Blog Partner: Reggiani


Recommended reading – books to look out for at PLDC in Rome

This year, the VIA team has once again come up with a selected list of books for recommended reading. They will be available at PLDC in Rome for you to take a look at. Some of these books will be available for purchase for the first time at PLDC.

See the light free“See the Light” by Svante Pettersson, the experienced Swedish lighting expert, has gained substantial popularity over the last few months. The generously illustrated book depicts, from a Scandinavian viewpoint, how light works and how to differentiate between lighting solutions. “See the Light” is especially valuable for all those who like to see the work that they and other like-minded individuals perform daily confirmed in book form. “See the Light” is a standard work, a highly inspirational book about light, the philosophy of light and the art of getting to know your visual sense, which in the end boils down to common sense. A detailed critique can be found here.


Buch von ChristopherThe complement to Svante Pettersson’s book is the latest work by Christopher Cuttle. From its title: “Lighting design: a perception-based approach”, it appears to be a book about a specific design approach. Correct, although all the perception-related information is scientifically proven in numbers before the design concept is realised. Christopher Cuttle always manages to unlock yet another part of the true world of lighting design. A detailed critique can be found here.





light-shadow_01Aleksandra Stratimirovic is active in the overlap between lighting design and light art. Together with Sandra Praun, she has published a book that makes this overlap the core of the work, even rendering it visible in the way the book itself is designed and presented. “You say Light – I think Shadow” is a collection of comments and statements from leading architects, designers, artists and other key figures who have recognised light as being a central part of their lives and wish to share this with others. At the same time, the work itself is a huge compliment to ‘the printed book’ as a medium, and is informative and inspiring throughout. A detailed critique can be found here.

Modeling Daylight englishA new book, which will be presented at PLDC for the first time, incorporates discussion and a collection of experimental studies on the topic of daylight. Giovanni Traverso has put together a practical manual based on his own perception of the topic plus a series of studies carried out by students which take a close look at a creative approach to designing with daylight. “Modelling Daylight” is designed to promote discussion on the purposeful use of daylight. It is an impressive documentation of the creative power daylight can have in architecture – an inspiration and practical manual in one. The principles of daylight design are presented clearly and in a well-structured way, and examples shown that enable a practical approach to follow on from the theoretical fundamentals. A detailed critique can be found here.



All books amoung others can also be purchaised through the VIA shop here.

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LED-Linear to provide funding for the first endowed professorship at the University of Wismar

stiftungsprofessur_wismar_1-sIn the past years we have been honoured to welcome some of the greatest partners in the industry to PLDC. The exhibition staged for their benefit was certainly not of the standard format. The special quality of PLDC is that the conversations and discussions that take place there lead to new ideas, new developments and solutions. The exhibition hall at PLDC is a vibrant hub for such activities, and in that sense points the way to the future.

One company that has developed extremely well in recent years is LED Linear. LED Linear have been a Partner of PLDC since 2011. They have won a number of design awards in the meantime, but have also opted to assume more responsibility to support the interests of designers. This year LED Linear embarked on a new project in support of the lighting market of the future…

On 9. July, 2015 LED Linear signed an agreement with the University of Wismar to establish and finance the first endowed professorship, thus building a bridge between business and science, and making an essential contribution to strengthening the Architectural Lighting Design degree programme at the University of Wismar. The professorship is limited to five years and LED Linear will be providing a six-figure amount to partly fund the costs for the professorship.

CEO Dr. Michael Kramer: “For us it is especially important to make a significant contribution to the advancement of research in the field ‘Lighting Design’. The targeted support and training of highly qualified young people is extremely important to us”.

The responsibilities linked to the professorship comprise the usual list of tasks and include teaching, academic administration, the supervision of theses and the processing of further assignments in the context of studies. One prime focus will be the exploration of new fields of application of light in buildings incorporating linear lighting systems, both from an economic standpoint and with regard to the development of new approaches to product and application designs.

On signing of the agreement, LED Linear CEO Dr.-Ing. Michael Kramer, and the rector of the University of Wismar, Prof. Dr. jur. Bodo Wiegand-Hoffmeister gave to understand that the endowed professorship is a mutually beneficial step for both parties. The university will benefit from the additional teaching activities, and the market can look forward to an expansion of marketable LED applications.

