What’s Next with Nuno Pires da Silva


What’s Next with Nuno Pires da Silva

Our newly named Vice President of Design discusses modernism and the collaborative process

Nuno Pires da Silva brings a global mindset as our newly named Vice President of Design at SONNEMAN. After completing his formal training and early work experience across Europe, Nuno made his way to New York and, eventually, the design studio of Robert Sonneman where he worked under his close mentorship. We sat with Nuno to discuss his insights on design and the collaborative process that fuels lighting innovation.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Portuguese and was born in France, so my background in design began throughout Europe. I studied product design in Lisbon and Milan during my foundational years as a student where I became drawn to the modernist perspective and how it can be applied to today. After my formal education, I worked in furniture and lighting design with some incredibly talented designers and global architectural studios for twelve years before my journey led me to New York. I’ve lived here for almost a decade now, with a sizable portion of my time working under the mentorship of Robert Sonneman.

What is your perspective on design and lighting?

I use an integrated, modernist-influenced approach that expands upon the popular dictate that form follows function. This idea is really a springboard to creating contemporary solutions to complex design problems rather than an aesthetic boundary. And with lighting, we consider everything from scale, site-specificity and manner of illumination as they relate to the spatial whole. Lighting is not just a functional aspect of a space, but a dynamic expression of these principles entwined with the latest technology and current culture.

How do you approach the design process?

Design is about perspective which, for me, means my approach is rooted in a clear vision and a message from a singular point of view that’s elevated by the collaborative process with my team. No great product design can be achieved alone—it’s the result of a collective. I’m honored to work with a diverse team of industrial designers, engineers, graphic designers and more. It’s together that we create inspired illumination that incorporates different perspectives and skills.


Now that you’re at the helm, what’s next for SONNEMAN?

We have a bright future ahead. This year, our teams are focused on pushing the boundaries of lighting design—just as we have in the past. We’re committed to making enhancements to our current systems while introducing new fixtures to broaden our scope of styles, finishes and configurations. Our 2024 Collections, which we’re excited to debut at Lightovation, demonstrate just this. We’re also focused on sustainability as we intensify our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver enduring solutions for our clients. Overall, I’m thrilled with what lies ahead and have conviction in our design collective to illuminate the future with innovation, style and sustainability.

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