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Education – Archive

50 and more to expect

50 Lighting Design educators already registered for the pre-convention meeting at PLDC 2013

A week before the pre-convention meeting for Educators at PLDC 2011 in Madrid, 24 people had signed up to participate. On the day, over 60 people crowded into the meeting room! Overwhelming interest indeed, but the programme could not do justice to the size of the gathering.

Given that Education and Research play a key role in the development of the lighting design profession it made sense for the Lighting Educators to put their heads together and agree on an appropriate agenda for the pre-convention meeting for Educators at PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen well in advance. This process gave rise to a number of issues. A large number of issues, in fact. And it has led to the idea of creating a formal network of Lighting Educators and Researchers in order to be better able to address the many topics now on the table. A questionnaire disseminated to Lighting Educators around the world over the summer has indicated that a large majority are in favour of founding a dedicated association.

The pre-convention meeting on 30. October in Copenhagen will gather all those interested in pursuing the advancement of Lighting Education on all levels (academic, CPD, courses for related disciplines, research, etc.) and give those present the opportunity to present their ideas and comments and consider what the next steps should be.

A pre-convention meeting for Early Career Researchers (PhD candidates and recent PhD graduates) will take place parallel to the Educators’ meeting from 10.00 to 12.30. The two groups will join for a light lunch and remain together for the rest of the meeting until 14.00.

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela)

Introducing the PLDC 2013 Partner Universities

A record number of Partner Universities and Institutes are linking with PLDC this year, bringing together educators and students from all over the world. Education creates the backbone for the establishment of the Architectural Lighting Design profession by helping to set and raise standards for qualifications and continuing knowledge requirements for practising lighting designers.

To map out the way forward, a group of educators who got together seven months ago to discuss the contents and format for a pre-convention meeting at PLDC 2013 have discovered they have a lot more on their agenda than can be handled in a four-hour session. They are currently considering creating an organisation/association specifically for educators teaching Lighting Design at all levels, from academic to private institutions, from CPD for lighting professionals to targeted modules and seminars for related disciplines, clients and the general public. The pre-convention meeting on Wednesday, 30. October, 2013 from 10.00 to 14.00 (including lunch) in Copenhagen will enable this dedicated group of professionals to share information and ideas and together plan the next steps.

The pre-convention meeting is free-of-charge. If you wish to attend, please contact Louise Ritter at

Introducing the Partner Universities and Institutes:

Unis for Blog.indd

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Let’s think about daylight – again

This year’s Daylight Thinking summer course will be held from 8. to 20. July, 2013 in Vicenza/I. The programme is organised by the University of Florida in Vicenza and took place for the first time last year.

The 24 international students who took part in 2012 were inspired by the lectures and excursions to real projects, and thrilled at the experience of designing with light themselves.

This year’s programme will include philosophical lectures about the relationship between daylight and man, daylight fundamentals and how we perceive colour under different daylight conditions, insight into daylight technologies and simulation software, the tricks photographers use to capture daylight scenarios, daylight design in the world of film animation, excursions to milestone projects in the Veneto region, a darkness experience in nature, and practical exercises based on model building.

The Daylighting Thinking course is headed by Giovanni Traverso (traverso-vighy),Vicenza/I.

Speakers will include experienced lighting designers, university lecturers, and experts from the lighting industry and the field of research.

For further information on fees and conditions as well as a report on last year’s course visit: or email to course coordinator Franca Stocco


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International educators join forces

