Blog Partner: Reggiani

Was alles ist Lichtdesign?

by Joachim Ritter

Lichtdesign hat seinen Ursprung in der Architektur und dem Stagedesign. Doch das Gestalten mit Licht hat in unserer modernen Welt einen breiteren Raum eingenommen, der sich über die Grenzen der Architektur hinweg bewegt. Und damit ist nicht nur gemeint, dass Licht neue Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten in der Beleuchtung von Kunst bedeutet oder wie Licht Einfluss auch das Wohlbefinden der Menschen haben kann bis hin zu Genesungsprozessen im Krankenhaus. Nein, Licht ist mehr denn je von zentraler Bedeutung für unsere technologische Zukunft.

Ein Beispiel ist die Digitale Welt. Gestalten mit Licht ist eine der zentralen Themen unserer Welt von Bits und Bytes. Ganze Kinoproduktionen werden im Computer gestaltet und entwickelt. Videospiele sind größtenteils nichts anderes als die Schaffung von neuen Welten, in dem das Spiel zu erleben ist. Eine höchst interaktive Anwendung.

Silo 468 Helsinki Finland

Silo 468 in Helsinki. Lightuing design: Light Collective

Digital und interaktiv sind aber auch schon die Medienfassaden, die schon Teil unseres aktuellen Lebens sind. Wir reden nicht mehr von der Zukunft, sondern von der Gegenwart.

Vor kurzem habe ich einen wissenschaftlichen Beitrag über die Fortbewegung von Weltraumschiffen gesehen. Der Mensch drängt unaufhaltsam in die Tiefe des Weltalls vor. Der Mars soll im Jahr 2022 bis 2014 angeflogen werden und ist als Hub für weitere tiefere Weltraumflüge geplant. Das Problem ist, dass der aktuell vorhandene Treibstoff nicht die Reichweiten garantieren kann. Und jetzt kommt’s: Der Treibstoff der Zukunft ist Licht. Ein Sonnensegel wird im Weltall aufgespannt und die Lichtstrahlen bewegen das Raumschiff so als würde es von Wind getrieben. Die Lichtstrahlen werden auf dem hundert Quadatmeter großem Segel reflektiert und so das Raumschiff bewegt. Sie glauben das ist noch eine Vision? Falsch, im diesem Frühjahr 2014 wurden erfolgreiche Test durchgeführt, die dieses Konzept als funktionsfähig belegt haben.

ATK Space System

Photo: NASA

Hier auf unserer guten Erde wird dieses natürlich nicht im täglichen Gebrauch Einzug finden, aber es wird doch eine Inspiration sein uns unserer gegenwärtige Welt.

Licht also ist nicht mehr nur Raum- oder Fassadenbeleuchtung. Licht steht für Gesundheit, Kommunikation, Digitales Leben, Energie und Energiesparen, Landwirtschaft und Überleben, eigentlich für alles, was unsere Leben im Universum ausmacht.

Sicherlich hat das Albert Einstein schon zu seiner Zeit gesehen. Allerdings die Bedeutung des Lichtes eben zu seiner Zeit den Menschen deutlich zu machen, hat wohl selbst ihn überfordert…

What shall we do until the next PLDC?

by Joachim Ritter

I have good news for you – you do not have to wait another twelve months to get that PLDC feeling! This autumn already a number of international Partner Events and PLDC warm-ups will be taking place, which are all associated with PLDC 2015 and which we are supporting. Why? Well, we have been talking to the organisers and creative minds behind these various events and have established that we share a similar philosophy when it comes to staging conferences. It therefore makes sense for us to recommend these conferences to the lighting design community.

From 6. to 8. November the third EILD (Encuentro Iberoamericano de  Lighting Design) conference will be held in Medellin in Columbia. The initiative started by the lighting design community in Latin America has developed to become a successful conference, this year with a practical workshop organised up front in the public realm. EILD conferences take place every two years, alternating with PLDC. After Valparaiso in Chile in 2010 and Queretero in Mexico in 2012, Medellin/Columbia is now the third location. The papers are excellent and the atmosphere positive and rewarding. EILD corresponds entirely with the idea behind PLDC.

