by Joachim Ritter
A countdown blog thrives on the milestones it establishes – which is why today is a special day. Starting from today, it is less than a year before the fifth PLDC in Rome opens its doors. Eleven months, four weeks and one day – or 364 days – of anticipation and excitement lie before us. But not to worry! In the coming months we will be staging a number of warm-up events around the world to alleviate the agony of waiting.
Following the kick-off event and party in Frankfurt on the occasion of Light+Building with almost 500 lighting designers (the Coelux launch) and the mini-conference in Istanbul two weeks ago with 250 attendees, our next PLDC warm-up will take place on 4. November in Dubai, where the Consul General of Italy in Dubai will be welcoming us at a special breakfast meeting, together with Iyad Alsaka, Architect and Partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, OMA, who will be giving a short presentation on Urbanisation and Lighting. And whoever is attending the Light Middle East fair and will still be in Dubai on the evening of 5. November can conclude the day with us in party mood. The warm-up in Dubai is an event organised together with our PLDC Diamond Partner iGuzzini. Register here.
A further PLDC warm-up will be held in Monza/I. We will be linking this with the practical workshop we are organising there on “Lighting Historic Art”.
On behalf of the team of organisers working on PLDC 2015 in Rome, we are proud to announce that the general framework for the convention is fixed and we are now working on concrete details to prepare for the event. What we can already promise is that the convention will be a highly interesting and informative event with a number of surprises in store for you over the coming months. The programme for Rome has been expanded and improved to offer even more opportunities for attendees to learn and network. If you are considering responding to the Call for Papers for PLDC 2015, please note that the deadline for submissions is 14. November, 2014. This deadline will not be prolonged. www.pld-c.com.
Compared to previous editions, we can already say that the interest in PLDC 2015 has increased. Over the last few months we have recorded 100 per cent more page impressions vis-à-vis the same point in time two years ago. We regard this interest as confirmation of the path PLDC 2015 has taken, combined with our commitment to create a programme that incorporates only the latest information and findings that affect the lighting design industry.
In the coming weeks we will be communicating more information about programme contents and the latest developments. Feel free to send us your input and comments.
Rome, of course, has a lot to offer both before and after PLDC. It is one of those places that you have to have visited at least once in your lifetime. Historically speaking, it is a must to see the Pantheon, or the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums, the lighting for which was recently redesigned by Prof. Marco Frascarolo from Fabertechnica and realised in collaboration with Osram, or from the point of view of contemporary architecture the MAXXI Museum designed by Zaha Hadid, or Rome’s new conference centre, the “Nuvola” [“Cloud”], designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, which is due to be completed by autumn 2015.
Look forward to PLDC 2015 in Rome and be sure to mark the dates in your diary: 28.-31.October, 2015.
Darkness does not affect your anatomy.
by Joachim Ritter
Science can make mistakes too. The time has come to bury a myth that many of us have carried with us since our childhood. Parents are always warning their children not to read in the dark for fear of damaging their eyes. This argument no longer holds water.
Today we know that reading in low light does absolutely no harm to our eyes and does not impact the anatomy of the eye in any way. It can be strenuous, of course, and cause eye fatigue. And those of us who insisted on reading under the bed covers, certainly noticed a difference in alertness the following day – although more because we were engrossed in a book we couldn’t put down and were therefore suffering from lack of sleep.
And low light also does not provoke the need to start wearing glasses. That would be a bit too simple, because conversely it would also mean it would be possible to improve your eyesight by exposing yourself to ultra-bright light.
And there is further evidence to back this “discovery” up. The probably most well known owl in the lighting industry, who we know from iGuzzini’s advertising campaigns back in the nineties, would doubtless be blind by now for having worn sunglasses for so long…
A journey in Japanese History Through Patterns!
Exclusive, elegant, and sporting the famous Louis Vuitton damier pattern monogram – this is what differentiates the French fashion house’s luxury goods from others. Handbags and leather goods produced by this fashion label are particularly popular.
