Rob is a professional lighting designer specializing in dramatic architectural designs and the lighting design component of visual accessibility. He is principal consultant for SLD LLC.
Rob draws from a dramatic and technologically innovative background to create exceptional lighting designs for environments of all kinds. His architectural credits include some of the world’s largest bridges in Hong Kong, skyscrapers in Atlanta and Hong Kong, as well as resorts, restaurants, specialized retail and museums. He has designed lighting for corporate, hospitality, residential, and retail environments. Recent projects include redesigning the lighting for houses of worship, taking into consideration the different ritual uses of the spaces, physical accessibility, appropriate reading light levels for the ageing eye and the impact of daylighting. He has consulted on theatre spaces, refining their lighting capabilities.
Rob is not only a designer – he is an innovator in his field. In the early 1980s, he saw the potential for computers graphics to assist with lighting, and has been at the cutting edge of lighting technology since. He co-wrote the book “Rendering with Radiance: The Art and Science of Lighting Visualization” exploring and explaining Radiance, a program to create physically-accurate graphics representing light. He was a researcher for 11 years on an NIH grant “Designing Visually Accessible Spaces (DeVAS)” developing tools for the architectural professionals to design spaces that are accessible for people with low vision.
He is an author on three recent high impact journal papers. The Science: Simulating Visibility Under Reduced Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity, Journal of the Optical Society of America 2017. The Application: Evaluating the Visibility of Architectural Features for People with Low Vision- A Quantitative Approach, LEUKOS (IES Journal) 28 April, 2021. And an in-review extended Validation paper: Validating a Model of Architectural Visibility with Low-Vision Observers, Plos One Journal. Additionally, Rob has presented seminars on DeVAS at LightFair, the IES and AIA conventions.
He has experimented with projections and interactive lighting designs in live productions and public spaces. He has developed and incorporated computer visualization and collaboration tools in his design practice and has presented lectures, workshops and courses on his lighting design process in Asia and throughout Europe and North America.
Rob began his professional theatre career in England, in the early ’70’s at the Bristol Old Vic and the New Theatre Cardiff. He has designed over 200 productions on three continents in theatres including the Theatre Royal (Bristol, England), St. Lawrence Center (Toronto, Canada), Lyric Theatre (Hong Kong), Randall Theatre (Utah Shakespeare Festival), and Indiana Repertory Theatre. At Indiana University he has served as the Professor of Lighting Design, as the head of Design and Technology for the Theatre Department, and as the chair for many university committees. He is a practiced collaborator.
He embraced architectural lighting design in the late 1980’s, joined the IES and established Shakespeare Lighting Design LLC with lighting designer Marie Shakespeare. His architectural lighting success in the 1990’s included Cathay Pacific Airlines Headquarters and the bridges to Hong Kong’s then new airport and several Hong Kong skyscraper’s facades and public spaces.
During the past two decades he added art museum lighting and lighting installations. Rob worked with a manufacturer to develop new LED lighting fixtures for the IU Art Museum which reveal the full range of colors in art without exposing them to damaging light levels. His installation Light Totem, a 72′ luminous tower was commissioned by the IU Art Museum to mark the 25th anniversary of the I.M. Pei designed Museum. His monumental installation River Lights is a night-time light display on the St. Joseph River in downtown South Bend, IN. River Lights uses interactive light sculptures to visually connect the two sides of the river. These projects use sustainable LED light sources, which have minimal impact on the environment. He has lit several significant churches, and restaurants, event spaces, high-end offices and residences. He thrives in invention; rising to interesting visual challenges.
“My art is based in light… what a joy!”
Marie is a lighting designer for theatrical productions and architectural projects based in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the design director for SLD LLC, managing all projects.
Through Shakespeare Lighting Design LLC, she co-designs innovative lighting environments for theater, dance, galleries, residences, stores, restaurants and houses of worship. Local projects include redesigning St. Thomas Lutheran Church’s sanctuary with all LED luminaries, creating a brighter and more evocatively illuminated worship space that uses only 10% of the energy consumed by its old system.
At Indiana University, Marie has taught lighting design courses in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design and in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance. Among more than 20 productions designed for The Brown County Playhouse in Nashville, IN, her lighting credits include “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”, “The Woman in Black”, “Dames at Sea”, “I’m Not Rappaport” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged.”
Marie earned her undergraduate degree in theatre at California State University, Fresno and completed her MFA in lighting design at California State University, Fullerton. She has taught at Indiana University, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts.
Marie is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
Marie Shakespeare, Design Director
1806 East Thornton Drive
Bloomington, Indiana 47401
marie [at] shakespearelighting.com