The focus of the third version of EILD 2014, is reflected on the words of the poet Manoel Barros since the objective of this meeting is to show the participants how the work with light must be oriented to the OBSERVATION passing through the ACTION and ending in DESIRE.

To OBSERVE the existing light, understanding and discussing its environment and the culture that sorrounds it. TO DO, focusing on the action of creating a lighting project that ultimately ends in the DESIRE to see the final result of the process.

“Light for everyone, everyday””, aims to create spaces for discussion and reflection,  where participants discover other aspects of lighting. This approach leans to the social impact that working with light generates, allowing the development of transformative projects.

www.eild.org

The lighting conference taking place on 17. October in Istanbul/TR is especially interesting because the Turkish market is growing so dynamically right now. The one-day event is an official warm-up to PLDC 2015 in Rome. The topics are cutting-edge and the speakers first-class. With Tapio Rosenius, Koert Vermeulen, Allan Ruberg, and Nadine van Amersvoort and Teun Vinken the programme will be focussing on lighting in the public realm in the 21st century. This will include lighting for complex projects, the way urbanisation is shaping lighting solutions, new technologies for cultural heritage sites, and interaction design with light. In the coming years a new airport is to be built in Istanbul, the biggest in Europe apparently, and a master plan is being developed for an entire quarter of the city. A truly inspiring warm-up!

www.istanbul.pld-c.com/

Two further Partner Events will be taking place simultaneously in Aarhus/Denmark and Teheran/Iran.

cityhallinstallation_4_web_RS

Media Architectural Biennale 2014 is a high quality event showing that the furture of lighting design including media design has already begun.

From 19. to 22. November, architects, designers and artists will meet with academia and industry at the Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus, with a pre-event in Copenhagen. Across professions and nationalities, participants will be able to create and discuss the media architecture of the future and investigate how media architecture is already shaping people’s lives in cities around the world: via media facades and urban screens, and via buildings that communicate – be it with colourful LEDs, flashing light bulbs, or via heat-sensitive concrete that ‘freezes’ the shadows of passers-by.

Media architecture is an increasingly important digital layer in cities all over the world. It is a part of shopping malls, casinos, digital signs and commercials. And it holds great potential as a mouthpiece for the public and a peephole into the heart of the government. The latter was the case when citizens’ comments and the municipality activities were visualized on the Aarhus city hall tower during the Media Architecture Biennale 2012. It was also the case, when back in 2001 people in Berlin were invited to be part of an installation with animations using 144 lit-up windows in a central high-rise building – the Blinkenlights project.

MAB takes places every two years between the PLDC years.

www.mab14.org

Do you know where the biggest shopping mall in the world is currently being built? Wrong: not China, nor India. The correct answer is Teheran in Iran.

The second Iran Lighting Design Conference will also be taking place from 19. to 21. November, 2014 in Teheran/Iran. Why is this event worth a mention? Well, Iran is on the brink of a building boom. Political changes have led to western investors setting foot in the country and becoming pro-active. The will to modernise the Iranian society is very strong. The shopping mall currently under construction is by no means an isolated case. The road on which numerous malls are due to be built is 50 kilometres long.

Which is why the first conference last year attracted 1000 professionals. This year they are expecting up to 1500 attendees.
The conference is an official Partner Event of PLDC.

www.ild-c.ir

The Challenge – Update Student Speaker Competition

by Joachim Ritter

I don’t know how you feel when you see young people embarking on learning more about a specific topic or subject, and then starting to devote increasingly more time and attention to studying it, and in the end becoming totally engrossed. I have always found this very moving – especially when it comes to lighting design.

For a start, it is wonderful to see how the topic of Light can move the next generation. Light is clearly not boring, but exciting, diverse, multi-faceted – a design topic. But light is also complex and profound. Many people only discover just how complex and profound it is when they start to get more involved with (day)light and how – and above all why – it is applied. There is much to be discovered beneath the surface. Whole new worlds open up and every question posed gives rise to ten new ones.