Educators in CopenhagenA group of educators, who got their heads together six months ago to discuss the contents and format for a pre-convention meeting for Educators at PLDC 2013 and discovered they had a lot more on their agenda than could be handled in a two-hour session prior to the global event, are currently seriously discussing founding an association for educators teaching Lighting Design at all levels: academic programmes, modules for architects and planners from related disciplines, electrical engineers, clients and end users.
The association would be purposefully outward-looking and also address the issue of CPD for professionals and include expertise from the lighting industry.
A face-to-face meeting was held on 25. and 26. February in Copenhagen/DK, and the Agenda of that meeting is to be mirrored in Philadelphia on the occasion of Lightfair. Prior to the pre-convention meeting at PLDC 2013, a questionnaire will be disseminated to Lighting Design educators and researchers worldwide, outlining the objectives defined to date and inviting educators teaching Lighting at all levels and to different target groups to give their input and ideas.
Educators and researchers will be invited to attend the pre-convention meeting in Copenhagen on 30. October, 2013 at the Bella Center, which will be defining the way forward for this dedicated group of professionals.
A pre-convention is also planned for PhD students (Early Career Researchers). These two pre-convention meetings will be merged for a specific length of time to promote communication and strengthen dialogue.
2014 looks like becoming a significant year for Lighting Design education – with repercussions for the lighting design profession.
Feel free to contact: or Steve Mesh in the US under

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LRC in Troy celebrates 25 years of research and education

The PLDC team congratulates PLDC partner, The Lighting Research Center’s for it’s 25th Anniversary.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development. In this year The Lighting Research Center’s celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

Celebration is scheduled for March 20, 2013 in Troy, N.Y. The event will include a keynote, panel discussion, LRC tours and demonstrations, followed by a cocktail reception and dinner. “We expect this to be a landmark event for lighting. We have invited special individuals who have been instrumental to the history of the LRC to celebrate with us. In addition, the event will be open to the public,” said Russ Leslie, LRC cofounder and associate director.

The Value of Lighting

The topic for the 25th anniversary keynote and panel discussion is the value of lighting, also the subject of a new book by LRC Director Mark Rea, written to commemorate the LRC’s 25-year milestone. Dedicated to the notion that society undervalues light, largely because we do not properly measure its benefits, Value Metrics for Better Lighting brings together a wide range of research to illustrate how the effective use of light can benefit society and the environment. Published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the book is due for release January 2013 and will be available at the SPIE website.

“We often do not fully understand what lighting can do for us. We know that we need lighting, but that is as far as the thinking goes,” said Rea. “Our society undervalues light because we do not properly measure its benefits. We do a really good job of conceptualizing the costs of lighting systems because we can readily measure the costs. However, with no clear idea of benefits, there is little else that can be used in the value equation. Consequently, we unnecessarily waste our natural and capital resources.” Rea has served as Director since the LRC was established in 1988.

“The LRC’s 25th anniversary keynote and panel discussion will be a starting point for thoughtful consideration, discussion, and action,” said Rea. “The mission is nothing less than to change lighting practice—to bring value to lighting, and to define and measure benefits as well as costs.”

The LRC was established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and since that time, has built an international reputation as the preeminent source for objective information on lighting technologies, applications, and the human response to light. From developing innovative, leading-edge lighting solutions for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and U.S. Navy submarines, to schools, historic monuments, offices, and airports, the LRC effectively pairs advanced scientific research with dynamic design concepts to create an ideal environment for human life.

LRC focus areas and recent news 

The LRC’s groundbreaking research in light and health, particularly the effects of light on circadian rhythms, is directly improving the lives of children and adolescents, night-shift nurses, submariners, and people with Alzheimer’s disease. Recent news: Exposure to Light Could Help Alzheimer’s Patients Sleep Better and Light from Self-Luminous Tablet Computers Can Affect Evening Melatonin, Delaying Sleep.

The LRC leads the way in the application of solid-state lighting, bridging the gap between development of new technology and the end product. For example, when Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needed to develop innovative, efficient lighting solutions, they turned to the LRC. Recent news: Lighting Up the Aviation Industry.

LRC researchers are also improving the roadway visibility system, working to optimize the efficiency, safety, and appearance of fixed roadway lighting, lighting on vehicles, and traffic lights. Recent news: Ecoluminance: LRC Develops New Method to Light Roundabouts.

