Founder and principal of Hiram Banks Lighting Design, Hiram’s decision to start his own studio was based on a deep commitment to fully integrate illumination with the guiding vision and design themes of the architecture. Prior to establishing the firm, Hiram worked for seven years as Principal of Design with Lighting Integration Technology, creating award winning and published projects.
Hiram’s broad project experience allows him to listen and understand the goals and concerns of our clients, creating distinctly beautiful and functional lighting designs that fully integrate with the architecture. His deep understanding of lighting technology and design excellence allow him to mold unusual solutions using innovative yet tested methods for projects worldwide.
Matt joined the team in August 2011 and brings a vast array of knowledge in design and construction methods to the team. His passion to create a space that is brought to life through the use of light allows Matt to excel in all phases of lighting design. He is a highly motivated team member with experience in a wide range of commercial and residential projects, and a keen ability to analyze a client’s needs and establish program requirements.
With today’s ever-changing technologies, it’s important to have a firm grasp on new approaches and concepts that can allow a designer to keep pushing the envelope. Matt is proud to bring these abilities and strengths to Hiram Banks Lighting Design to further his passion in illumination.
Tobias’ interest in light sprang from photography. Through the process of capturing images he learned how different qualities of light affect people and their environments. Tobias utilized and expanded his knowledge of light through his studies at UC Davis and Parsons School of Constructed Environments. This formal education in architectural lighting and interior design gives Tobias an appreciation for form, color, texture and light, and how their relationship is important to the success of a built environment.
Tobias’ responsibilities at Hiram Banks Lighting Design include: drafting lighting plans, assembling light fixture cutsheets, writing equipment specifications, preparing project budgets, building full-scale lighting mockups, and creating presentation renderings.
Tobias is an approachable team player, always ready to collaborate and push the project to its fullest potential. Tobias is excited to bring his cultivated design sensibility and critical attention to detail to Hiram Banks Lighting Design.
Rudy received his MFA in Architectural Lighting at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Afterward he worked for the award-winning New York firms T. Kondos & Associates and Johnson Schwinghammer Lighting Design, which gave him experience on a variety of high profile national and international projects.
After relocating to the west coast in 2000, his project experience included a position as Design Associate with the San Francisco office of Architecture and Light, before establishing his own practice from 2005 through 2013. In 2014 he joined hospitality leader HBA’s Illuminate Lighting in Santa Monica, working on multiple international projects. Recently he returned to the Bay Area and joined Hiram Banks Lighting Design, where he brings 20+ years of project experience.
Rudy has established a design style that explores spaces as a sculptural composition through the use of light. Incorporating lighting within the architecture is paramount because, Rudy believes, it should not draw attention to itself but instead should support the interior architecture. This approach has contributed to an understanding of interior materials, finishes, and the spatial relationships needed to create a unique built environment that expresses the client’s unique style and culture.
Jorge Ruiz, born in Spain in 1985, recently moved from New York to San Francisco to join the HBLD team. His varied experience in the lighting design industry includes residential, corporate, hospitality, and wellness.
He started his career completing internships in Madrid and Rome, experiencing wide-ranging projects that led him to enter the lighting industry. After graduating from the Lighting Master’s program at Parsons in 2012, he realized that lighting not only is part of design but of human health, and he strongly feels that lighting is the most important component when conceiving architecture.
Passion, creativity and conceptual vision are blended with the technical aspects that guide the project from scratch. Jorge approaches lighting design based on the natural human response to light through the different times of the day, and believes that architectural lighting must consist of layers to better merge this natural component with the architecture.
"Good lighting integration with architecture is only accomplished when light is not being noticed as a source but as an effect"
Sriti has more than five years of experience in design on different continents. She comes with a blend of scientific and creative mindsets with a problem-solver attitude. Her exposure to different cultures throughout the course of her upbringing, education and professional pursuits have broadened her understanding of light and its significance. She firmly believes in a good design, where light and shadows both should speak the same artistic language.
Coming from a purely science background, Sriti entered the design world when she secured a position in one of the highly competitive Indian architecture schools, where her hard work and dedication earned her an Institutional Gold medal. During her early career as a professional architect, she was very influenced by the role of lighting in a space. She realized lighting is one of the most important tools for expression of architecture and, in order to learn more, moved to Germany in 2011 to pursue her Masters in Architectural Lighting design. From there her journey towards the light started. In 2012, she was awarded an IALD education trust scholarship.
"Even a space intended to be dark should have just enough light from some mysterious opening to tell us how dark it really is." - Louis Khan
Rebecca grew up in the Philadelphia area and received her B.F.A. in Sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2013. During this time, she explored spatial concepts through the creation of installations that incorporated sensors, sound, light, and working mechanical objects that reacted to the viewer and were created specifically for the spaces in which they were shown. She then went on to become a master fabricator for a custom furniture designer for several years, developing strong craftsmanship skills while continuing to develop her own work as a sculptor and musician. She moved to California in 2018 and began designing office environments as a Space Planner for a variety of corporate and non-profit organizations.
Rebecca believes that form, function, and conceptual depth are all of equal importance in developing strong designs. She seeks to create with purpose and intends to produce not just visually pleasing spaces but also memorable experiences for the end user. She is fascinated by the intangible, ephemeral quality of light and the power it has to transcend logic, creating a universe that defies its own physical boundaries. Because she has an understanding of the built environment from both the angle of the fabricator and the designer, she is able to generate innovative solutions to complex issues and situations. She is driven to pursue new knowledge, perspectives, and methods. Her recent transition to Hiram Banks Lighting Design has allowed her the chance to learn new skills and further immerse herself into a subject in which she is passionately interested.
Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Theerapa moved to the Bay Area to pursue her MFA in Interior Architecture and Design at Academy of Art University. While undertaking her education, she was fascinated by architectural lighting and recognized the significance of lighting design as a major part of interior design. She believes that well-designed architectural lighting not only enhances the design and support functions of the space, but also with color and intensity, it has a vast impact on users' emotional states and their behaviors in the space.
As a designer, Theerapa is responsible for supporting the team in many different aspects of the project- from drafting, developing lighting details, writing and editing specifications, to preparing budget documents and building mock ups. Theerapa enjoys learning and continuing her education in the workplace and expanding her knowledge through collaborating with her peers. She aims to bring her hardworking personality along with her skills and strengths in architectural design and interior design to Hiram Banks Lighting Design.
Colby is a high-energy, detail-oriented professional with deep experience in all things design-build, team management, strategy and planning, and consulting. He firmly believes in good old fashioned hard work, iteration, and integrity above all else.
A Colorado native, Colby moved west to attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where he dove headlong into understanding materiality, process, and California chaparral. Graduating with degrees in Architecture and Structural Engineering, he spent the next seven years in the trades developing his understanding of manufacturing processes, business, and craftsmanship. Pivoting from a luxury lighting production shop in Berkeley, Colby is excited and optimistic to be on the front end of the lighting design process in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets.
With his intrinsic obsession with common, large scale industrial materials, Colby draws inspiration from the surrounding built world and the many active jobsites in the South Park neighborhood. His hands-on background with fixture design is a pleasant benefit to the team.