That is why we never stop talking about light and lighting and want to know more. Young students nowadays go far deeper into the topic and pose questions that never even occurred to us 20 years ago. And yet sometimes these inquisitive young talents need a personal coach to help them reach their goals faster.

This is where The Challenge comes in. The Challenge is a student speaker competition which we are staging in the build-up to PLDC 2015 in Rome, where it reaches its climax.

In Round I, 47 students from 13 universities around the world stepped up to The Challenge and submitted topics they would like to give a presentation on. The challenge is to prepare, research and present a professional paper on an exciting and relevant topic. Before they are coached by six experienced lighting designers, they have to overcome a first hurdle and submit a three-minute filmed “elevator pitch” (Round II) explaining why the topic is important for them, what they want the audience to understand and how they intend to get their message across.

Which brings me back to one of the first comments I made in this blog. I was extremely moved to see how much time and effort many of these young people had invested to present themselves and their ideas.

We have put together a sampler of the filmed “elevator pitches” to give you an impression of the interest The Challenge has aroused and the commitment with which the students have applied themselves.

The submitted “elevator pitches” are now being reviewed and evaluated by the five professional designers and coaches – Iain Ruxton, Tapio Rosenius, Brendan Keely, Florence Lam and Emrah Baki Ulas – and the best 15 will be invited to present a 20-minute paper at the mini-conference in Edinburgh in February 2015 (Round III). The best five speakers in Edinburgh will be coached and prepared to present their papers to a professional audience at PLDC 2015 in Rome as part of the official programme. Each of the designers will coach one student. The students’ travel and hotel expenses will be paid and they each receive a ticket to PLDC. The best student speaker in Rome will be awarded a prize. And I am pretty sure the coaches will be as keen to see their student capture the audience’s undivided attention as the speakers themselves …

The PLDC team are already “hooked”!.

For partnering the project we express our sincere thanks to:

Principle partner:  Philips_Logo
Supporting partner:  logo_reggiani_RGB

For more information see here

 

“Share my expertise? Why should I?”

Why you should present a paper at PLDC.

by Joachim Ritter

“Is there any justifiable reason why I should share my know-how with anyone else?” That was a question that was heard a lot within the lighting design community 20 years ago – insofar as there was a lighting design community in those days. There were actually some designers who believed that presenting their work and ideas to a professional audience would mean they were generating their own competition. How crazy is that! Unanswered questions and curiosity are what drive people to thirst for knowledge.

PLDC_3day_Sessions_HelenaLundquist_56PLDC_3day_Sessions_HelenaLundquist_54Every one of us needs to find his/her own way to success, just as water has to find its own way from the mountain to the ocean. To believe that you can keep competition at arm’s length by keeping yourself to yourself is totally out of touch with reality. Those who avoid communicating with others are not likely to get wind of what else is going on in the field. And let’s face it – no-one is going to come looking for you.

In the meantime, we can say that friends and colleagues do communicate and help each other a lot, sharing information on many levels: a presenter at a conference not only inspires the audience listening to him; he is likewise inspired, and may well be challenged or questioned by those present. And that’s how it should be! Only if the people presenting the papers are questioned, and comments are made on the work presented, is it possible to draw the speaker’s attention to an issue or aspect he may have forgotten, or elements he may have overlooked, redirecting his thoughts and enabling him to expand his vision. In short: who can point out to me where I may be going wrong, if I don’t discuss my views with others? Who can put a finger on a possible misalignment in my view if I never explain my perception of a specific issue or topic to anyone else?

Today, more than ever, conferences are places where attendees exchange ideas and challenge each other. Events where people gain acknowledgement, or stand corrected, seek and find inspiration and possibly professional reorientation while developing their personal careers. That is what makes a modern conference. That is the stuff that PLDC, in particular, is made of and the reason why PLDC generates so much energy over the four days. More than 1500 like-minded lighting professionals together create a huge wave of enthusiasm and conviction that can advance progress and maintain ongoing developments. The better the papers are with regard to content, the more intensive PLDC becomes, and the more extensive the progress is that is made by each individual and by the lighting design community as a whole.

