May 1, 2015
When I first came to Visa Lighting, my colleagues asked me “why do you want to go into sales? Won’t you miss design?” and the truth is, of course I would. But I learned a long time ago that healthcare design is not just about the lighting, finishes or equipment that it’s about the people impacted by them.
Whether it’s the patients, staff, family, or healthcare specialists, lighting matters to all of them. The more comfortable we feel in our environment, the faster we heal and the happier we are being in that environment. So I had a choice, I could continue to specify many health care manufacturers as a designer and affect a small group of owners and architects or….I could think bigger. I could affect the people, the doctors and patients using and living in these spaces.
Four years ago I fell in love with the UnityTM fixture from Visa Lighting. After specializing in healthcare design, I saw a multi-level exam light that not only did its job as a lighting fixture, like so many others do, but brought so much more to the patient/doctor experience. This fixture had warmth to it, it had texture, it was comforting and designed with softness in mind.
While working at Francis Cauffman Architects as their in-house lighting designer I had a chance to place Unity and other Visa light fixtures into Cooper Cancer Center’s. Hospitals and especially exam rooms have spaces where the patient feels vulnerable and exposed. These rooms we design affect people’s lives. We can’t always change the physical and emotional outcomes, the stressful and unfortunate situations people come into a healthcare building with, but what if we could help? What if we could have an impact in that outcome, even small?
At Visa we think about these situations when designing our healthcare lighting. What a difference it would be if a light fixture reminded someone of home because it looked like the linen instead of plastic? Or was soft like a pillow? What if instead of staring up at the ceiling into a scary institutional looking light fixture before a surgery, a patient was able to look up at a calming light fixture and distract themselves by the visual interest of a calming color changing light pattern? The Unity fixture, like so many other of Visa’s designs, does just this. I, my co-designers, the staff and owners at Cooper Cancer Center were all under the same impression after seeing the Unity fixture. This fixture, felt like home.
I thought to myself, I could stay, I could continue as a designer and be happy. I could keep creating patient friendly spaces with the products that were placed before me or…I could do something more impactful. I could be a part of something exciting. I could help create a path in the healthcare industry for lighting. I wanted to be a part of something great with an amazing team and other like-minded individuals. I wanted to work directly with Visa Lighting.
I believe, that you should be passionate in what you do in life and who you become. When people ask me if it was hard leaving design, I simply shrug and say, “for Visa, it was a no brainer.”