and working of the design through lighting. In our project “The Orange Extension”, we highlighted the corten steel joints with lights where the joinery detail with different sizes of grooves juxtaposes with a designed pattern of lighting. The lighting wasn’t just to light up the canopies but reveals the construction details and functioning of the extension. The lit-up joint lines highlight the functionally needed surface drainage channels on top of the canopies. The lights celebratethechannelling of rainwater into a collection plate, from where it’s discharged ceremoniously into the adjoining flower bed.

How has your work evolved over the years?

We tend to highlight our design parameters with lighting. The change in intensity and colour of lights adds a dimension to the planes of materials and textures and also tunes you to the mood and ambiance with the change in program. Be it architectural or decorative lighting, we used to work on multiple small light pockets within a space. Now we intend to make larger cleaner moves.

Lit up rainwater drainage channel in corten steel canopy

How is your work received internationally?

We have been very grateful to have our works received so well on international platforms. Our project “The Orange Extension” was pre-selected for taking part into the sixth DOMUS international award’s for restoration and preservationcompetition. “Aurelia-House Under A Pool” brought home an amazing second place in the category of the most innovative swimming pool at the swimming pool and wellness event organised by Piscine Global Europe at the Eurexpo in Lyon, France. In both the projects, lighting played an important role in highlighting the form of the design. This level of international recognition is very motivating.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

We were always schooled that there is one creative genius behind every project. But ever since we started practicing, we realised it’s not true. Every great design is an outcome of team effort and collaborative approach. It is never a one man’s job. Our projects benefit from our association and collaboration between our team members and consultants. Having an efficient and effective team is extremely important in the making of an impactful project.

Pool embedded with 1500 fiber optic lights enhancing the atmosphere post sundown

What advice would you give to young lighting designers?

Lighting is not just a visual aesthetic aid. Always try to bring a balance between functionality and style. Understand the power of lighting and its role as an integral design tool.