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Modeling Daylight

Inspired by daylight – A book on experimental creative use of daylight
A critique by Joachim Ritter

Modeling Daylight englishThe apparent reason for so little daylight being used as a design element in architecture is that a large number of designers lack the know-how and skills to handle it. Their creativity, you might say, does not go beyond the rectangular window opening. One way or the other, every room looks more or less the same: square. You feel you are trapped in a box, although there are enough windows to escape through… Thinking out of the box is (literally) becoming increasingly more difficult. And there is not much in the way of literature when it comes to how natural light can be used as a design element in an architectural space. New requirements related to energy savings and what planners tend to perceive as the ‘enforced use of daylight’ has put us in a situation where we can no longer make out what is light and what is architecture, because everything is simply overly bright.

Inspiration is called for. This is where the book “Modelling Daylight” by the Italian architect and lighting designer Giovanni Traverso comes in. As the initiator and head of the summer course entitled Daylight Thinking that took place in Vicenza/I in 2012, he and his students created a series of models to demonstrate that through daylight interior spaces can gain a quality that has nothing to do with rectangular openings set in the facade. Daylight can become the main feature in a space, if the designer is able to handle it creatively.

The manual aims to raise awareness and make readers sensitive to the idea that light can become a fundamental element in architectural design, capable of positively modifying the experience of the user.

The book motivates and encourages readers to return to the purposeful use of daylight. But it is also a manual containing helpful references and feasible approaches, and in that sense goes beyond the purely experimental. Time and again when reading the book, one is inclined to reconsider one’s own philosophy of natural light and place more importance on the use of daylight in architecture on an everyday basis. Which is as much as to say that this is not a book that will simply added to the bookshelf and disappear forever, but always be within reach as a source of reference. It is not a sequel to grand works such as William Lam’s “Sunlighting as Formgiver for Architecture”, but defines a new lighting design quality that is achievable through daylight.

Modeling Daylight_28_09_2015_ENG_p2-3 Modeling Daylight_28_09_2015_ENG_p2-4 Modeling Daylight_28_09_2015_ENG_p2-6 Modeling Daylight_28_09_2015_ENG_p2-7

With this book, Giovanni Traverso has succeeded in providing convincing material on the purposeful application of daylight. The information, data and reports on the studies are presented in a clear, well-structured manner. His ideas on daylight design and commitment to spreading the educational word come across confidently and are easy to follow. “Modelling Daylight” is sure to be more than just an inspiration to those who read it.

Giovanni TraversoAbout the author
Giovanni Traverso is an architect and lighting designer, based in Vicenza/I. In 1996, together with Paola Vighy, he co-founded Traverso-Vighy Architetti studio, specialising in sustainable architecture and experimental projects related to the application of light. He is Senior Lecturer at ‘VIA”, UFL and has also taught in the MSc programme in Lighting Design at IUAV University in Venice. In July 2012, he headed the international summer course ‘Daylight Thinking’, UFL.



Date of release: 28.10.2015 at PLDC in Rome
Italian  version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-4-3
English  version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-5-0
German version:  ISBN 978-3-9811940-6-7
Price: € 24.90

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A perception-based approach by Christopher Cuttle

by Joachim Ritter

Christopher Cuttle is a source of inspiration worldwide whenever he gives a lecture. I can only confirm what many lighting designers claim: it is always worth listening to Christopher Cuttle – time and again. What he relates to his audience is always the equivalent of a further step deeper into the true world of lighting design.

Buch von ChristopherBut Christopher Cuttle is also a researcher and a Senior Lecturer, which makes his work and teachings all the more valuable. Because he has managed to make the human being the focus of the lighting design process and to translate and define human requirements for the right light at the right time into photometric terms and structures. In fact, the title of this book deserves to be complemented by the second component describing the contents, which is: “… and how to realise planning based on facts and figures in practice”. That does not immediately appear to comply with current market opinion, and would probably make it more difficult to communicate the true contents of the book. Or the publisher was of the opinion that this aspect was self-evident and part and parcel of lighting design anyway.

