CannonDesign Launches Lighting Design Studio and Names Sara Schonour Leader

Expansion of lighting specialty service enhances full-service integrated design firm’s creative presence and client-based practice

BOSTON, MA – May 8, 2015 – CannonDesign, a global architecture and engineering firm, proudly announces the formalization of its Lighting Design Studio comprised of a team of lighting designers located in its Boston, Chicago and Grand Island, New York offices. Boston-based Associate Vice President Sara Schonour, LC, Associate IALD, LEED AP will lead the Lighting Design Studio.

CannonDesign’s ideas-based practice is focused on providing client solutions that create healthy and nurturing places, make intelligent use of resources, and turn challenges into opportunities in order to design a successful future together with clients. Equipped with the highest industry credentials and more than 100 years of collective experience, the CannonDesign Lighting Studio offers a comprehensive suite of lighting and daylighting design services.

“Over the years, Sara has demonstrated the talent, passion and leadership skills that make her the perfect choice to lead this practice area,” said Robin Cibrano, east region director at CannonDesign. “We strive to provide our clients with high performance, low energy lighting solutions to minimize the economic and environmental impacts of lighting while creating great spaces for a wide range of clients with diverse lighting needs.”

As the head of the Lighting Studio, Sara will ensure the contribution of integrated, inspired lighting design to the entire range of the firm’s project markets. In addition, she will spearhead business development efforts and manage the growth of the Studio as she champions this specialized service offering within CannonDesign. With a degree in Architectural Engineering and a focus in Lighting Design from the Pennsylvania State University, her deep understanding of architectural design, building systems and light allows her seamless integration with members of project design teams all over the world. Sara is a champion of the environment and strives to deliver lighting solutions that are functional, beautiful, relevant and sustainable. She is Lighting Certified (LC) and a LEED Accredited Professional, as well as a member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Sara sits on the board of the Designer’s Lighting Forum of New England (DLF-NE), and is a frequent guest lecturer at industry conferences and events and local universities.

“Lighting plays an essential role in architecture and the experience of space, so including Lighting Design as a specialty service for the firm is a natural fit,” said Schonour. “Basic lighting has always been – and will continue to be – part of our engineering scope of services, but we have the capabilities in-house to take lighting design to the next level. This requires an intimate and dedicated understanding of light and lighting technology. I’m thrilled the firm continues to embrace this aspect of our work.”

Sara and her team of lighting designers have contributed award-winning lighting design to projects across the globe, with recent projects including MD Anderson Banner Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona (IALD Award of Excellence recipient); the CJ Corporation “Only One” Experience Center in Seoul, South Korea; the Buffalo Sabres Locker Room Renovation in Buffalo, New York (IES Award of Merit recipient); the Comcast Spotlight Center in Chicago; and several laboratory projects for Tufts University in Boston and the surrounding area (IES Award of Merit recipients).

About CannonDesign

Recognized for design excellence, technological innovation, and client service, CannonDesign is a diversified global design firm with more than 1,000 employees in 15 offices. With a mission to advance design solutions to the greatest challenges facing its clients and society, CannonDesign is ranked among the leading international firms in planning and design for healthcare, education, corporate, and government clients. For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter @CannonDesign.

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