About & Team

Filamento is an independent lighting consultancy based in Lisbon, Portugal, which designs and creates inspiring light for people.

The company is the result of the combined experiences of our team members, who have worked in high profile consultancies and teams all over the world, and are able to respond to a very broad variety of technical challenges and multi-cultural environments. We collaborate with international teams of architects, engineers, designers and artists, focusing on designing better and more sustainable environments for the future.

Paula Rainha

Paula is a trained architect who, after finishing her M.Sc. in Light & Lighting in 2005, has embraced the architectural lighting design profession full on.She lived in London for 5 years, where she had the chance to work with great lighting teams and be a part of a strong lighting community in the UK Since she moved back to Portugal, 10 years ago, and lacking this professional and inspiring community, Paula has been raising awareness of the profession and the impact of lighting on the built environment amongst students, architects, engineers and clients. She had the chance to travel the world in search of lighting inspirations in 2011 through the competition, Light World Tour. This trip made her realise that worldwide, as lighting designers, we face similar challenges and how important it is to exchange experiences through a lighting community. In 2014, she founded Synapse, an independent lighting consultancy. In 2020, Synapse merged into the newly-founded practice, Filamento, joining forces with Joana Mendo. Filamento is currently working with several high-profile architects and clients on various projects from the urban to the residential scale. Paula is also the Women In Lighting project ambassador for Portugal.

Joana Mendo

Joana graduated as an Architect from the Faculdade de Arquitetura, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, in Lisbon in 2006, and later completed an M.Sc. in Light & Lighting at the University College of London. While in the UK, she also studied Theatre Production at Goldsmiths. In 2017, she finished a professional program of Urban Planning at Boston University.
In 2006, she moved to Berlin and worked as an architect for weber+würschinger architekten and as a lighting designer for Lichtvision. During her postgraduate studies in London, she collaborated with Seam Design Ltd., participating in lighting projects of several scales, from urban masterplans to high-end residential and retail. In 2012, back in Berlin, she joined Arup, a multi-national engineering and design company, where she dedicated her time to project management and developed a special interest in urban lighting on a global scale. In 2019, she decided to move to Portugal and started collaborating regularly with Paula Rainha and Synapse, co-leading the practice and managing the team and projects. In 2020, Joana founded Filamento with Paula Rainha and currently works on lighting projects of all scales for a wide range of clients.

Ricardo Leal

Ricardo has a MIARQ by Faculdade de Architecture da Universidade do Porto and took part in the Erasmus program at Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Between 2010 and 2014, he lived and worked in Paris as an architect and went back to Portugal in 2015, where he enrolled in a Wood & Carpentry Course at Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva. In 2017, he joined Synapse and has since then collaborated on several projects as a lighting designer from small to large scale.

Gaia Mazzara

Gaia completed a MArch at Politecnico di Torino in 2017, having done her Erasmus program in Faculdade de Arquitetura Universidade de Lisboa in 2015/16. In 2017, Gaia began her career as Junior Architect in Turin, working for BSA Bottega Studio Architetti Associati and SAMEA srl. Since 2018, she continued working in Lisbon as an architect for LNA Lda, furthering her formation in the areas of urban and building refurbishment, as well as becoming a member of the OASRS in 2019. In 2020, Gaia started collaborating full time with Filamento, getting involved in a variety of project scales and various stages of development.