Conversation with Owen Fernando Patia, the Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year 2022

January 2, 2023

We talked to Owen Fernando Patia, a student at the California College of The Arts and winner of the title of Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year 2022 about his inspiration behind the award-winning project AQUA.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Owen Fernando Patia, I am from Jakarta, Indonesia, and currently a student studying Interior and lighting design at CCA. Since childhood, the world around me has revolved around colors and preposterous imagination as I grew up loving fantasy genre movies. It has always been a dream of mine to once live in this fantasy; to incorporate the impossible into the reality of life.


How did you discover your passion for Lighting Design? Why did you choose to study Lighting Design at the California College of the arts?

Interior design was the answer to turning imaginations into reality. My college, California College of the Arts allowed me to explore every point of my imagination and taught me how to bring these fantasies into real-life application. It is only with the aid of lighting design can you optimize the mood and ambiance of a space.

Can you please share your creative journey behind “AQUA”? Where is your inspiration from?

The element, ‘water’ has always placed a place in my heart and I have been observing its elegant flow and beauty in movies and real life. Disney’s little mermaid was a significant inspiration for my project, AQUA, where I explored the fantastical reality of living underwater; how it would look and feel. AQUA is a unique theater design project where humans get to experience the mood and ambiance underwater.

What does it mean to you, to become the Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year 2022?

This recognition shows that my imaginations were not completely absurd. There are people in this world who appreciate my wild imagination, especially in such a technical industry as lighting design. It is a symbol of hope that I will carry throughout my journey as a designer.

What are you working on now? Can you share some glimpse of your next Lighting Design project?

Currently, I am working on a restaurant design project. It is called ‘Sanctuaire de Glace’, where I am mainly exploring lighting as a sequence.

You are just starting your career as a Lighting Designer… what do you want to do next?

Up until now, the majority of my projects have only come out in the form of digitalized conceptual renderings. I would love to start fantastical projects that support real-life applications, so in search of internships, I hope to gain these experiences.

Last, what shall we wish you for 2023?

I hope my imagination can keep growing along with the industry, so we will be able to turn a fantasy into reality.


View more about the project here.