Carmenza Henao Londoño

    Light has been converted into a responsibility, light
    revives spaces, beautifies, shows defects. Without light, nothing functions.”

    Interview by Mauricio Gómez

    Carmenza Henao Londoño
    Carmenza Henao Londoño © Carmenza Henao Londoño agency


    Colombia’s first independent lighting designer and a major figure in Latin America, Carmenza Henao Londoño is known for her passion and creativity, as well as the meticulous nature of her work.

    Tell us about your career
    I’m an industrial designer, not an architect. I ended up in this profession when I was offered the opportunity of becoming a business consultant in a lighting firm. I fell in love with light and hardly 18 months had passed before I sold the timber company that I owned to my partner and threw myself entirely into lighting.  I worked for nine years at the first company, then became independent, and in 1992 I took part in the design of the Centro Andino Mall in Bogotá. This was the first project in which someone in Colombia was paid for doing a design. That was when lighting design became a profession in Colombia.  In 2000, with the building industry in deep crisis, I resigned and set up my own business which concentrated on advising without selling. I wanted to free my mind. I love what I do, I’m crazy about it, and every day I like it more. Life has always given me an excellent team of people to work with. I owe what I do to my husband and my team. I couldn’t have done it on my own.

     

    What does light mean to you? 

    Everything. Light is a social topic that covers everything: man’s best friend, the sun, reflections, shadows. Light has been converted into a responsibility, light revives spaces, beautifies, shows defects. Without light, nothing functions. It’s a tremendous responsibility since we are replacing and competing with what is supplied by the universe.

     

    What is your best lighting design and why?

    There’s one project that’s very important to me: I did it with Philips. It’s the San Felipe de Barajas Castle in Cartagena. This has particular significance because it was a huge responsibility, because it has remained valid until now, and because it’s an iconic work that you don’t often have the opportunity of illuminating.

    Urban Plaza, EK Hotel - Rodrigo Samper - Lighting designer: Carmenza Henao Londono © Carmenza Henao agency
    Urban Plaza, EK Hotel - Rodrigo Samper - Lighting designer: Carmenza Henao Londono © Carmenza Henao agency
    Plaza Bocagrande, Ospinas y Cia - Architect: Taller De Arquitectura De Bogota, Daniel Bonilla – Lighting designer: Carmenza Henao Londono © Jose Caballero
    Plaza Bocagrande, Ospinas y Cia - Architect: Taller De Arquitectura De Bogota, Daniel Bonilla – Lighting designer: Carmenza Henao Londono © Jose Caballero
    This is an excerpt from our exclusive interview with Carmenza Henao Londoño in Luminous magazine

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