After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Ms. Monato came to New York City in 1989 as an International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) intern. She joined Renée Cooley Lighting Design in 1992 and in 1993 became a principal in that firm, now called Cooley Monato Studio (CoMoS). She is primarily responsible for project design/management & marketing.
CoMoS’s philosophy of integrating light within architectural elements can be seen in Ms. Monato’s design direction for projects both large and small. Various designs for Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Michael Kors, Barneys New York, The Related Companies and Tiffany & Co. showcase this approach to detail integration on national and worldwide scales. A number of projects under her direction have been recognized with lighting awards, most recently the IALD International Lighting Design Awards 2017 Award of Excellence for Barneys Downtown Flagship, New York.
Outside of project-related activity, Ms. Monato is a member of the IALD, the Designers Lighting Forum, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Additionally, she has been on the faculty at the New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Design-Graduate Lighting Design Program, as well as a lecturer and organizer for local and national conferences and seminars on lighting.
In addition to being one of the two principal designers within the Studio, Ms. Monato organizes training seminars for corporate facilities’ departments on lighting design basics and maintenance, and lectures within both the academic and industry venues.