Case Study Details

LOCATION: San Francisco, CA


OLED Upgrade Transforms Once-Drab Conference Room into Awe-Inspiring Workspace for Engineers

The Challenge

As an architectural lighting designer, Craig
Oty, PE, IALD, likes to practice what he

And he envisioned the secondary
conference room just off the main lobby of
his San Francisco-based firm, Cammisa +
Wipf Consulting Engineers, as the perfect
canvas for him to display his talents.

Viewed through a ceiling-to-floor
glass window, the room is a five-sided,
Nevada-shaped polygon – which would
otherwise be rectangular if not for one
corner bisected by a 45° wall. Inside, is a
conference room table that comfortably
seats eight, that was originally illuminated
by pendant mounted linear direct/indirect
fluorescent lights that had no relationship
with the table below.

“Frankly, it didn’t feel like a conference
room. It was disorganized; just a room
with a table and chairs,” notes Oty, a
Senior Associate with the firm. “It didn’t
have any flair, so we have been scheming
to come up with a (lighting) solution that
would be more architecturally relevant
and OLED seemed like a strong choice.”

Incredibly thin and lightweight, OLED
fixtures provide focal points of sculpted
light that offer a variety of distinctive
form factors (like smaller-scale sculptural
pieces) heretofore unseen in the indoor
lighting industry. OLED lighting introduces
a new design paradigm where technology,
architecture, and lighting intersect with
human emotions. Increasingly, designers –
like Oty – are incorporating it into a wide
variety of interior lighting applications,
including corporate, hospitality, healthcare,
and residential.

With an OLED-featured lighting upgrade,
Oty hoped the conference room would
symbolize the ability of his firm to offer
dynamic architectural lighting designs for
its own clients.

“Our goal was to get architects to see it
and love it,” he explains, “and understand
the great things we can do with lighting.”

The Solution:

To bring his vision to life and bolster the
conference room’s lighting, Oty turned
to 16500 Inc., a factory-authorized
representative for Acuity Brands, one of
the world’s leading providers of lighting

Based on Oty’s lighting layouts and
product specifications, the Acuity
Brands/16500 team produced lighting
calculation analyses so that Oty could
evaluate lighting performance for each

Oty settled on a clever design centered on
a single OLED luminaire – a CANVIS HRZ
drape luminaire from Winona hanging
directly above and visually reinforcing the
conference room table. Supplementary
soft lighting is supplied by three sleek,
ceiling-recessed Peerless Mino 2x2
LED fixtures. Oty also worked with the
Acuity Brands/16500 team to utilize
Acuity Controls nLIGHT components to
complete the design as a fully integrated
and intelligent lighting solution.

The draping CANVIS fixture appears to
be floating in air, suspended dramatically
from the ceiling by a set of sweeping and
nearly imperceptible cables. Its flexible,
horizontal frame houses 66 OLED panels
individually encased in injection-molded
polymer cassettes, producing an elegant,
curvilinear gesture reminiscent of a rope
bridge over a river gorge.

To Oty’s delight, there’s nothing typical
about it, and it incites a reaction from
anyone who sees it.

“People who look at it the first time, with
the light turned off, ask ‘How can you get
light out of something like that?’” Oty
notes. “Then, you turn it on – and they
instantly see the transformation.”

The Result:

Since installing the OLED and LED
system in the small conference room,
Oty has seen it make an immediate and
stunning impression on co-workers and
visitors alike.

But it’s more than just a showpiece. The
new lighting system has stimulated greater
use of the small conference room, which
adjoins a larger, 30-seat conference room.

Oty explains that the lighting – controlled
by a dimming system – is functional as
well as inspiring, enabling co-workers to
use the room for formal presentations,
casual conversations, or to engage in
more detailed work.

Now that he’s seen firsthand the lighting
design options that OLED can create, Oty
envisions weaving OLED into designs for
certain Cammisa + Wipf clients seeking to
add zest to an entryway, conference room,
or other area intended to evoke surprise
and wonderment.

Certainly, the form factor allows for some
pretty unique shapes that you couldn’t get
before,” he says. “OLED can really punch
up the design of any space.”