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About PLDC

Preface to the Call For Papers

Dear Friends of PLDC, dear Lighting Design Community,

The sixth edition of the Professional Lighting Design Convention, PLDC will be taking place in Paris/F from 1. to 4. November, 2017. This may initially sound or read as being pretty much matter-of-fact and sober. But it in fact marks something very special and a real chance for the lighting design community. Allow me to elaborate on this a little.

Over the last ten years, since the very first PLDC in London back in 2007, we have – through PLDC and the PLD – witnessed and been part of a fundamental change in the lighting design world. In London, those present adopted a Declaration on Lighting Design as a profession for the first time. This was disseminated worldwide, providing the initial impetus for many to become pro-active. In the meantime, the Declaration has been translated into different languages and has served as the basis for defining a lighting designer’s scope of work and responsibilities.

And yet here we find ourselves, ten years later, on the threshold of an even more radical change – in both the technological sense and with respect to the profession. The motto for PLDC 2017 in Paris is “Shift happens”, which couldn’t be more apt. It was not without reason that we opted for Paris as the location for the next PLDC. This motto is equally meaningful for the City of Paris, given their reputation as the first City of Lights.


The PLDC team have continued to develop the event over the years, expanding the conference and the accompanying programme and aligning it to address current trends and requirements. The market has responded with gratitude and increasing interest, as the growing numbers of attendees show. In 2007 we recorded over 1000 attendees, and at PLDC 2015 in Rome we attracted 1700. There is every indication that the number of PLDC attendees in Paris is not likely to be below that of Rome. Our objective is to be the largest effective platform dedicated to the development of Lighting Design worldwide.

But it is not the number of attendees that decides how successful a PLDC is, but rather what results from the papers presented and the other educational opportunities and discussions on and around lighting and the profession. The higher the quality of the content and the presentations, the more dynamic Lighting Design will be able to develop. The more interesting and interested the attendees are, the greater the chance is to change the market and play a pro-active role in achieving that. In past years, PLDC has sent out strong messages – with effect. Key developments, and even trends have been born at PLDCs and established in the industry as a whole. This is where ideas are presented and solutions found. But this is also where critical issues are raised, and discussed and debated openly. PLDC is THE international platform for independent, state-of-the-art lighting design – not to be missed if you want to be part of the future.


In Rome, a Think Tank comprising seven experienced professionals from the world of architecture, lighting design, lighting education and research, and with experience in working with public and private clients, met to analyse and discuss PLDC and the lighting design market. The Think Tank discussions concluded by defining PLDC as the “Thought Leadership Event” of international lighting design. As a concrete result of these discussions, we have taken it upon ourselves to take crucial steps to develop PLDC and accept responsibility for the market. VIA-Verlag has undertaken everything in the last few months to create the right framework to provide the international market with an appropriate platform.


Now it is up to you – the lighting designers, researchers, educators, architects, clients and, of course, the lighting industry, to fill this framework with life. We are looking for the best, the most future-oriented and relevant contents for the best community of lighting specialists, who come together in the same place at the same time to learn and discuss what the future holds in store. We are not looking for lectures which have already been presented and discussed elsewhere, but for approaches and information that is new and can inspire us all to overcome the challenges of the future. We are looking for designers and others who are prepared to work together to shape the lighting design world and gain the recognition for the profession that it deserves.mediale Stadt


Do not restrict your input to simply responding to the Call for Papers, but consider this overall process as a real chance for Lighting Design. Take the time – through your cooperation, your know-how and your thoughts – to be part of the start of a further development in the lighting design world. We have engaged the assistance of more than 20 practising professional designers to read and evaluate your submissions in a blind review process. You can be sure that this will enable us to again compile the best possible programme for the coming PLDC 2017 in Paris.

It is now up to the lighting design community, and to you personally, to again make PLDC an educational event that will benefit every individual attendee and support the call for recognition of the lighting designer within society as the truly qualified expert when it comes to all aspects of designing with light.

Joachim Ritter, September 2016

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Top 10 reasons out of a 100 that will convince you to attend PLDC 2015

PLDC – learn and enjoy!

by Joachim Ritter

Of course there are countless reasons why you should be attending PLDC! Should you have not yet made up your mind to attend the largest convention on lighting design worldwide, take a look at the following top ten reasons for being there:

  1. Attend the most important architectural lighting design event this autumn
  2. Meet the anticipated 1,500 professionals and colleagues from the international world of lighting
  3. Dance at the legendary PLD community parties and evening events
  4. Learn about the latest research findings
  5. Participate in discussions and sessions in which lighting design trends are created
  6. Witness the next steps towards establishing the architectural lighting design profession, which is planned to be realised by 2017
  7. Shape your professional career by attending this CPD-acknowledged event (CIBSE and CNAPPC)
  8. Visit and experience Rome! One of the most historically and culturally interesting cities worldwide
  9. Listen to more than 70 papers and six inspiring Keynote Speakers
  10. Enjoy meeting colleagues, making new friends and finding business partners!

You want to share your arguments for attending? Feel free to comment and let the Professional Lighting Design community know why you will be present at PLDC 2015 in Rome!

