lighting design

What I Know – Anna Taddei

Lets share the emphasis on learning and becoming comfortable within not just an industry, but also a language.

Keeping our ‘What I Know series moving, lets share a perspective from Anna Taddei, our junior designer.

From Italy To England, How Did Your Path Lead To Michael Grubb Studio?

I studied Industrial Design at the University of Genoa, in Italy. At the end of my third year I decided that it was time to further my education, but overseas.

I moved to England and completed a Masters of Arts (MA) in Architectural: Spatial Practices at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB). The focus was on how interior and exterior is used and interacted with. This I find fascinating.

Whilst my English was by no means perfect, one of my friends from back home was studying a design related course in Southampton. I was impressed with what she was learning. The emphasis in the UK is on a much more practical level of study. I decided to make that move.

How Difficult Was Learning A Language & Studying For An MA At The Same Time?

Hand on heart, it was difficult.

However, I have always been prepared for a challenge. I think a key reason for leaving home was my sister had moved to Australia. Being independent and taking on board new experiences has always been something that I have embraced.

I arrived in the UK only knowing one person. Where I am today, I am part of a close-knit team in a beautiful place on the south coast (being a keen swimmer also helps). However, I am still learning every day.

How Did You Connect With Michael Grubb Studio?

annaMy MA had a focus on public realm projects, so the link with the studio was there.

A key part of my study, that I explored further, was how a project relates back to a community with a defined narrative.

My final project was centred on Kings Park, in Bournemouth. The emphasis on space and the people who interact with it was a key part of this project. This is also a major principal and belied within Michael Grubb Studio.

My connection to the studio started from making the association between the Gardens Of Light and the company that had curated the project. I loved the vibrancy of bringing the Gardens to life at Christmas. From finding out about the company, I decided to send a CV to Mike. It was a case of being in the right place, at the right time.

Which Projects Have Provided The Biggest Reward?

Moving from my studies to a commercial capacity, seeing AUB in a new light and from both sides of my education/career was interesting. From building a close affinity with the university and then becoming a focus from a professional angle, will always have a close connection with me.

This idea of a ‘close connection’ is also something that has happened very recently and working with Lush.

Since November 2016, I have stepped up my own accountability with the Lush team and one of their latest stores has just been opened in Rimini, a popular coastal region in Italy. Helping be a part of this particular launch, goes much deeper on a personal level.

How Do You Learn?

The biggest form of learning is to have exposure with a hands on approach. This practical aspect is key for any form of development.

For instance, working with the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge, has provided a wealth of knowledge from understanding the distance to install lighting to colour temperatures.

Being able to do this is helping me learn and thrive. This is something that no lecturer can teach you.

It is not just the practical side, but also the personal interaction as a source of learning. The opportunities to meet with clients are invaluable. Taking things face to face and away from an email encourages people to understand one another better. This is how we become comfortable with each other.

If Someone Was Looking To Make That Next Step From Education To Commercial Progression, What Advice Would You Give?

Everything starts with little steps. There are too many people proclaiming how successful they are in such a short space of time. This is just not true for the majority of us.

Whilst I am at a junior level, at the moment, this is an industry that I love being part of. It is an industry I am becoming comfortable with, but appreciate that hard work and persistence are key tools to take on board.

Even if you left University with a fantastic grade and slick portfolio, the commercial world is a completely different culture. You have to learn from others and recognise that the hard work doesn’t stop when you graduate, you have only just shut the gate behind you to follow your path.



Thanks to Anna for sharing her journey. The team at Michael Grubb Studio are from a diverse range of design backgrounds. One thing that glues us together is to be relentlessly curious how lighting shapes the world we are part of, no matter what industry sector.

Come and have a look at the team and what we believe in, click here.