With projects on six continents, ranging from our partnership with the Swedish Energy Agency, to the development of the Regional Centre for Lighting (RCL) in Sri Lanka, to quality assurance testing for Lighting Africa, the LRC is truly a global research center. In addition, our ASSIST program brings together researchers, manufacturers, and government organizations from around the world to study and improve solid-state lighting. Recent news: LS13: Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer To Host International Symposium

The LRC is committed to educating the next generation of leaders in lighting, encouraging a view of lighting where economic gains are balanced with ecological sustainability. At the LRC, students work side by side with world experts in lighting. Recent news: Besal Lighting Education Fund Award Recipients.

The LRC is recognized throughout the world for objective, independent, third party testing of lighting products. The LRC’s state of the art photometry lab is the only university lighting laboratory accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). At our 25th anniversary event, we will have a ribbon cutting for our brand new photometry lab. Funded in part by a grant from NYSERDA, the new lab is located on the second floor of the Gurley Building in downtown Troy, N.Y.

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Preparing the contents of PLDC

By Alison Ritter, B.A. Hons, PGCE

“I won’t make that mistake again!” How many times have you heard yourself say that (in the last week!)? I am almost perfect, of course, but I do recall a very positive occasion when I was inclined to think that way…

At PLDC 2011 in Madrid I organised an Educators’ Knowledge Transfer Session. A teacher by profession, I drew up an Agenda I thought would work well for the 22 persons registered. After some short introductions, educators were to be invited to give a brief statement about which teaching / learning techniques they felt had been especially effective, followed by some discussion about coordinating (a part of) learning programmes and training teachers of Lighting Design. I set off for Madrid looking forward to an intimate round of discussions with colleagues from 14 different countries.

On the day of the pre-convention meeting itself over 60 people turned up. Great people! Designers, educators, colleagues from the lighting industry who were somehow involved in lighting education, researchers old and young, programme coordinators … There was no way I was going to be able to follow my carefully prepared Agenda! “I won’t make that mistake again!” I thought, and this time, in preparation for PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen, I am spending even more time even earlier planning even more pre-convention meetings. And it is proving to be even more exciting …

The initial idea of the PLDC pre-convention meetings was to create a mini-convention within the Big Picture convention, but the number of different areas of interest there are within the lighting community have led us to offering the opportunity for a variety of groups to meet and discuss – all in the interest of developing the lighting market from their respective points of view.

For PLDC 2013 I have to date personally specifically focussed on PhD students/candidates (Early Career Researchers) and Lighting Educators (primarily involved in academic programmes). PLDC is definitely an event that reports on state-of-the-art design ideas, the latest research findings and cutting-edge technologies – today. But the people who attend PLDC are all part of the future of the lighting design market and it makes sense to focus on the younger ones among us and how to cater for future generations of skilled professionals. This does not mean to say that “veterans” will not be welcome. They will be very well placed and their experience and input is invaluable.

The contents and format of the pre-convention meetings are still in the making, but we will be updating you regularly on the website. The relatively limited amount of time allowed for PLDC pre-convention meetings is to be used to clarify keys issues and pinpoint the way forward.
Besides the early career researchers and the educators, there is an indication that the lighting industry will be meeting to discuss new standardisation procedures. The topic that is beginning to seriously concern the lighting design community is that of accreditation/certification/credentialing. Specific associations have dedicated considerable effort into this whole topic, but there still remains a lot to be discussed, decided and coordinated.

Our goal is not only to provide a platform for these pre-convention meetings but also for the build-up to them and the follow-up activities, with the overall aim of supporting the lighting design community as it develops and responding to individuals’ needs. Constructive meetings before/after PLDC held in different parts of the world, with the results archived for communication within what will hopefully become a series of effective networks, will eventually make up the Big Picture that every one of you reading this is part of.

Comments and more ideas are welcome!

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The sky’s the limit when you go back to the roots

Daylighting summer course in Vicenza/I
By Alison Ritter











When we arrived in Vicenza it was 10.30 pm and 26°C. The students from the Daylight Thinking course organised by the European base of the University of Florida in Vicenza were gathered in the courtyard of the university building and were listening intently to Philippe Rahm talking about “Spaces made of light and climate”.

