Career Spotlight: Sabrina Fiorina, Design Director EU

General News
EU Design Director Sabrina Fiorina

We caught up with our EU Design Director Sabrina Fiorina in celebration of International Women’s Day 2024 to ask her some questions about her career experiences as a woman in the lighting industry.

Based in Italy, Sabrina has worked in the lighting industry since 2010 and heads up our EU team. She has worked on numerous luxury residential properties, commercial and marine projects with top designers and architects internationally across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. She has always been interested and passionate about architecture from an early age. She was most inspired by the lighting elements within architectural spaces whilst studying and this led her to pursue her career in lighting design, seeing the impact it had on a space, and the fascinating interaction between light and shadow.

interesting kitchen with hanging white ball pendants and discreet architectural lighting with island
Why is it important to you to celebrate International Women’s Day?

It’s an important focus for me. Within this industry there are roles which a while ago were led by men and now we are seeing more diversity, with more women occupying these roles, so we are progressing and it is important to celebrate these achievements for women. But we still need to drive forward the emphasis and discussions around inclusivity and to raise awareness. This is why the work around International Women’s Day is so important.





View above staircase with steplights across treads and hanging chandelier through the centre of the staircase
Have you faced any challenges in your career as a woman?

When I first started my career as a lighting designer and had client interactions, I felt as a woman I had to prove myself, my education and my years of experience. There was an expectation that roles around architecture, construction and lighting, or in leadership roles within these would be men, and I found that embarrassing, that there was this difference in relation to my role. There has since been progression forward in the lighting industry and we are now seeing more women in the industry and in leadership positions. I would expect to continue to see this move forward.

Bar unit in basement lit with linear strip to backlight and float the shelves
Is there another woman on whom you would like to shine a light, in the industry and why?

Not because she is our creative director, but Sally Storey is one of the greatest, inspirational women I know, who’s had a huge influence on my career and passion for what we do.

Also, from early in my career, Zaha Hadid, always inspired me. I loved her work as an architect and when I had my first interview to move to London, with Maurice Brill – I reviewed their portfolio and they had worked on one of her buildings, and I thought, that’s a sign!

Eaton Square apartment. Lighting by John Cullen Lighting
How can we encourage more women to pursue roles in the lighting/design industry?

From my point of view, I think everything comes from passion. Whether you are passionate about lighting, interiors, architecture or landscapes, you need to try to improve your skills and education in these areas. It is good to explore what area you are interested in. You need knowledge of space and to be passionate about design, and lighting is a specific part of that.

I think creating a ‘toolbox’ to play with would help those interested in lighting so they can really understand and ‘touch’ the lights. You need to see why it is important and the impact it can have. With architectural lighting especially, it’s a more creative role than just specifying.  You are playing with light and adding narrative to the space. You’re emphasising the details and highlighting a different viewpoint of a space.

bathroom lighting ideas for double sink in bathroom with niches with items lit
What advice would you like to give to women in their career?

Never be afraid to give something a go, if you feel it is something that can help you grow.

It could be an experience, not always related to your job, that gives you a different perspective, whether or not you pursue that particular path. I’m quite a curious person, so I believe stepping out of your comfort zone is important as the outcomes might be very interesting.

Follow more around International Women’s Day here and collectively we can all #InspireInclusion.