Every once in a while, we connect with someone that just glows with passion and perspective. That was my experience with Lisa. I couldn’t stop asking questions, and when we were done, I felt like I had a fresh perspective on the world of architecture and design. She has such vision and excitement about her work. Her fascination with light and ways to create an experience with illumination were fascinating. Her work speaks volumes about her talent, but one of her greatest assets is her business mind. I hope you enjoy learning about Lisa as much as I did.
Lisa Hinderdael, Architect
Lisa is Operations Partner at Design Haus Liberty the multi award winning London architecture and design studio. Since joining in 2013, she has managed DH Liberty through its startup phase and helped to build its international reputation for creativity and design across three global locations. She is in charge of the daily operations of the company including management, key decision-making, financial operations, client support, and contract writing. Alongside her commercial role, Lisa fosters her creative passion through lighting and installation designs. This enthusiasm for lighting spawned the growth of DH Liberty Lux – the DH Liberty lighting line. With DH Liberty Lux, she’s managed the design and delivery of bespoke installations including Simorg at Cardiff Stadium 2018, Dewfall at the Venice Biennale 2016 and Mercury at South Bank Tower 2015. Trained in Architecture and Urban Design, Lisa graduated with a Masters from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture in 2012 and was a traveling scholar to the Veneto in 2010.
She was raised in an international household and schools, and loves to embrace new cultures and has lived in the US, Belgium, Copenhagen, Italy, and London. Her ultimate passion is giving relief to disaster struck countries – she aided in New Orleans post-Katrina and traveled to remote parts of Belize to rebuild schools.
Where’s your favorite place in the world and why?
Morocco. I visited Morocco several years ago and find it the most beautiful mix of landscapes across a country – you can go from desert to city souks to remote mountains all within the space of a few hours in each direction. I was genuinely taken aback and what’s more is the immense amount of color and pattern. I have a strange obsession with patterns!
What are you passionate about?
Light installations – they move me every time! I love to follow light artists and find events like Lumiere London to see what everyone is up to in this space. I think this is where my passion comes through in our lighting line as well as I developed the teardrop and find myself naturally wanting to run the design and logistics of several of our larger scale installations from Dewfall at the Venice Biennale to Simorg in Cardiff, and another one coming up in Hong Kong in December this year – stay tuned!
Dewfall was an experiential art installation that created a heightened experience fro visitors to the Biennale in which users could transcend time, space and existence. It blurred the disciplinary boundaries between art and architecture in an interactive and engaging space. The installation was a collaboration with ARTLINER and Harvey & John.
This installation on the left was one we did at the South Bank Tower, and it portrays another form of reality, constantly collaging the penthouse space and the city itself. It transforms the Tower into a unique setting to experience London from the sky. It’s arranged like a spine of frozen mercury droplets hanging in mid-air, with 1000 mirrored spheres reflecting and refracting one another, simultaneously creating and dissolving form and space. It’s illuminating.
“Our quest for light will be enhanced by our willingness to recognize when it shines in our lives.” Vern P. Stanfill
What’s the last thing you watched on TV? How was it?
Only Connect. I watch a lot of quiz shows, some call me an old grandma as I still like my U.S. fix of things like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy too!
What’s the craziest or funniest thing you’ve ever done?
Run a half marathon without training. I had signed up as a New Year’s resolution to become fit and run in honor of my mom who passed from pancreatic cancer. But in the end, I only went on one twenty-minute jog before race day. I remember thinking I must be crazy and hoping that my past school years of cross country and track would come back to help me pace myself. I would never recommend doing it this way to anyone. Yet, crossing the line was the most amazing feeling and the adrenaline certainly helped! Maybe next time I will make sure to train properly.
What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
An upcoming immersive installation with lantern lights and ceramic to celebrate the craftsmanship being lost in Hong Kong and challenge our understanding of pollution. It will be displayed during Business of Design Week. Here is a little sneak peek (on the right). Anybody want to visit Hong Kong?
Who would you swap places with for a day?
Brad Pitt . Not to be an actor or famous, but to be involved in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. I used to go every year to rebuild homes after Katrina and the city has a special place in my heart. I always say if money was no object, I would be working purely on disaster relief projects and researching floating cities that can adapt to impeding storms!
If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
Antarctica. I would love to be away from all internet and fully disconnected – watching penguins jump off cliffs, live in an igloo, and learn to fish! And I do love my cups of hot chocolate.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Being late. It’s just one of those things, if you respect your own time it shows a lot about your character.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Okay I actually looked up a chart for this. I’m liking the look of Pine Green – a nice soothing color that oozes calm and relaxation. Maybe I need a holiday.
What’s your favorite way to get inspired?
Travel. I take inspiration from so many places that I travel to – even more specifically from nature. The geometries and patterns one can find are mesmerizing.
Tell me about your morning routine.
When it’s not a wake-up call from a client in China, then I wake-up with a nice alarm of my favorite song by the GooGooDolls followed by a good 2 or 3 snoozes. I then play Wordscapes and the NYTimes Daily Crossword to relax my brain before taking a shower and getting dressed. When I can, and if the morning allows, I walk to the further tube stop from my home and stop at Starbucks for a nice Chai Tea Latte to kick off my day and it’s off to work…!
What’s the best purchase you made this year under $100?
Travel Steamer and the Gleaner. I bought these on a whim and they have been absolute lifesavers as we expand internationally, keeping my clothes presentable even when living out of a suitcase for weeks at a time! I like to travel light.
What makes you laugh the hardest?
Improv. I’ve been to a few of the Mischief Theater shows across London now and find myself wanting to go back every time. Last time we cried our eyes out to ‘Bend it Like Croydon’. And if I can’t get the theater fix then Would I Lie to You gives me a good laugh.
What is your favorite family tradition?
Fondue or Raclette on Christmas Eve. Its always the most wonderful place setting and family time together. And even as we get older and have other commitments, we continue to find a way to get our fondue or raclette in – even if not always on the Christmas eve.
What’s something you wish people would ask you more?
How long will it take you? Every day in my role is different and a big part of the job is prioritizing what should come next. I’ve always been an organized person so it’s quite easy to work through lists but when other things get tossed in it can become a bit chaotic and sometimes a small request is actually a much larger administrative task than people realize.
What’s your favorite quote?
As an architect, surely its “Less is More.” However, in my personal life I like challenges and love: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Interview conducted by Anna Sirmeyer.