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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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Learning from Neil Harbisson

indexLearning from someone who experiences vision differently

by Joachim Ritter

We all know what it means to be colour-blind. At least, we think we do.

A person who is “colour-blind” is not able to see colours. Well, that’s a simple way of putting it. If we take a closer look at this colour vision deficiency, we learn that there are two kinds of “colour blindness”, or to be more exact partial colour blindness (the difficulty in distinguishing between red and green, or blue and yellow) and total colour blindness. In general, we tend to describe people who cannot distinguish between red and green as being “colour-blind”. That is not correct, however. On the one hand, as a rule red-green colour blindness is only partial colour blindness and not total colour blindness, and on the other hand it means only two of the three colour receptors in the eye are defective.

images Given that only five to nine per cent of the male population is known to suffer from red-green colour blindness, we can safely say that we tend to use the term “colour blindness” wrongly. Medically speaking, real “colour blindness” (or to use the Latin term, “achromatopsia”) actually occurs very seldom. In these cases the person concerned is really not able to see any colours at all. Which means that the person’s vision has to rely on the light-dark receptors. True colour blindness frequently leads to a noticeable deterioration in the person’s vision overall.

Neil Harbisson is colour-blind – 100 per cent. He has not been able to see colours since the day he was born. He does not know what a red heart means or a blue ocean or green bread. He does not know these things and never has. But he can hear colours. At the age of 21 he had a probe implanted in his brain. A head-mounted antenna senses the colours directly in front of him and converts them in real-time into sound waves through bone conduction. The first impression we get of Neil Harbisson is that he looks like some kind of alien, with an antenna perched on the top of his head.

IDNeil Harbisson perceives his surroundings quite differently from the majority of people on this planet. He has never experienced differentiating between white people and black people. Judging by the sounds his brain receives skin colour is only evident in different shades of orange. Even if you initially regard the physical defect Neil lives with as a disadvantage, this is the point where you can say that he has a clear advantage over all other people: he knows that there is no basic difference in skin colour itself; it is only a matter of colour intensity. Which is naturally also evident within the groups of so-called “white” or “black” people.

You can discover more about Neil Harbisson and what other advantages he has gained through his special situation and how he decided to cope with it at PLDC, where he will be giving a presentation. It is not every day that you can enjoy such an inspirational experience.

And by the way: if you try to talk to Neil Harbisson about technical lighting standards, it just brings a smile to his lips.

Neil Harbisson is presenting at PLDC on Saturday at 10.15

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How PLDC is supporting market developments

International design competition in Rome linked to PLDC

by Joachim Ritter

A national culture is not only made up of positive phases. Nor is it possible to simply deny positive phases or undesirable political developments in a country – or wilfully destroy cultural heritage in order to eliminate the evidence of a specific era. Monuments that are thousands of years old as well as architecture from the past few decades are an expression of social and political processes and thus deserve to be preserved. Architecture can serve as a positive reminder of bygone times, but also of a warning of less positive historic events.


1. Palazzo Uffici 2. Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana 3. Palazzo dei Congressi 4. Palazzo Mostra della Romanità 5. Palazzo delle Poste 6. Nuvola 7. Archiio Centrale di Stato

The EUR district in Rome features a number of examples of the fascist architecture that date back to Mussolini times. Thank goodness we can now put this chapter in our history behind us. Now, more than half a century later, the time has come to accept this architecture for what it is, and regard it objectively for its historic significance. The new conference centre in Rome, designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, gives the City of Rome good reason to initiate this process.

The international design competition for a state-of-the-art lighting scheme for the EUR district addresses the exciting issue of culture, architecture and the significance of lighting in context. In cooperation with the National Council of Italian Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Curators, The Department for the Environment and Sustainability in Rome, AIDI, APIL and the Chamber of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Curators in Rome, the City of Rome is inviting interdisciplinary teams of planners to tackle this challenge and submit realisable design concepts. How can light preserve the history of a city vividly and meaningfully and at the same time lend an urban quarter a new and modern identity through contemporary design? Light has the power to put architecture in a social and political context.