Forty-five minutes later the group began to disperse, wishing each other a good night and exchanging promises of when to meet the next day. No signs of fatigue? Not even after two weeks of intensive Daylight Thinking? The course, which was coordinated and headed by Giovanni Traverso, attracted lighting enthusiasts from literally around the world – from Belgium to Brazil, from Australia to Switzerland, from France to Singapore and from Turkey to the United Kingdom, from Portugal to Finland, not forgetting young designers from Italy.

Vincenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and practically an open museum of architectural gems, including many works by Andrea Palladio, there is probably no better place to start thinking about daylight than here in the north-east corner of Italy.
The course comprised a series of lectures by experts from the field of light and architecture, practical workshops to allow the students to experiment with light and space, and excursions to real projects by Carlo Scarpa, Sverre Fehn, Alvar Aalto and James Stirling (Venice Biennale), the Benetton factory in Treviso designed by Tadao Ando, plus works by Traverso-Vighy, Renzo Piano, Scarmozzi and Palladio on their doorstep.

Other highlights of the course included presentations by Henrik Clausen on The Properties of Light, Alessandro Gobbetti on Daylight in Virtual Spaces, and Helmut Köster on Daylight Control Systems. Italian colleagues Paola Vighy, Marina Vio, Ilaria Abbondandolo, Vitale Zanchettin, and Alessandra Chemollo and Fulvio Orsenigo covered topics related to light and colour, lighting for exhibitions and galleries, the history of daylight in architecture, and photographing daylight and architecture.
Talking to the students at the close of the course, their reactions ranged from excitement at having begun to understand the significance daylight in architecture to an expressed intent to continue to add to the interest triggered by the course. The chance to view and experience real sites and expand knowledge and skills by listening to leaders in the field and testing ideas on scale models was a welcome change, if not an absolute innovation, to many of those present.

Reading this report, you are most likely feeling pangs of regret if you missed it. Not to worry – this year’s course was such a success there is a very good chance that it will take place again next year.

Based on the experience gathered through the lectures and excursions, the attendees were asked to design models to demonstrate daylight effects in a given space. The models were created with a love of detail and for specific effect and the results were overwhelmingly convincing.

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The model Moving Light designed by Elena Panza, Liane Rulian Ee and Lin Zhang used simple means in a creative way to demonstrate how changes in atmosphere can be generated within a space through light. The box was wrapped tightly in elastic net, parts of which were drawn down into the space through holes in the “ceiling” by a thread fixed to the floor. The space changed – not only due to the cones of net, but also due to the varying light effects.

The second project 3D Light by Parndej Boondej, Chee Kean Lim and Martino Messi demonstrated changing lighting effects and atmospheres generated by the path of the sun. The same static façade comes to life through the numerous variations of natural light effects. The concept behind the façade design and how this was translated into a structure are significant features of this project. The effects are thanks to the clever application of coloured gels and indirect light.

The same approach was applied in the project designed by Guido Granara, Virginie Nicolas , Wim Bruneel, which reflects indirect light via a suspended structure and a disc with different colours. The atmosphere in the space changes depending on the changing angle of incidence of the light source. An additional small opening in the ceiling allows sunlight to penetrate the space, a constant reminder of the path of the sun over the day.

The project designed by Antony di Mase, Baiba Brezinska and Daniela Meneghelli gives rise to a completely different effect. The design is based on cove lighting applied to the rounded double wall at the rear of the box. The wall comes across as a display window, gaining from the light that accentuates the elements “on display”. A central opening in the ceiling allows light to pour into the space, again falling through a display window. This display window thrives on the light entering from different angles and corresponds to the rear wall.

The work designed by Sarper Ulusel, Rogerio Oliveira and Anne Moldenhauer revolves around reflections. Much depends on how bright the ambient light is. Too much light detracts from the “play of brilliants” effect, too little ambient light prevents the viewer from reading the space and enhances the play of brilliants. The space is lined with nothing more than aluminium foil.

These excellent results document the success of the summer academy. This is one reason, although not the only one, for staging another Daylight Thinking course next year.


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