… which is why we do our utmost to acquire the best possible speakers, people who are specialists in their own field, creative minds that make a difference, authors of the latest findings from the research world.

Anyone presenting a paper at PLDC not only gives. He/she receives in return feedback and response that will shape his/her career.

Submit your paper at www.pld-c.com.

PLDC_3day_Sessions_HelenaLundquist_108

PLDC_3day_Sessions_HelenaLundquist_111

Mythical creatures that glow in the dark

The Kelpies – mysterious horse-shaped water spirits/GB

A comment by Joachim Ritter

The Kelpies horse sculpture in Falkirk, Scotland

 

 

 

This project is a stunning example of the scope of modern lighting technologies. Simple colour-changing and lighting control, and precise colour definition and focussing make possible today what was inconceivable in the past. The Kelpies project, which was designed for The Helix, a large outdoor recreational area in Falkirk, Scotland is an example of a design-oriented lighting scheme, and also of how modern lighting technologies can tell stories and take art to another dimension which was not feasible before digital lighting came on the scene. Those who up to now have shown doubts as to whether art should be illuminated after dark, and have advocated leaving it to “rest” at night, have to admit when they see this project that without modern lighting technologies art risks losing some of its self confidence and power of expression – and we lose the opportunity to narrate stories visually, which is what the works were originally created for.

That would mean that many works of art only communicate half of what they were intended to. Daylight alone is seldom sufficient to get people excited about storytelling, or to enable them to feel the kind of mystical connotations intelligent beings are capable of developing in their minds. It is the artificial light that brings the sculptures to life, acts as a catalyst and turns them into something people want to listen to or contemplate and behold.

What is this project all about?
A Kelpie is a water demon that can assume different forms. Kelpies feature in Celtic mythology, usually taking the form of unkempt horses with ragged manes that prey on solitary humans. As soon as a Kelpie has managed to get someone to mount them, they bear their victim to the depths of the nearest loch and devour them. In legends Kelpies are tamed or subdued through magic at the point in time when they are bridled. If the rider succeeds in bridling one of the mystical horses, this marks the beginning of a secret bond between the two and the Kelpie will serve the rider for the rest of his life.
When Scottish artist Andy Scott designed “The Kelpies” sculpture, two huge mystical horses’ heads, for The Helix in Falkirk, Scotland, you might say it was his way of taming these mighty creatures.

The horses’ heads stand tall and graceful on a lake and are made of steel plate. By day the monumental sculptures dominate the landscape, calm and present – just how horses are in fact. For many, the shape of a horse is perfection itself. The sculptures that Andy Scott has created are magnificent. But by night they become as magical as their reputation.
The mystical heads glow from within and change colour, sparking our imagination. They are also reflected in the water, the very element in which they pursue their mystical activities. The myths and legends around these horse-shaped water creatures is supported and interpreted through light. When the moon rises to create the backdrop to the setting, the mysterious and the stunning become one.

Of course the designers are justified in using coloured light for these sculptures! Especially the colour blue, even if blue is not a colour you would normally associate with a horse. In this case it is part of the narrative. Not green or pink, nor yellow. Water plays a key role in the legends around these creatures, and the colour blue establishes the link.

Mythology and fables are somewhat surreal and show us what we want to believe. What else apart from light or drugs has the power to transport us into such fantasy worlds?