The new façade on the Louis Vuitton store in Tokyo/J, designed by architect Jun Aoki, also features a repeated geometric pattern, coupled with light. The building is located at the former entrance to the city, and its design references the history of the region and its close association with the art deco movement. The patterns are a result of the gentle bulges and dents in the cladding, and change optically during the daytime depending on the incident sunlight.
After dark, LEDs concealed behind the reliefs create another impression, reminiscent of the Louis Vuitton damier. Luminous flowers and geometric light shapes appear, becoming smaller the lower down the facade they occur. The lighting also becomes increasingly more intensive towards street level, but is never obtrusive or overdone. The combination of warm white and cool white light renders the store magically attractive. And not a light source to be seen…
The building facade promises luxury and spreads an aura of aesthetic charm. The daiy view is already a fabulous design, but the night view is overwhelming.
What do I think when I stand in front of the building? Let’s go in ans spend some money…
by Joachim Ritter (to enjoy this blog take 15 minutes time)
Time and again we find ourselves confronted with the question as to what trends we can expect for lighting design in the future. And once we have an answer, we all need a little time to grow accustomed to the new ideas. Sometimes it seems to be impossible to imagine what the future holds in store. Just as it was impossible to imagine 100 years ago that man would fly to the moon or speak to friends or colleagues on the other side of the globe using a wireless telephone. We are repeatedly reminded that the TV series Star Trek was a huge inspiration for scientists when developing their respective research studies. What scientists have learnt and gained from the science fiction world, lighting designers can extract from theatre…
The lighting design of the future (and of the present too for that matter) is not only dynamic and laced with media elements, but also interactive. Tapio Rosenius is one of the key lighting designers who is currently inspiring the lighting design world with his work and realised projects. In his case, it was Silo 468 in Helsinki that started it all off – but this is only a hint of what is yet to come. The world is digital and the reality of architecture now has to compete with the fascination of the digital world we live in. This works best when you combine architecture with the digital world. Osram is currently developing a concept where fitting rooms in fashion stores are equipped with a media wall. If you want to check out how you look when trying on evening wear for a gala evening, for example, it will soon be possible to program an appropriate backdrop via an app.
I recently discovered videos of work designed by the Austrian scenographer and media designer Klaus Obermaier. They show what can be realised with light today using advanced technologies. The future in the world of light is all about interaction, just as it was all about dynamic light in the nineties of the last century – which is absolutely normal today. Obermaier captures the movements of dancers on stage and projects patterns and movements of light onto their dancing bodies.
What technologies and applications enable these stunning effects? How did Obermaier manage to continually focus his projections onto the body forms as they change in the course of the dance with such timed precision?
You think this is unreal? Not at all, when you consider that Mader Stublic Wiermann, together with Stefan Hofman, who was working with Licht Kunst Licht at the time, achieved similar effects on the Uniqa Tower in Vienna back in 2006.
Warm-up in Istanbul/TY gathered 250 attendees
by Joachim Ritter
Istanbul is a city on its way from the past into the future, the link between Europe and Asia, a melting pot of religions and cultures. There are very few places on earth that are so open to modern lifestyles and yet so connected to world history. Istanbul was predestined to be a location for a PLDC 2015 warm-up. Here we find something exciting happening on a grand scale that is valid for many other metropolises around the world: the dawning of a new era in architectural design featuring the impact of new media and digital technologies.
At the PLDC warm-up in Istanbul around 250 lighting designers and architects had the opportunity to discuss the chances and risks of modern architecture and digital light in existing cities with historical roots and origins. Tapio Rosenius, Koert Vermeulen, Allan Ruberg, Nadine van Amersvoort and Teun Vinken provided their input based on projects they have realised around the globe.
In the world of architecture there is nothing as exciting as the development of a new market. An openness towards modern architecture and the willingness to invest in the future provide a fruitful basis for true visions. However, taking that crucial step is only possible when there is international know-how and experience available to ensure a sound development cannot only be embarked upon, but also built upon.
