Lighting designer Candace M. Kling, FIALD, known to family, friends, and colleagues as Candy, died on March 26. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Kling spent more than 40 years in the lighting industry, beginning her career in the theater. Following a high school passion for stage lighting, she worked as an assistant to Broadway lighting designer Jean Rosenthal, who designed the lighting for such noted productions as West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof in the 1950s and 1960s.
After her internship with Rosenthal, Kling transitioned from theatrical lighting to architectural lighting. In the process, she worked for leading lighting designers Howard Brandston, FIALD, and Jules Horton.
An opportunity to work for Marriott in their hotels division as their in-house lighting designer moved Kling from New York City to the Washington, D.C., area. It was one of the first instances of a hotel chain enlisting a lighting designer to oversee the lighting of their properties in such a dedicated fashion. Kling was responsible for creating lighting guidelines for the hospitality industry, guidelines that sought to support design while still meeting the day-to-day demands of maintaining global properties.
In 1980, Kling opened her own practice: C.M. Kling Light Design in Alexandria, Va. As the firm grew, the company name was changed to reflect that and became C.M. Kling and Associates.
With more than 2,500 projects worldwide to her firm’s credit, Kling’s work was characterized by sophisticated and thoughtful design strategies that focused on creating quality-lit environments. In 1991, the firm received a GE Lighting Award for its work on the main façade of Washington National Cathedral. Other notable projects include the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kling’s contributions to the lighting community spanned well beyond her design work. She was a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society and served as the chair of its Progress Report and Hospitality Committees. She was also a member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) to which she was named a Fellow in 2010. In addition, she served on the IALD Membership Committee and the Board of Directors, as well as the LIRC Steering Committee.
An ardent supporter of students and young professionals, she gave generously of her time and finances to the IALD Education Trust. David Ghatan, who worked for Candy for a number of years, and who will lead the firm going forward as principal, remembers her fondly. He said, “Candy’s inextinguishable light shined on many throughout her life, and will continue to be an inspiration.”