about us

our director Sam Walle graduated from architecture at The University of Auckland and moved to the lighting and design hub of London where he worked for many years as an architectural ligting designer. Sam worked his way up the ranks and eventually ran a team of junior designers managing projects from resort hotels and master-planning to product design and installations around the world.

Sams experience spans across 19 countries and 13 time zones. He returned to New Zealand in 2017 and since then has been working in the background as the lighting expert on many large scale and well known projects around Oceania.

backed up by a collaboration of lighting design freelancers located in Europe, Australia and local fabrication, product design, visualisation and modelling specialists located locally in New Zealand, our variable team allows for project flexiblility.

Our function follows form approach to lighting allows the "vibe" and
"mood" of each project to prevail. For us lighting is a natural and exciting way to change a space and we always provide a unique solution tailored to each project.


dark arts have a flexible approach to any project. Please get in contact to see which ways we are able to help you with your project or learning.


We are always eager to hear from practicing designers and manufacturers to share and develop our own knowledge.

where are we?

dark arts studio

light architects


new zealand

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Our recent awards and press articles



2017 IES International Illumination Awards Merit

Kingfisher Redditch, Redditch

2017 Architects Journal Retrofit Award Winner, Retrofit Housing (Under £5 Million)

Printworks House, London

2017 Darc Awards Shortlist "Light Art"

Kingfisher Redditch, Redditch

2016 European Hotel Design Awards Winner, Event Spaces

Marriott Heathrow, London

2014 LUX Awards Commended

University of Oxford Natural History Museum, Oxford



February 2019, Arc Magazine

Mortimer House

November 2017, Dezeen

Mortimer House

Apr/May 2017, Mondo Arc

Solar Shopping, Kingfisher Redditch

November 2015, Darc Magazine

Multiplex at Selfridges with Tom Dixon

September 2015, Dezeen

Multiplex at Selfridges with Tom Dixon

November 2014, LUX Review

Oxford University Natural History Museum

March 2011, Vogue Magazine

Jo Loves Perfume Store, Estee Lauder

our world

Although based in Auckland, New Zealand our experience also includes many projects in other countries worldwide. We collaborate with other lighting designers working in other countries in order to reach project demands on different projects.

Some of our previous projects include the following areas:

  • Scotland

  • Northern Ireland

  • Republic of Ireland

  • Wales

  • England

  • Russia

  • Germany

  • Georgia

  • Italy

  • Portugal

  • Jordan

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Lebanon

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Bahrain

  • India

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

client and brands

Our designers have experience dealing with all types of clients including the following major international brands:

  • Marriott Hotels

  • Hyatt Hotels

  • Hilton Hotels

  • Sheraton Hotels

  • Fairmont Hotels

  • Le Meridian Hotels

  • Nhow Hotels

  • Holiday Inn Hotels

  • Landmark Hotels

  • Best Western Hotels

  • Vida Hotels

  • Mandarin Oriental Hotels

  • University of Oxford

  • University of Glasgow

  • University of Sheffield

  • Tom Dixon

  • Ted Baker

  • Selfridges

  • Callison RTKL

  • SRSS Singapore

  • SRSS Dubai

  • Estee Lauder

  • Jewish Care

  • Meryl Lynch

  • Emaar

  • EME

  • ECE

  • Oracle

  • Transocean

  • Paul Smith

  • Ernst and Young

  • Haribo

  • Barclay Banking

  • Sainsbury’s


dark arts studio

light architects

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