But this is not the case. If there is a book that can achieve this kind of balancing act, it has to be this work by this author. I have every confidence that what Kit Cuttle says is true. The 136 pages contain his philosophy of how to design light, the state of his research, and how perception-oriented planning can be realised in practice in everyday working processes. The work reflects decades of learning and understanding, compiled in a clearly structured handy book.

If you prefer to, or are expected to, develop your designs based on photometric units and can follow the guidelines laid down for modern lighting design more easily if they are expressed in numbers, then this book can provide you with state-of-the-art know-how for quick and easy reading.

The book can be ordered at Routledge,
Alternatively you can buy at PLDC in Rome at the VIA-Verlag desk.

Also see the book review of Svante Pettersson’s “See the light”

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“See the Light” – or … know what I mean?

A book about the common sense of lighting designers

A critique on Svante Pettersson’s Buch “See the Light” by Joachim Ritter

Imagine you get together with all your friends and colleagues from the lighting design community to sit around and talk about light. Through such activities you feel strengthened in your opinion or you learn something new, you describe what you think and hear what you have never put in words, developing your skills and beliefs in the process. A great feeling. Learning (not only) by seeing! Through the eye, but also through the heart.

By the same token you could sit yourself down and read Svante Pettersson’s book “See the Light”. It has the same effect as if you were discussing with and listening to colleagues. “See the Light” is a great work, a generously illustrated book with copious informative captions explaining how light works and how it triggers our emotions. It is not a work that describes and defines light in numbers, as is the case in other more technical fields, but is rather about the experiences the author, Svante, has made with light – as we all have done – and wants to share with us. I say Svante, because through the book he comes across as a close friend and a great colleague, one who feels what light is all about and can put it in a nutshell. EacSee the light freeh of the 14 chapters is like a segment of the lighting design world, with stories in words and pictures.

“See the Light” is a standard work, a highly inspirational book about light, the philosophy of light and the art of getting to know your visual sense. The latter is especially important, because everything that is described here is about our “sense of sight”, as it is referred to in the book – which is actually common sense.

The book comprises 14 chapters over 310 pages, beginning – not surprisingly – with Nordic Light, the light that obviously made the greatest impression on Svante, and continuing with topics such as Shadows, Glare, Light moments, the Tools of light, and many more.

You should not read this book if you do not have the aptitude to follow what Svante is referring to in his reports, because you are dependent on technical data and numbers to be able to realise your designs. The only numbers you will find in this book are the numbers of the pages. And yet, if you wish to engage with lighting design at this level and find that after reading the book you have indeed understood how light works, you will be in a position to design more successfully and with more effect than you have ever done basing everything on lighting metrics and standards from the start.

I would definitely recommend this book and even go as far as to say it is a must – not just to buy and stick on the shelf, but for everyday use on your desk. Because, when necessary, this work can help you to regain a human-scale approach to design, when you have lost yourself in the plethora of engineering values, standards and regulations.

Reading this book means living what we like about life: learning by seeing and feeling, and on all accounts with a smile on your face.

Svante Pettersson
See The Light
310 pages with many coloured pictures
Arvinius + Orfeus AB
ISBN 978-91-87543-24-1

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You Say Light – I Think Shadow

by Joachim Ritter

light-shadow_01 Why don’t we do what we believe deep down inside is right? Perhaps because we only think we know what we are doing…

The basis for lighting design is not light but darkness. According to Christian belief, we all started from nothing, and from darkness. And then God said: Let there be light! Not man, nor beast, nor nature, but light. We can of course argue as to whether this makes sense of not, or whether there was something else more important than light. What is clear – according to the Bible at any rate – is that it was not light that God came across when preparing for the creation. It was darkness He had to get right first. Which is why it is also darkness that lighting designers need to focus their design skills on – or should be focussing their design skills on. And yet for many designers light still forms the core of all their actions, probably because they are not aware of the underlying principle of design.

If we are looking for literature on shadow design, we tend to refer to “In Praise of Shadow” by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. A small book, but a standard work destined for eternity. And yet not powerful enough to change the design world. A recently published work has now taken it upon itself to address the topic anew – a wonderfully modern approach to amending our current awareness of the meaning of shadow. “You Say Light – I Think Shadow” by lighting designer and artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic and graphic designer Sandra Praun, who partnered the project, comprises references and thoughts from numerous authors who appreciate shadow in the way it deserves.

