The legendary William M. C. Lam shares his view of the lighting design history and his design approach

William M.C. Lam (1924-2012) was president of the lighting design office Lam Partners Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his Bacholor of Architecture degree from MIT in 1949. He has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and MIT and served as a lighting design consultant on more than 1500 projects. His numerous articles have been used as lighting texts in schools of architecture, design, and engineering all over the world. He is the author of the books “Perception and Lighting as Formgivers for Architecture” (McGraw-Hill, 1977) and “Sunlighting as Formgiver for Architecture” (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1986) and published guidelines like “Approach to Design of the Luminous Environment” (State University Construction Fund, 1976). For “Architectural Record” he wrote articles like “Lighting for Architecture” (1963), “Lighting for Cities” (1965) and “North American office lighting over four decades” (1989). Some publication are available online at the website William M. C. Lam.


  • Richard Kelly
  • Communicating Lighting Concepts
  • Lighting Washington Metro
  • Lighting Streets
  • Lighting Restaurants
  • Decorative Lighting
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • LED Lighting

The interview was done in 2007 in his home in Cambridge.