Andy Scott and Reg Gove certainly appear to have tamed these Kelpies and gained their trust. Thank goodness – otherwise they would still be lurking at the bottom of some dark Scottish lake …

K (2)

kelpies
K (3)

Sculpture design: Andy Scott
Lighting design: Reg Gove, Lightfolio Ltd.
Lighting technology: ElektoLED
Photos: Graeme Gilmour

http://www.thekelpies.co.uk/

www.lightfolio.co.uk

The route to CEng is not so difficult, but…

Iain photo full_webBy Iain Macrae

When I grew up there were just two sorts of mechanical engineer, the one that worked on your car (often mistitled) and the professional one. That’s a little unfair to car mechanics, but I don’t mean to be. A mechanic is indeed a skilled person, but the term engineer is often attributed to people who don’t deserve it.

Before you throw the article aside with derision, hear me out. I, like many designers, feel the skills, experience and qualifications I hold have been hard earned, perhaps I also benefit from a little talent too, but like many I find lots of young talent snipping at my heels and claiming to be a lighting designer, or indeed a lighting engineer. Often I get asked why it is anyone can be called a lighting designer and all to often I get asked how anyone who works for a lighting manufacturer can ever claim to be a lighting designer at all. The world it seems is all about claim and counter claim and the rush to earn your stripes.

So, why this article and why get so hot and bothered about the route to becoming chartered as a lighting designer? Well for one, I think professional recognition is vital to our profession. How can you prove your reputation to clients? Either you show them a superb portfolio, or you gain some letters after your name and prove your competence on an ongoing basis.

The first method for me is actually a route to the second, but it lacks something. Whilst a portfolio demonstrates your creative side, perhaps your technical ability, even your ability to pull off large and complicated projects, it does lack some basics. Where does it demonstrate learning, pushing your boundaries, training and developing others, management ability, giving back to the community and so on? Honestly? You could demonstrate all these things via some form of portfolio, you could even add your school certificates and a diary of all the events you attended and you’d be no less worthy then a chartered professional perhaps. In fact, perhaps that’s my point. The route to CEng isn’t that difficult if you have done all these things. Of course you have to argue the semantics of whether you are an engineer or a designer, but in my mind there is very little difference, indeed one cannot function successfully unless you have some element of the skillsets that make both.

designer
/dɪˈzʌɪnə/
noun

  1. a person who plans the look or workings of something prior to it being made, by preparing drawings or plans
synonyms: creator, deviser, producer, inventor, originator, planner, author, artificer, fabricator;

engineer
/ɛndʒɪˈnɪə/
noun

  1. a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures.
synonyms: designer, planner, builder, architect, producer, fabricator, developer, creator;

Perhaps the definition suggests you can be and engineer who designs, but as a designer cannot be an engineer, but that’s just non-sense. The question should be, as a lighting designer can you become professionally recognised by a professional body? The answer is of course yes. In my case CIBSE was the chosen organisation, the SLL being an integral part of why CIBSE exists.

Your next worry of course would be about how easy the process is. I have to admit, I left this application for too many years as I worried that, even with a qualification in Mechanical Engineering, I would not be possible to be recognised for my lighting career.

Let’s put that one to bed. As CEng MCIBSE FSLL there are certain codes of practice I have to abide by. One of those is to tell clients openly where my expertise lies. If you find me claiming to be an experienced mechanical engineer (or mechanic for that matter) then that wouldn’t be professional. Lighting is my chosen career and my specialist area and that is why I achieved CEng.

Actually, it’s not that simple. The registration process for the Engineering Council checks a wide range of core competencies, most of them based on your working experience, they can be summarise: -

  • The theoretical knowledge to solve problems in new technologies and develop new analytical techniques
  • Successful application of the knowledge to deliver innovative products and services and/or take technical responsibility for complex engineering systems
  • Accountability for project, finance and personnel management and managing trade-offs between technical and socio-economic factors
  • Skill sets necessary to develop other technical staff
  • Effective interpersonal skills in communicating technical matters.

Not only does that sound a sensible skill set for any client to seek in a lighting designer, it also reminds me of many of the world’s top lighting designers.

