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.
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 design intern, 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.
Joe brings over 10 years of experience to the Hiram Banks Lighting Design team. He earned his Masters in Architectural Engineering where the emphasis of his studies was in building electrical systems and architectural lighting design.
Joe has a deep understanding of the construction and architectural design delivery process and has experience on a variety of project types including healthcare, education, corporate, hospitality, commercial and residential. Joe knows the importance of establishing and maintaining good working relationships with architects, contractors and interior designers. His experience allows him to work closely with the design team to produce a lighting design that is fully developed, seamlessly integrated and meets or exceeds all of the project design requirements.
Joe is an effective team leader but he knows the value in being a team player. He understands the importance of maintaining a balance between the artistic lighting design concepts and to the development of the analysis and calculations to ensure a successful and comprehensive lighting design.
Zack is a recent transplant to the Bay Area from New York City. He brings with him over five years of experience in architectural lighting design, having worked as both a project manager and designer on a wide variety of high profile jobs around the country.
With a background in lighting for film and television production, Zack understands the power of light to tell stories. He approaches each project looking for dramatic opportunities with light that enhance the design concept and fulfill the functional and technical needs of the client. As an artist, he’s constantly exploring the relationship between light and material in sculpture and photography through the use of neon, colored light, and rocks and minerals.
His unique combination of technical experience and creative thinking makes him a welcome addition to the Hiram Banks team.
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"
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.