Interview with Veronika Mayerboeck

Almost a year ago, the Lumino team had just returned from PLDC Rome, a unique platform to share and learn about the latest developments in lighting design. This 5th edition of the Professional Lighting Design Convention officially launched Lumino’s new ColorCORE™ technology. All the Lumino team had a fabulous time on the Saturday night for the PLDC gala dinner at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. We had the pleasure to meet Veronika Mayerboeck, lighting designer, architect and artist based in Vienna. While waiting for the next edition scheduled in 2017 in Paris, she shares with us her vision about light and space.

Lumino: Why did you attend PLDC Rome?
Veronika Mayerboeck: I got in touch with PLD already during my studies of Architecture. I have been attending student workshops and subsequently have been interested in PLDC activities during the last years, visiting Master classes and attending most of the Light + Building fairs. In 2015 I got selected as speaker for my paper „the use of light as therapeutic tool“ at PLDC Rome. After being invited to a panel talk about „Anthroposophical design through digital light” at this years Light + Building, I started to collaborate as local partner with VIA educational events and initiated a cooperation with one of the most important Viennese Museums for a lighting design workshop. I am involved as their technical coordinator and will also hold a lecture.

Lumino: What is your global feeling about the event? What was the more intense lecture?
Veronika Mayerboeck: The program of PLDC was very rich and combined a lot of different fields. Unfortunately I couldn’t visit that many lectures but from what I saw I felt very much inspired by the lecture of Shuyu Chen (Every Exhibition is a map), also by Elettra Bordano & Mona Sloanes´ Lighting (Configuring Light/Staging the Social) and Anadi Martel (therapeutic applications of light).

Veronika Mayerboeck, lighting designer.

Interview with Veronika Mayerboeck

​Lumino: Lighting designer, Architect, Artist. How do you define yourself?
Veronika Mayerboeck: I define myself as a lighting designer. My understanding of light and space is influenced by my interdisciplinary background as I studied architecture and moving arts at the same time and also worked in both fields professionally. The symbiotic connection between the moving body and architecture led me straight into the field of lighting design. After developing my expertise in architectural and theatre lighting, I specialised on museum lighting during the last years. I’m mostly fascinated by the combination of merging technical know how, perception of art and high quality lighting in this field. Additionally, I teach and involve in research projects like LIGHTSCORES.

Interview with Veronika Mayerboeck

Lumino: What is your approach of light?
Veronika Mayerboeck: I think my understanding of lightspaces is particularly „human-centred“, meaning I see light as a „completion“ between the human being and the outside world. To me, human perception, interpretation and its perspective is tightly linked to the interaction and movement in space. The way you „read“ a space has very much to do with the way you move through it. For example my project LIGHTSCORES originated from the idea to make blind people hear what they cannot see. My aim in the beginning was to experience lightspaces by listening to your body movement, thus I developed a mobile sensor system translating light into sound.It provides an immediate acoustic feedback on quality of movement in space, and can be used for lifestyle- as well for therapy applications and is not restricted to any age group. LIGHTSCORES includes therapy work with disabled children and scientific research with universities.

Lumino: Are projects you have done from all over the world?
Veronika Mayerboeck: I just started to work on lighting designs for museums in Baku, Azerbaijan. Before that, most of my lighting designs were set up in Austria, some in Germany, Denmark, France or Belgium. LIGHTSCORES as a project made me travel a lot so far, we were invited to London, NY, Rome, Milano and Stockholm only in 2015.

Interview with Veronika Mayerboeck

Lumino: What is the most impressive project you have participated in?
Veronika Mayerboeck: LIGHTSCORES is for sure a project that turned into a very surprising and exciting direction I never expected it to. Here I find myself in complete new roles as a project manager, lighting designer and head of application research. I love the connection between light and visual arts. While working as lighting designer for museums like ALBERTINA or KHM Vienna, I just fell in love with setting artwork into a new context for human perception. Exhibition lighting is like choreographing the glance of the visitor, but still finding the fine balance between the individual impact and dramaturgy of each single artwork and the overall context of the exhibition. Here my long term experience in lighting dance works is merging with architectural lighting skills. I still enjoy stage lighting a lot, whether it is for a piece of classical music by Bach involving dancers and the Vienna Boys Choir or a contemporary dance work „Bosch I“ by Austrian choreographer Georg Blaschke that allowed me to develop a lighting design referring to the famous Bosch Tryptichon as the whole performance took place into the academy of fine arts in Vienna.

Lumino: In 2013, you founded an innovative studio for lighting design and multimedia, “ALLES oder Licht”, can you tell us more about your studio based on an interdisciplinary background?
Veronika Mayerboeck: „ALLES oder Licht“, that’s easy, the name is concept: It means „All or Light“ and explains my approach. As I come from Architecture, lighting design and moving arts, I was doubting myself for a long time for being neither 100% architect /lighting designer nor 100% dancer. I felt the pressure to be labelled with only one role by my constantly shifting workfield. I didn’t want to give up neither of the two, I loved both. So I decided to use this interdisciplinary symbiosis as a positive and rare qualification. And it seems that it works out. So within the projects I do, I try to apply my interdisciplinary perspective, irrespectively of whether it’s classic architectural lighting, stage lighting, art based installation work, event lighting or exhibition lighting. Already years ago I stepped back from active performing arts and focussed on lighting design. But inside,I will always remain a dancer,and that feels good.

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  • 1st picture from above: “Bosch Experience part I” by Georg Blaschke, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, credits: Laurent Ziegler
  • 2nd picture from above: George Condo Exhibition, Heydar Aliyev Centre Baku, credits: ALLES oder Licht
  • 3rd + 4th pictures from above: LIGHTSCORES therapy session with blind children, Odilieninstitut Graz, credits: ALLES oder Licht