Richard Kelly (lighting designer)

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Richard Kelly (1910–1977) was an American lighting designer, considered one of the pioneers of architectural lighting design.[1] Kelly had already established his own New York-based lighting practice in 1935 before enrolling at the Yale School of Architecture. He graduated from there in 1944. Kelly characterized the difficulty in selling lighting consultancy, then a new discipline, when he reflected, "There weren't lighting consultants then. Nobody would pay for my ideas, but they would buy fixtures."[2]

By the 1950s, his work in lighting design led him to coin the terms 'focal glow', 'ambient luminescence' and 'play of brilliants' to describe particular effects in lighting design.[2] His later career also saw him lecture at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard University.

After his death, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America established the Richard Kelly Grant in his name to encourage creativity in lighting among young people.[1]

Notable projects[edit]

Richard Kelly's most notable projects saw him collaborate with architects including Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen, and Louis Kahn. Such lighting projects include:

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Illuminating Engineering Society's Richard Kelly Award profile". Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  2. ^ a b "Bio from". Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Richard Kelly Grant website". Retrieved 2009-08-15.