With the Istanbul conference 2014, a platform was created that will activate the lighting market in Turkey and provide it with an international context.
Architectural visions are currently booming in Turkey. In 2017, Istanbul will be opening their third airport, which is designed to handle 150 million passengers annually and will therefore be the largest airport worldwide. And the site will not only incorporate an airport. A whole new district is to be built with a hospital, hotels, places of worship, and a congress centre. Further large-scale projects, such as a new Istanbul seaport, are planned, all with the goal of making Turkey an integral part of the modern world.
It is clear that light will play an important role in these considerations. Light is a driving force when it comes to enhancing safety, cultural heritage, and enjoyment in a modern society, which was one of the topics under discussion in this mini-convention.
In future, we can expect Turkey to provide inspiration for other parts of the world. Being part of this process now, in its early stages, is a huge opportunity that does not arise often during one’s professional career. As a warm-up for PLDC 2015 in Rome, the conference in Istanbul was thus one of the larger and significant milestones along the way.
Further PLDC warm-ups are planned in
Dubai/UAE, 3. November, 2014
Monza, I, 15. November, 2014
Please check the dates!
The event was supported by iGuzzini, Soraa, Lighting Accent, Alux-Luxar, Avolux, Thorn Zumtobel, Bahar, SilberLED
by Joachim Ritter
That’s the way it goes nowadays: one person can represent a whole community. When German Bishop Josef Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, there was a general feeling among the German people that they had in part assumed papal responsibility and were, indeed, honoured to do so. “We are the Pope” it said in German newspapers. It was similar with Cardinal Karol Wojtyła from Kraków. As Pope John Paul II, he could be more than sure he had the Polish people behind him. Such developments always have an undeniable socio-political component and significance.
And now we are the 2014 Nobel Prize Winners in Physics – we being all those members of the lighting community who are currently benefiting from the development of the blue LED, which is responsible for instigating the dramatic changes the lighting industry is undergoing. However upset, or even enraged, some of us were when the incandescent lamp was finally pushed aside as an example of bygone inefficiency, the Nobel Prize announcement now fills us with honour and pride, given the extent to which the LED has changed our working world in the last 15 years, and indeed continues to do so on a dramatic scale.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 has been awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. This was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, 7. October in Stockholm. The Nobel Committee described the Japanese physicists’ work as “revolutionary” research towards the invention of “new, energy-efficient and environment-friendly light sources”, and awarded them prize money of approximately 880,000 euros (eight million Swedish crowns).
Whether in the form of torches, smartphone displays, or rear lights or braking lights for cars: LEDs have become practically irreplaceable. Light-emitting diodes exist in red, amber, green, white and blue. For a long time, the search for a diode that would emit blue light was comparable to the quest for the Holy Grail.
Thanks to the research carried out by the three Japanese scientists, blue lasers and blue LEDs are now an integral part of modern-day technology. Since one quarter of the electricity consumed worldwide is for lighting, LED light sources are making a substantial contribution towards protecting natural resources, states the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In time for the upcoming International Year of Light 2015, an initiative of a large consortium of scientific bodies together with UNESCO, this recognition couldn’t have come at a better time. The decision will give the lighting world an additional push, and a good start for the year to come. And thank goodness it was the invention of the blue LED that was awarded the Nobel Prize and not of the compact fluorescent lamp, which also claims to use less energy than the incandescent lamp and was long claimed to be the solution for saving the polar ice caps and alpine ski slopes. At least the Nobel Committee did not allow themselves to be dazzled by marketing strategists like many a politician did. And even if the LED is not sufficient to save the polar ice caps and mountain glaciers, we can all express our delight at this announcement and express our gratification by proudly announcing: we are the 2014 Nobel Prize Winners in Physics.
In spite of the fact that it is still a relatively young event, PLDC 2015 in Rome is already marked by history. The fifth edition of the global convention coincides in the coming year with another very special anniversary. On the occasion of PLDC we will be pubishing the 100th issue of the Professional Lighting Design (PLD) magazine.
