Studio Lux Team


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Christopher Thompson, IALD, MIES, SBID

Founder & Principal

Whether working under the rain-drenched skies of Seattle, the desert sun of Palm Springs California or the street lights of Paris, Christopher Thompson and his team at Studio Lux embrace a common goal on all their projects, the successful interplay of light and the human condition.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Christopher began his career in live theater where he became fascinated by the relationship between light and emotion, and the way subtle changes in stage lighting could dramatically shift audience perceptions.  Christopher went on to train in theatrical lighting techniques, which culminated in his role as lighting director for an opera company tour.

Christopher then took the unusual step of pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in construction. This skill set, assimilating both the arts and the sciences in his approach to lighting, is rare among his peers. He is uniquely poised to embrace newly evolving lighting technology and practice the artistic application of his trade within the architectural and design community.

Successfully marrying the fundamentals of engineering with the emotional exploration of fine arts has becomes the hallmark of the Studio Lux team. Christopher is known for his remarkable ability to deliver stunning results in the face of complex challenges on projects through out the world.

The recipient of more than a dozen industry awards and honors, Christopher is now pursuing a master’s degree in Green Building Design as he continues to keep Studio Lux ahead of an ever-evolving technology curve.

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Emlyn Altman, LC, MIES

Partner & Manager

Emlyn brings to Studio Lux a unique combined specialization in lighting, architectural design, sculpture, and 3D visualization to all of her projects. She marries form with function by seamlessly integrating illumination into projects to enhance the architectural and interior design experience. With over 19 years practicing in the architectural design industry, her breadth of experience includes a diverse range of project types such as: Hospitality (Brand-name and boutique hotels as well as large scale luxury casinos), Residential (single and multi-family), Entertainment, Retail, Education (K-12 and Higher-Ed), Healthcare, Laboratory, Sports Facilities, Corporate, Government, and Transportation projects as well as illuminating large-scale art installations.

Emlyn is Lighting Certified (LC) by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) since 2005, and an active member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), at the local and national levels, since 2001. She was the first recipient of the International Association of Lighting Designers’ (IALD) Scholarship, and in 2006, she was one of the first recipients of Building Design and Construction magazine’s “40 Under 40” hotshot designers in the country award.

Emlyn serves as Chair for the national Illumination Engineering Society’s Hospitality Lighting Committee where she contributed to the creation of the publication, “Hotel Lighting Design Guidelines” manual (DG-25). Since 1999, she has presented at conferences such as Lightfair International, HD Expo and HD Boutique (now HD Americas), the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Annual Conference, and Autodesk University. She is frequently requested to be a guest lecturer for graduate school architecture/interior design courses as well as at local IES section meetings around the country. Her work, insights, and writings have been published in periodicals such as: LD+A, Lodging Hospitality, Architectural Lighting, Display and Design Ideas, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Outside of her academic and professional work, she also enjoys being active in community theater productions – both onstage and behind the scenes.

Emlyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude) from Mount Holyoke College where she majored in Fine Arts (sculpture) and minored in Math. She also holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Design Studies degree with Distinction from Harvard University - where her focus was on digital design for architecture.



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Director, Los Angeles Studio

As the Director of Studio Lux’s Los Angeles studio, John Dunn brings over 18 years of experience in architectural lighting design, client relations, and business management. Every project is approached as an opportunity and a commitment to create a distinctive and inspiring environment with sensitivity to budget and maintenance. John does not look at any two projects the same and works closely with clients from pre-design through project closeout, tailoring reflective and innovative solutions to fulfill their unique goals.  As a LEED Accredited Professional, he views the legacy of sustainable stewardship as an organically integrated part of his design process.

John’s distinguished design work has been honored with over 20 local and national illumination awards. His vast experience consists of an eclectic range of project types and sizes, including convention centers, performing arts facilities, K-12 and higher education, offices, transportation facilities, sports facilities, hospitality, retail, museums, historic renovations, and residences. His projects have been featured in national and international publications such as LD+A, MondoArc, Illuminate, GreenSource, Auditoria, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design.

John is a Professional Member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and is Lighting Certified (LC) by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP). In addition, he is a LEED BD+C Accredited Professional by the USGBC and an Affiliate Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  As a strong advocate of the design community, he served over 10 years as a Board Member on the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s (IESNA) Los Angeles section, in positions such a President and Awards Chair.  A passion for mentoring and outreach is expressed in his numerous lecturing engagements for educational institutes including the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and Woodbury University, along with various professional organization events and continuing education courses for the Designer’s Lighting Forum and IES.

John holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural/Illuminating Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. The renowned program exposed him to the challenges of resolving complex designs with the combination of artistry, creativity, and technology. This blending of art and science applied in his design approach is also informative of several of his outside interests, such as oenology, the study and art form of winemaking, as well as the design and construction of vintage tube based stereo electronics. 


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Jim Sultan

Retired, Advisory Committee

Jim Sultan is an influential voice in defining new lighting standards for the industry. He joined Studio Lux in 1999, adding another layer of depth and technical knowledge to the design team.

With more than 30 years of experience under his belt, Jim continues to be challenged by his work. “Every project has its own character, and thus is fresh. We don't do ‘cookie cutter' design, but rather tailor each design to the owner's requirements and to augment the architecture and interior design. In that way I can continue to be excited about each project as I see new challenges to address.”

Among his clients, Jim is known for being fiercely protective of their interests. Among his colleagues, he is an industry leader, frequent lecturer and mentor. He has helped develop college lighting design curricula and served on several committees and the Board of Directors of the Illuminating Engineering Society [IES].

The recipient of numerous honors, Jim was bestowed with the IES Presidential Award for his accomplishments and long-time service.