Designer Profile: Kate Furst

Name: Kate “The Great” Furst

Title: Principal Lighting Designer

Years Worked at VT: Just over 8 years.

Favorite Project: The Jameson Bow Street Project. I was able to be a part of it from the very beginning, go to site, and be there through opening. I also really love Irish Whiskey! 

I actually lobbied Lisa for this project. Originally, it was going to be assigned to Mike and so I went and knocked on Lisa’s hotel door and told her that I thought this project should be mine! 

Funniest or most memorable memory at Visual Terrain: I had the opportunity to fly in a helicopter from Burbank to Orange County.  A lighting group was launching a new product line and they wanted as many lighting designers as possible. So they offered Steven, Bryan, Corey and I a helicopter flight! They flew us over the whole city, Universal Studios and Downtown LA.

On the way back, it was amazing to see the evolution of street and area lighting in the city; what parts still have sodium vapor lights and which parts had LED, it was really cool to see from a lighting design perspective. 

Favorite Aspect of Lighting Design: I see lighting as the union of art and technology and I love where they meet; in this experiential and intangible medium. I think that is a really unique thing about what we do and how we need to think. I enjoy playing with numbers and metrics, then turning those data points into something beautiful. It is really fun!

What/Who Inspires You: I really love being in nature and seeing the natural world. I went to Yosemite for the first time last year and it was absolutely awe-inspiring. It was a good reminder that mother nature is the best lighting designer.

My co-workers inspire me every day. I love the way that lighting designers think and I find that working with other lighting designers is really inspiring. It’s also why I’ve gotten involved as a volunteer with lighting design organizations like the IES and IALD.

Fun Fact About Yourself that No One Knows: During COVID, I’ve sort of adopted a pet peacock.  He is wild and roams our neighborhood. I’ve started putting out nuts and seeds for him and now he spends multiple hours a day with me.  Peanuts are his favorite!

What is your favorite part about being a lighting designer? All of the places it takes and all of the people I’ve gotten to meet because of it. I travel a lot because of this job and I got to go to a lot of places. I’ve met a lot of amazing people.