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Who I will meet at PLDC 2015 in Rome?

by Joachim Ritter

Of course, we can’t give you the final list of attendees at PLDC 2015 in Rome now already. But what we can say is that the chances are very high that you will meet many renowned, experienced and ongoing lighting designers as well as clients, architects, researchers, educators, students and lighting industry people from all over the world. More than you would ever meet at any other conference around the globe. Some lighting design practices will even be closing their offices down completely during the week PLDC takes place.

A leading lighting design practise from UK has decided to bring his complete team to Rome. That means 18 lighting designers. Lighting designers sees the value PLDC offers in the way of high-quality education, discussions and activities – and the international network – for his design team. From previous years we know that other design practices have made similar decisions. During the PLDC week, the lighting design world in the offices takes a break, and a deep breath, to be able to take the next step into the future based on educated decisions.

We also often see groups of designers forming and coming as a delegation representing their respective country. For example, a group of 20 lighting designers plus ten architects from Iran are expected to attend this year’s event in Rome. This is ten times more than we counted for PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen. Traditionally the Finnish designers also come as an organised group. Up to 30 designers are expected from this part of Northern Europe – and that is without those who register individually. For groups of at least ten we offer special deals and arrangements. Group registration forms are available.

Specific international networks will be holding meetings at PLDC. The EILD group has been a partner of PLDC since 2011 in Madrid. They will be meeting to prepare their 2016 conference in Brazil on board level. We also welcome the Visual Ergonomics researchers. They will offer a workshop for everyone on the Wednesday afternoon in the form of a pre-convention meeting.

Statistik 02_2015Also we notice a tremendous growth of interest on our website. This year the page impressions on our website are extraordinarily high. Compared to the same time two years ago, we have counted a total growth in page impressions of over 120%. In February 2015 alone, when the programme was released, growth was recorded as being at 150%. The third year in a row we are doubling the numbers of page impressions on our website. Until now we have counted 180,000 impressions. By PLDC, we expect around 500,000 impressions in total.

We also expect a strong growth in the number of architects and clients attending PLDC this year. The event is seen as an increasingly important marketplace to further development in the field of professional politics and lighting design knowledge. Slowly but surely light is becoming acknowledged as an important issue in architectural design – and this needs taking care of by skilled designers.


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Design questions

by Joachim Ritter

In the last few days we have received a number of enquiries regarding the design of our PLDC website. Those who have been following PLDC since 2007 will have noticed that we have come up with a completely new website concept for the coming event. I am happy to divulge the ideas behind the concept.

For every PLDC event we change the complementary colour. The dark blue background remains the same. In Copenhagen we opted for green as the complementary colour. This fitted well since Sustainable Design was one of the main themes of the convention. In Rome the focus will be on light and (modern) culture, and on architecture and light. The complementary colour for PLDC 2015 is a dark rose pink. This colour is both vibrant and warming, and reflects well the dynamic and friendly spirit that PLDC has come to represent, welcoming lighting enthusiasts from all parts of the world.

A website is created to provide users with information. Unfortunately, complex website structures can make it difficult for users to navigate the site and find what they are looking for. They lose interest, abandon the website and end up missing out on important information. That is why we decided to find a way to structure the website pages to enable users to navigate to the relevant section easily, while still posting all the main news on the home page. To this end, we developed so-called bubbles that contain concise information and are linked to separate pages with further details on the respective topic, partner, warm-up event, and so on.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-11-15 um 15.26.05The bubbles stem from, and even look like, “speech bubbles”. This is in line with our belief that everyone who attends PLDC has a voice and a right to raise it and express his/her opinion and share his/her knowledge with others. Every voice counts. Every opinion is important to us.

In the first few months since the site relaunch in March 2014 the concept has proven to be highly successful. We have recorded 14 per cent more visitors, and double the number of page impressions.

If you have any further comments you are welcome to snd these to us.

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Thank you nearly 250 submissions for PLDC 2015

SubmissionsLast Friday marked another milestone in the build-up to the next PLDC in Rome. At the close of the Call for Papers we had received nearly 250 submissions. These reached us as follows:
–    30 between 1st September and 11th November
–    43 on 12th November
–    53 on 13th November
–    120 on Friday, 14th November, with 80 coming in between 18.00 and 23.00 CET

This shows that last-minute work is still part of our day-to-day life, all possible thanks to the digital world we live in.

The number of submissions is again a new record in the history of PLDC. We have received proposals from lighting designers, researchers, architects and public and private clients. Submissions came in from all over the world.

Each paper proposal will be blind-reviewed and evaluated by three experts from the field. Our Paper Selection Committee comprises 15 experienced lighting designers, architects, educators and researchers from twelve different countries around the world. They will be reading the abstracts, assessing the proposals according to strict guidelines, and providing comments.

The Steering Committee will base the conference programme on the Paper Selection Committee’s assessments and recommendations. Everyone who submitted a paper will be informed in February whether or not their paper has been selected for PLDC 2015.
The programme is planned to be published at the beginning of March 2015.

In the coming three months we will also fix the Keynote Speakers and finalise the rest of the programme around the four conference tracks. Further activities at PLDC will include excursions, moderated discussions, Experience Rooms, the final round of the student speakers’ competition The Challenge, and other surprises.

Interest in PLDC has risen again compared to the 2013 edition in Copenhagen. To date we have registered a growth in page impressions on the PLDC site of more than 100 per cent.

We will keep you updated on all developments.

Your team of PLDC organisers.

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