6:00 pm Seminar - Keynote
Thomas Paterson- The Craft Beneath Design Thinking


A masterpiece was not, historically, a great work so much as it was the piece that an apprentice labored away on to demonstrate their mastery of craft. It was then submitted to the guild of masters for acknowledgement and entry into the guild. In this first phase of career, the apprentice was not expected to drive design thinking, but develop and deliver mastery of the trade.

Mastery of design thinking is a different skill set – one built off that base, but is about understanding the tool that one holds and how it may serve a client, a stakeholder and beyond. A master sees the uses of their skills beyond only that which the client asks.

Thomas discusses the nature of mastery in Lighting Design – mentoring, learning, being an autodidact, and how that flows into creating a project brief. How do you lead a team to become great design thinkers?  How does that create value for your clients?

Learning Objectives

As a result of attendance, the attendee shall be able to:

1)  Describe the different phases of skills acquisitions in lighting design.

2) Identify their level of development as mentors

3) Identify those aspects of their personal practice which are in need of development as mentors, leaders and students.

4) Analyze a client’s needs with regards to the skill levels of staff on a project, whether craft or design thinking level skills.

Approved for 1 IES CEU and 1 AIA HSW LU

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Thomas Paterson
Mr Paterson is a British Australian Mexican, with experience in architectural and theatrical lighting as well as an education in artificial intelligence and robotics. He founded Lux Populi, an independent lighting design practice in Mexico fourteen years ago. The practice has grown to deliver work in 30 countries, but with team backgrounds from Australia, Europe and the Americas is able to dynamically shift approaches. Thomas is known for the First Principles design process – understanding the tool of light in service of client needs. Lux Populi trains the majority of its staff directly from university to an international standard and is recognized for its internal training and communication methods.