The PLD was launched in 1996 in order to promote architectural lighting design as a profession and to explain what lighting design is using well researched texts and essays plus large images. At the time, many people only had a feeling that light was not only related to a technical discipline, but that designed lighting indeed has an impact on the way we live, work and behave. Only when scientific evidence of the additional photoreceptor (iPRGC) in the eye became available, together with findings regarding the significance of light for human beings, did lighting design gain the recognition it really duly deserved. The PLD was dedicated to presenting this level of information from the start and at the time was the first magazine worldwide to focus on specific content and to take a stand on lighting design as a profession. In the meantime a number of magazines have come into being around the world – and even more Internet platforms – that publish articles on designed lighting.
We are proud to see that many have opted to pursue this approach.
On the occasion of PLDC 2015 in Rome, we will be celebrating the 100th edition of the PLD and expressing our thanks to all who have supported us over the last 16 years.
As a token of our appreciation we will therefore be granting a 20% discount on PLDC full-conference tickets for all our subscribers. If you are not a subscriber and would like to change that (!), follow this link to make sure you remain informed and are aware of the latest developments in all lighting design related fields.
The international jury of experts for the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 selected projects from Arup Germany, Studio Tamassociati from Italy, and Elemental from Chile as the winners in their respective categories.
To promote innovations for to promote sustainability and enhance the quality of life in the built environment, the Zumtobel Group invited submissions for the award in three categories: Applied Innovations, Buildings, and Urban Development and Initiatives. The jury initially shortlisted 15 projects from among the 356 submissions for the fourth Zumtobel Group Award, which was again curated by Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin.
The winning projects are marked by their innovative and ground-breaking character: “The voting to find the number one project was very close in all three categories, because in each case we were able to choose from among a large number of heterogeneous projects of high quality,” says the chairman of the jury, Winy Maas. “One key criterion for the jury this year was the innovation factor, both in a technical sense and with a view to planning and participation processes as well as ecological and social challenges.”
Winner in the Applied Innovations category: SolarLeaf and Arup Deutschland GmbH
In the applied innovations category, the jury awarded first prize to the SolarLeaf façade co-developed by Arup Deutschland GmbH. The SolarLeaf façade is a building-integrated system that absorbs CO2 emissions and produces biomass and heat. The generation of these renewable energy resources is based on the biochemical process of photosynthesis and the cultivation of microalgae in flat-panel photo bioreactors which require no additional space and are largely immune to the weather conditions. The façade system was developed by Arup Deutschland in collaboration with SSC Strategic Science Consult GmbH and Colt International GmbH, with subsidies from the federal research initiative ZukunftBau. The system was first installed in a four-storey residential building designed by Spittlerwerk architects for the 2013 International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg. The SolarLeaf façade can play an important part in establishing zero-carbon building clusters that generate surplus energy.
Explaining the reasons for their choice, the jury said: “In the future we need to develop buildings which don’t just offer shelter and minimise energy consumption but also try to deliver answers to how we provide the urban environment with energy, water and better air quality. The SolarLeaf façade is an outstanding example here in that it generates energy without taking up additional space. This project is especially valuable because for the first time we have an application that actually works in an existing building.”
Winner in the buildings category: Port Sudan Paediatric Centre by Studio Tamassociati, Italy
The winner of the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 in the buildings category is the Studio Tamassociati architectural practice from Venice. They were commissioned by the Italian NGO “Emergency”, which provides free medical treatment to civilian victims of war, landmines and poverty, to build a children’s hospital in Sudan. Located in the strategically important city of Port Sudan, the clinic is one of the few facilities to provide free care for children in the region. In the prevailing extreme conditions – the hot desert climate and the political instability of the country – simplicity was the overriding design principle. Relying on the use of new and old technologies, the architects developed a system for cooling, air treatment, recycling, reallocation of local materials, landscape design and energy saving. The need to purify waste water from the centre presented an opportunity to build public gardens, which are the only public spaces far and wide. These gardens represent an important part of the healing process for patients.
