· Article

Insider Story: An Architect Sees the Light

· Article

Insider Story: An Architect Sees the Light

Kurt Beres helps people see the world in a different way, literally. They probably don’t know it—they don’t see him, just the subtle results of his handiwork as an architect specializing in lighting design. “I can make your brain think a space is brighter than it is, even if it’s pretty dim just by evening out the lighting. Our brains are designed to perceive shadow, so when you have a great difference between a dark point and a light point, your brain responds differently, and thinks the whole space is darker.” Kurt is such an expert at making light more pleasing that his colleagues sometimes call him “The Evenator.”


Kurt’s studio works primarily on the large outdoor retail spaces known as town centers. He takes on various tasks, including code analysis, but lighting is his passion. “If you told me I got to do lighting design all day, I would be thrilled,” he says, describing with pride a recent project involving reproducing an 1880s staircase but adding color-changing LEDs within in each riser (the vertical portion of each step).


He also particularly likes drawing by hand, and guesses that his architecture-school graduating class was the last to go through all five years doing things the old-fashioned way. “I can do a lot more projects with computers, but there’s something to be said about the artistic quality of drawing it by hand,” he says. “They have this ethereal quality you can’t replicate.”


A few years back, one of Kurt’s town-center projects included a Sleep Number store, and about two years ago, he and his wife, Danielle, went there to buy their first Sleep Number bed. Before that, they’d been sleeping on a firm mattress, but it was too firm for Danielle. They got a softer one, but it was too soft for Kurt—so much so that he dreaded going to bed because he knew he’d wake up in the morning with a headache. “Even for a couple, it’s really hard to understand when the other person says they’re sleeping terribly, because you might be sleeping fine,” Kurt notes. “You don’t really understand that until you don’t sleep well.”


Sleep Number was their solution, allowing them both to have the bed they need to get a good night’s sleep—and to adjust the firmness, too, when necessary. Kurt and Danielle sometimes go kayaking with their two young sons, and their tandem kayaks aren’t exactly light—eighty to ninety pounds each. “You go paddling out there and you come back really sore,” Kurt says. “So there are days when her side [of the bed] will be a little bit softer and mine will be a little firmer.”


What is your Sleep Number setting? Kurt’s is 55 and Danielle’s is 35.


If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where would it be? In Kona, Hawaii. It’s where we got married, so it has personal significance and it’s also such a beautiful environment.


Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds with SleepIQ® technology inside sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping well all night long. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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