That does not mean to say that the book is a compilation of superficial ideas. Nor is it a collection of profane platitudes. And it definitely does not feature any of the shallowness you find on the Internet. The project does not contain the kind of images and photos which could easily have described to us what light means to us. It is a book full of ideas and perceptions with depth, which gain power through the selected texts and abstract graphics. A real winner. And an honour for any author who was selected to present his/her perception of shadow and the close relationship between light and shadow.

“You Say Light – I Think Shadow” is proof of the fact that the quality and depth of a book cannot always be transferred to the Net. It demonstrates that holding a book in your hands and leafing through it is a feeling comparable to a journey of discovery. It speaks of the love you feel for light or shadow, which would get lost if you tried to access it via the Internet.
Congratulations to the artist, lighting designer and author Aleksandra Stratimirovic and her project partner graphic designer Sandra Praun. I count myself especially lucky because I received a personal note from Aleksandra together with the book. This note is part of the book for me and a true delight.

This is one of the last books that deserve to be designated as an absolute must in a library.
“You Say Light – I Think Shadow”
Aleksandra Stratimirovic and Sandra Praun
Texts in English.
Art and Theory Publishing
ISBN 978-91-980874-8-2

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The Challenge: Young Designers’ Speaker Competition

by Joachim Ritter

If you could choose to change anything in your life in retrospect it is more than likely that you would wish to be transported back in time to when you had the opportunity to learn and gain a good education. Many of us feel we would want to put this time to better use, especially since we now have less time at our disposal thanks to our jobs or careers, but also because we may now be financially better off and therefore able to optimise our learning efforts.

To be honest, this is hardly feasible for any of us. Either we do not have the time, or we do not have sufficient funding. That is why we, the society, should be making every possible effort to support those young people who are still in education programmes, or who have recently embarked on their professional careers, and do everything imaginable to enable them to prepare for the future: A future which is also our future.

It is sometimes alarming how little education programmes and initiatives for the coming generation of designers are acknowledged, appreciated and supported. We from VIA Publishing and from the Professional Lighting Design magazine believe that modern-day society needs and deserves good education programmes and that we should not need reminding of this social commitment. We should simply be aware of it all the time.

SignaturBanner_The Challenge_2

We are therefore delighted to have found partners who are willing and interested in helping us realise our concept to promote young lighting designers and Lighting Design students. We trust that this first edition of The Challenge will develop over the coming years and attract more attention and support. Philips, Reggiani, as well as Ansorg, Xicato and the Society of Light and Lighting, have offered their generous support this year to make the first year of The Challenge possible.

The response and interest we as initiators and organisers of The Challenge have met with to date has been tremendous. Even in the early stages of the competition the enthusiasm demonstrated by all involved confirmed that we were on the right track with this project. The Challenge has brought us in contact with young designers who are able to present their theses and ideas extremely competently and already as students, or after only just having graduated, are offering the kind of content in their papers that are worthy of being presented at a professional conference. And we are honoured to be able to count on the guidance and support from true lighting professionals, who have all been working passionately to help perfect what the young talents have been working on, both from the point of view of content as well as with advice on how to best present the material. How much more fruitful and concrete can education get? And mutually beneficial into the bargain – the experienced lighting designers acting as coaches are also gaining new knowledge and inspiration.

In Round III of our speaker competition in Edinburgh only five of the 15 young designers who have made it so far will be selected to continue to the final round at PLDC in Rome. And one of these five will leave Rome as the overall winner of the competition. But every one of the 15 in Edinburgh for Round III are also entitled to feel they are winners: in the process of The Challenge they have gained a tremendous amount for their personal development and have undergone a unique experience that they will remember for a long time to come.

See here for more oinformation:  The Challenge


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Istanbul warm-up 2014

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.


250 designers and architects came together in Istanbul to talk about the lighting design trends.

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!





















PicturesEvent_26The event was supported by iGuzzini, Soraa, Lighting Accent, Alux-Luxar, Avolux, Thorn Zumtobel, Bahar, SilberLED


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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


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