Explaining their choice of the Port Sudan Paediatric Centre, the jury said: “In this project you can see right away that it responds to a social agenda. It makes a valuable contribution to the medical and social care of the local people and its holistic design process is very much in the spirit of the Zumtobel Group Award. The outcome is an ambitious design that is focused primarily on its practical purpose, without neglecting architectural, sustainability and aesthetic considerations.”
Winner in the Urban Development & Initiatives category: PRES Constitución by Elemental, Chile
First prize in the category Urban Development & Initiatives in the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 goes to the architectural practice Elemental for its master plan for the sustainable reconstruction of the city of Constitución in Chile. In 2010, Chile was hit by an earthquake followed by a tsunami. Constitución was destroyed by waves up to 12 metres high. Elemental was given just 100 days to come up with a master plan for the reconstruction of the city, which would also provide protection against future natural disasters – not only tsunamis but also seasonal flooding. In their concept, Elemental delivered a natural solution: planting a forest that would protect the city from future floods. In addition to the empirical evidence from the most recent tsunami, the architects relied on mathematical models and laboratory trials. Implementing their master plan proved very challenging both politically and socially, because it required the city to expropriate private land along the riverbank. Elemental’s successful approach was to rely on participatory design to define the citizens’ needs and engage them in the planning process. Today, four years after the earthquake, the individual projects from the master plan are being implemented.
“In Constitución the population has managed to apply the necessary innovation to ensure its protection against future flooding. By adopting a bottom-up approach, in a very constructive way a joint decision has been reached regarding what the city should look like in the future. This exemplary concept is not restricted to Constitución, but could also apply in many regions around the world that have been destroyed by natural disasters,” said the jury, commenting on their selection in the Urban Development & Initiatives category.
The selection process for the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 comprised several stages. Early this year, from among all 356 submissions a pre-jury selected 15 projects from each category which were then presented to the main jury in May. The jury then nominated five projects per category. One winner was selected from the five nominated projects in each category. Each first prize carries a purse of € 50,000.
by Joachim Ritter
Lighting design has its origins in architecture and stage design. But in our modern world designing with light affects many areas of our lives and reaches far beyond the illumination of architectural space than we might think. And by that I do not mean that light can now be finely tuned to illuminate art, or how light impacts human health and well-being, and even support healing processes in hospitals. No, light is of more significance today than ever – for our technological future.
One example is the digital world. Designed light is of key importance in our world of bits and bytes. Computer-generated imagery is used to create entire films nowadays. Video games revolve to a large extent around creating new worlds in which a game is played, or rather experienced. Highly interactive applications indeed.
The media facades which have become a part of our urban lives are digital and interactive. We are no longer talking about the future. This is all happening in the here and now!
I recently watched a scientific documentary about how spaceships move through space. Man is moving deeper and deeper into the galaxy. There is talk of being able to fly people to Mars by 2022, or 2024 at the latest, and that Mars is to serve as a hub for space travel. The problem is that the fuel currently available is not enough to cover the distances planned. But guess what: the fuel of the future is … light! The idea is to set up a solar sail in outer space and the light radiated by the sun will move the spaceship forward as if driven by the wind. The rays of light are reflected by the hundred square metre sail, thus setting the spaceship in motion. You think this is still some kind of vision. No way! In spring this year (2014) successful tests were carried out that proved that this concept actually works.
Light is therefore not only confined to lighting our living, working or leisure spaces, or for illuminating facades. We need light for health, communication, digital life, energy and saving energy, agriculture and survival – in fact for everything that determines our life in the universe.
Albert Einstein was most likely aware of all this in his day and age. But explaining the significance of light to other people in those days was obviously too much of a challenge even for him…
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.
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!
Two further Partner Events will be taking place simultaneously in Aarhus/Denmark and Teheran/Iran.
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.
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.