into Lighting Design Ltd was founded on February 5th 1979 by Umberto Di Zenzo, Julian Dakowski and Robert Whyte-Moffat operating initially from a retail outlet on The Broadway, Wimbledon, London and then moving to a design office and showroom in Wimbledon Village in 1984. The initial focus was the uphill task of convincing the British consumer of the importance of good lighting and introducing well designed European fixtures from brands such as ERCO, Flos, Artemide, Foscarini, iGuzzini, Autographe and Roland Jamois to UK projects.
Nina Cutting and Robert Crow, acquired the shareholding of into Lighting Design Ltd in 1987 with a view to expanding the business from a retail-based company to a more commercially based lighting design operation. Nina took on the challenge, expanding the business from the small basement office in Wimbledon Village until 1989 when Robert joined her full time. The late Russell Lipscombe, who had been working closely with Robert at Erco Lighting, joined the Company within a short time to build and creatively direct the lighting design team.
During the 1980s and early 1990s into cemented its reputation as one of the go-to retail lighting design consultancies in the UK. In addition to its London design office the company established a head office focusing on project management in Surrey and later in Hampshire. into consulted on lighting strategies for many high street retail brands, such as French Connection, Habitat, Whistles, Jigsaw, Nat West and Oasis. The company also moved into the office sector working on major projects for the Royal Institute of British Architects, Merrill Lynch and HSBC.
In the mid-1990s into moved to a design studio in Putney and the current Directors Darren Orrow, Russell Ford and Duncan Hamilton joined Nina and Robert to help further broaden the company’s client base. During this period into completed the lighting design for flagship retail projects for Liberty, Harrods, Stella McCartney and House of Fraser along with rollouts for clients including Levi’s Europe wide, Nike, Paperchase and Porsche. As the retail focus was maintained, the portfolio of hospitality and office-based projects grew. into’s first hospitality commission, Petit Blanc restaurant in Putney for Raymond Blanc led to further hospitality work in the UK and Europe with the Sheraton, Hilton and Marriott hotel groups.
In the early 2000s into moved the London design studio to Shoreditch and took over the top floor of a warehouse space. At this time London was buzzing with new nightclub, bar and restaurant openings and into completed the lighting design for high profile hospitality projects for clients including Galvins and Mint Leaf, bars for Revolution nationwide and major London clubs for Chinawhite, Hed Kandi, Cuckoo Club, Boujis, 24 and Maya. High profile retail projects continued with flagship stores for Aquascutum, Lacoste and Mercedes. The role of lighting designers was now accepted as an integral part of a projects architectural design team and as business increased, the young dynamic team grew to 30+ employees skilled in lighting design, electrical engineering, product design and project management.
In 2005 into moved its London design office to Southwark, and this area of London has been home ever since. The company’s head office, covering project management and administration, remains in Hampshire to this day. Since 2005 into’s focus moved towards introducing more international work to complement its core UK client base, and today the company operates worldwide. into have completed lighting projects across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australia. The company’s work now spans all sectors, from Michelin starred restaurants to hotels, nightclubs, flagship retail stores, entertainment venues, corporate headquarters, cinemas and shopping centres. International work includes restaurant projects for Galvins, Lima and Ruya in Dubai, Inko Nito’s LA restaurant and Asics New York flagship, IL Milione in Hong Kong, World Duty Free in Australia, Yoo hotel Rio Brazil and Asics Europe wide retail rollout. UK work includes the Oblix, Hutong and Aqua restaurants in London’s iconic Shard, the 5 star Belmond Cadogan hotel, the Kennel Club, Asics’ flagship store on Regent Street and multiple sites for Everyman Cinemas, Flight Club and Puttshack.
Sadly, Nina passed away in April 2009. into continues to carry her vision forward operating under the leadership of Directors Darren Orrow, Russell Ford, Duncan Hamilton and Design Principal Anthony Stead who all remain very much involved with clients and design direction. The business strategy is overseen by Chairman Anthony Cutting. into’s team has now grown to 40 strong. The business has worked hard to retain staff long term with many employees passing 20 years’ service with the company. Employees past and present have been instrumental in the company’s growth, to further this into have established a career development pathway programme to ensure employees are regularly assessed and receive the guidance and training to develop as an individual.
The Directors are very much involved in promoting the lighting design profession, writing articles for international press, judging international design industry awards and speaking at international design events. into also delivers talks to architecture and interior design practices, and Directors feature as guest lecturers at various design colleges, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of interior and lighting designers. into is very proud to have worked with so many fantastic clients, interior designers, architects, suppliers and consultants over the last 40 years on such a wide range of projects worldwide. The company would like to extend its gratitude to all of these wonderful collaborators and looks forward to what the future has to offer.