So, how to apply. Well for one thing, the application is certainly easier than getting to the point of applying. If you think becoming CEng is easy, or should be, then forget it. If you can reasonably read through the Engineering Council competencies and find yourself saying yes to most of them, then start the application. If you find the answer to most is no, then simply be a specialist, be that mechanic, excellent at what you do but not the fully rounded professional at the top of the game, OR, focus in on filling the gaps in your experience. Did I just build my part up as a fully rounded pro? I hope not, as a professional I know all too well where I still need to learn, and there is a lifetime of that to go yet.

Once you’ve got over the basic hurdle of actually being experienced enough, dig out that CV, put it together with the portfolio, highlight places where you demonstrate each of the competencies required and then you’ve done the hard bit of applying. Just a few pages of forms to go about who you are. Once you sit down to it, well put it this way, it’s going to take less time than the experience did, perhaps a few hours work if you keep your training records and CV up to date, maybe a few days if you have to start the whole thing from scratch.

Of course you still have to stress about the professional interview! That dreaded hour long interview in front of your peers to see if you really are as good as you claim. Actually it’s a little bit friendlier than that. I’ve been to many worse customer meetings and been asked many more difficult questions. A short presentation to back up your application form, add in a few questions to check you really are who you claim and you really did achieve all you claim and it’s over. The panellists were knowledgeable and polite; the only tough bit came at the end… “No we can’t tell you if you passed!” was the answer.

Still want to be a professional, designer or engineer? Don’t worry about the title; I know some really great engineers and some equally great designers. Most of them have the competencies, the skill, the experience to make it easily through to CEng. Some need to decide that CEng is right for them, some need to wait for the title CDes or similar to become available, some need to lose their prejudice and recognise that professional recognition is good for them, for our customers and in the long term for lighting. For those not up to the mark that CEng sets, try IEng but remember there is time yet, experience takes time. Grab a glass of Rioja with me sometime and we can discuss how to get there. In the meantime, continue the journey and make the lighting profession just what it deserves

Nike and lighting design

by Joachim Ritter

Light can create atmosphere. Of course it can! We all know that. Light can sell. That’s not new either! And yet – the way Nike are going about marketing their new collection is really something quite special. To present their new Tech Pack Series, Nike have opted to use light as a means to purposefully aestheticise their actually rather mundane sports “clobber”.

Admittedly, Nike do describe this range of sports clothing as high-tech products. Generally speaking, high-tech products are industrial products based on cutting-edge technologies. Everyone is free to interpret that as they wish, naturally, but to be honest that is not really what we expect when we talk about tracksuits. It’s the people who wear this gear that have to apply techniques rather than technologies to prove their skills – and work hard to gain a body of steel. The tracksuit tops and bottoms are nothing more than pieces of material that have been cut to shape and sewn together.

The high-tech image sported (no pun meant) by the products in the pictures is achieved through the lighting, which has been designed to support the clever marketing of Nike’s corporate philosophy. Everything is superimposed by deep, intensive blue and glowing red. Even the dark skin of the models can no longer be recognised as such. The models become one with the sweater, part of the product. In truth, we cannot actually define what colour the tracksuit is. Is it white, yellow, grey or silver?

The message behind this marketing campaign comes across loud and clear. Become one with this product and you will become a high-tech athlete.

If we transfer this idea to architecture, we soon see that light can communicate a message, generate a feeling and create an image. Our brains understand such messages without us even having to think about it. And we decide whether we want to associate with what we perceive, or not. That is what light can do.

In that sense, Nike’s design for the marketing of this collection is a great example of how a message can be put across using light, a message you can opt to acknowledge or not. I must admit: I am pretty impressed.

Photos: Nike
nike-tech-pack-fleece-apparel-designboom00 nike-tech-pack-fleece-apparel-designboom01 nike-tech-pack-fleece-apparel-designboom05 nike-tech-pack-fleece-apparel-designboom07 nike-tech-pack-fleece-apparel-designboom09

 

Asian Lighting Designers’ Association, ALDA founded

The beginnings of the Asian Lighting Designers’ Association date back to 10. October, 2011 during the Asia Lighting Design Forum 2011, which was held in Beijing. The initiators were Chung Kangwha (Korea), Zhan Qingxuan (China), Satoshi Uchihara (Japan), JK Yao (Chinese Taipei), Tino Kwan (HKSAR) and Chou Lien (US).

