Thomas Emde




Thomas Emde started his artistic career as a painter. The materiality and perception of color quickly became the focus of his work.

Light soon appeared as an additional element: color and daylight were intermingled to create environments of colored light. The concentration on the medium of light, as the immaterial vehicle for conveying color, was the next logical step. Alongside smaller light objects, beginning at the end of the 1990s he executed numerous architecturally-related light art projects both at home and abroad. Thomas Emde has devoted himself exclusively to artistic architectural lighting since 1999, maintaining offices in Frankfurt am Main and Doha (Qatar).

The underlying approach Thomas Emde invariably pursues for an architectural lighting project is to first define the light conditions of the area or structure and then develop the correspondingly ideal methods of technical implementation. This approach has allowed for the development of new product solutions and numerous now-patented, innovative lighting technologies.


Thomas Emde was born 1959 in hessian Korbach. After leaving school he completed an apprenticeship to become a color retoucher at the publishing house of the Frankfurter Rundschau. In 1993, he began his studies of Fine Arts at the Art University Kassel, continued them in 1985 at the Berlin University of Arts, where he completed his studies in 1990, being part of the master class program of Kuno Gonschior.
In 1990, he attained the yearly announced scholarship of the Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung and the city of Frankfurt/Main, where Thomas Emde lives and works ever since.

After a successful international career as an artist he began working intensely with light as a medium and material for his projects. In 1999 he founded the company emdelight, realizing numerous large-scale architectural lighting projects. His extraordinary success in the Middle East led in 2011 to a second office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Thomas Emde and his team decided in 2013 to henceforth devote themselves to the development and marketing of interior lighting. It is their goal to create people-friendly “good light” and act against the increasing light pollution. In autumn of that same year, Thomas Emde founded the company emdedesign GmbH and the luminary brand for the above stated purpose.

Since 2015, Thomas Emde and his company have been partners in national and EU-wide R & D projects in the field of OLED technology, where new applications and usage possibilities are developed. As an initiator, he co-founded the OLED-Licht Forum in 2018 together with Merck AG and Osram.