On 30. July, 2012 ALDA was registered as a non-profit organization in accordance with the Societies Ordinance in Hong Kong.

Through a formal voting process, Motoko Ishii and Zhan Qingxuan were appointed Honorary Chairpersons of the Asian Lighting Designers’ Association, ALDA. Chung Kangwha was formally elected to be the first President of ALDA for a one-year term, with Tino Kwan and JK Yao as Vice Presidents, and Wu Gang as the General Secretary.

Since the founding of the association, ALDA has positively communicated with Asian lighting designers and obtained wide support and agreement. On 9. June, 2014 General Secretary Wu Gang, representing ALDA at the 2014 Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition, announced that the Asian Lighting Designers’ Association had now been officially launched and was starting to recruit members.

Contact: ALDAsecretariat@126.com

An educated decision – take your personal future in your hands

by Joachim Ritter

An educated decision I – the motto for PLDC 2015 is a clear announcement and appeal for more design to be evidence-based and to address and incorporate current research findings. Education in the field of architectural lighting design is the key to quality designs. Lighting design is an independent profession, and the scope of work of a lighting designer, plus the added value of working with a lighting designer, needs to be communicated to related professions, clients and end-users. However, new technologies and the scope they offer, as well as the latest research findings, demonstrate the need for more education on the part of the lighting designer him/herself to ensure clients’ needs and forthcoming standards can be met. PLDC 2015 will address education on all these levels, taking the lighting design community’s efforts a step further and contributing towards all involved being able to make an educated decision in future!

PLDC 2015 will mark a further step in the pursuit to officially establish the architectural lighting design profession. The chosen location for this event is Rome, a city rich with culture, architecture, art. Culture, architecture and art will be the main topics for the conference and will offer a broad variety of focuses for presentations and discussions!

An educated decision II: In any profession vocational training and further education are acknowledged as the key to personal success as well as to the development of a clearly defined professional community. This also applies to the lighting design industry, a fact that no-one denies. What is new is the question of which learning techniques are most effective for people pursuing professional development in a world subjected to information and knowledge overload and ruled by digital media and (social) networks. And this is where PLDC comes in.

With PLDC we have created a conference structure and philosophy, and a learning platform that meet modern-day requirements and enable active learning on different levels. The convention as such has become a paradigm or role model for other conferences around the world. That is the reason why PLDC has grown so dynamically after just four events – in Copenhagen in 2013 by 20 per cent to 1500 attendees.

Jim Rohn was an American businessman whose hard climb to success had a great impact on the personal development industry. He once said:

“General education will make you a living; personal education will make you a fortune”.

On this basis, the VIA Team are once again preparing an unusual, not-to-be-missed event for the convention in Rome in 2015

Welcome to the PLDC 2015 Countdown Blog.

JoachimPortraitSW150x150Starting from today, and leading up to PLDC 2015 in Rome, this site will be open and discussing a wide variety of issues from the lighting design world. You are welcome to read and comment on any of the topics or opinions.

We will be raising questions on current lighting projects and professional issues. We are planning to publish interviews and present the latest technical developments in the field of light. The blog is designed to be a source of inspiration and a platform for discussion and debate.

As you all know, 2015 will be the International Year of Light, endorsed by the United Nations and UNESCO. We will keep you updated on IYL activities and what effect this year will have on the lighting design community and profession. Perhaps we will be able to include a Keynote about the IYL at PLDC 2015.

I would like to express special thanks to our Countdown Blog partner Reggiani for supporting this website and the planned activities. Based on the experience gathered from the last PLDC Countdown Blog, we can expect some exciting action over the coming months.

Stay connected and enjoy the posts on the Countdown Blog – until we meet at one of the several planned PLDC warm-up events or in Rome at the latest.

Joachim Ritter
Steering Committee Chair PLDC 2015