The competition is open to interdisciplinary teams comprising at least one architect and one lighting designer. As the initiators and organisers of PLDC, we are delighted to have helped provide the impetus to make this design competition happen and thus provide an example to the Italian lighting design community, through the international context, of the changes the lighting design profession is currently undergoing. Through this competition, the international lighting design community can prove that lighting designed by a qualified professional creates added value for the culture of a nation.

We therefore invite all architects and lighting designers to take part in this unique design competition and submit feasible concepts for the given site. The more interest this generates, and the greater the response, the more powerful the arguments will be for the significance of the lighting designer as part of the value chain to deliver quality architectural spaces.

The results of the competition will be presented at PLDC 2015 in Rome and the winners will be announced in a special ceremony. This means that PLDC will not only continue to gain significance with regard to knowledge and trends in lighting design, but also when it comes to official recognition of the profession, thus strengthening its position as an international platform for lighting designers, architects, clients, education and research, the lighting industry and political bodies.

More information and the full Call for Entries will be available from the end of May on this page.


Palazzo Uffici

1.  Palazzo UfficiPalazzo della Civiltà Italiana

2. Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Palazzo dei Congressi3. Palazzo dei Congressi

Palazzo dello Sport

Palazzo dello Sport

Obelisco di Marconi

Obelisco di Marconi


6. Centro Congressi Nuvola

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“The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

by Joachim Ritter

The new lighting for The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci met with the approval of experts from the lighting field.

The existing lighting for The Last Supper could only be described as insipid and washed out. It certainly did not whet anyone’s appetite for anything, spiritual or otherwise. Not surprising given that the light sources used to light – or should one say afflict – da Vinci’s masterpiece in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Dominican convent were fluorescent lamps … And we all know that fluorescent light does very little to enhance the appearance of a meal, let alone the people sat at the table.


on gthe occaision of the opening Adolfo Guzzini proudly comments on the new lighting of “The Last Supper”.

In the last days of March, a special event was staged to officially launch the new lighting scheme for the wondrous painting for the public. Just four weeks before the opening of Expo 2015 in Milan, and two days before Maundy Thursday, state-of-the-art lighting demonstrated that the historic occasion depicted, and the items of food on the table, can look as fresh as they would have done almost 2000 years ago. It is all a question of light, and in this case of digital light. Of course, we are not talking about the display of fruit and vegetables in a modern shopping environment, but about the overall atmosphere in a space in which, according to Christian belief, an historic event took place.

At the Last Supper Jesus took bread and shared it with his twelve apostles, saying “Do this in remembrance of me”. The meal they took together thus became a symbol of his continuing presence in his community, and the words spoken and actions undertaken have been adopted in the Christian belief as part of the Holy Communion, sometimes also referred to as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. The painting is very large: 422 by 904 centimetres and shows Jesus with his twelve disciples at the moment immediately after he had revealed to them: “One of you will betray me”. The painting is regarded as a milestone of the Renaissance period, because the accurate perspective depth it portrays had a tremendous impact on painting in the western world.


This is what researchers expect the original painting to be.

The work was created by Leonardo da Vinci between the years 1494 and 1498, commissioned by the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza. And now the masterpiece has been relit in close collaboration with Fabio Aramini, who is Head of Photometry and Lighting Design at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro in Rome. The restoration also incorporated retouching the colours.

In the picture there are three windows in the background. The wall on the right from the perspective of the viewer is brighter, indicating the influx of daylight and the position of the sun. This therefore meant that this part of the painting needed to be more brightly lit. This idea was reiterated in the refectory in the monastery where the painting is. All except one of the windows in the refectory are shaded. Incident daylight can only be seen on the right-hand side when facing the painting.


The painting as it is now.

When painting this masterpiece, Leonardo did not trust in traditional, resistant fresco techniques that meant the paint had to be applied quickly while the plaster was still wet. Instead, he decided to experiment with a new method (fresco-secco technique) that would allow him to continue perfecting the details of the painting even after the plaster had dried.

Unfortunately, Leonardo’s experiment proved to be far from ideal and the painting soon began to deteriorate. Over the centuries, this meant the painting needed to be restored on numerous occasions. In 1999, the latest restoration project, which took over twenty years to complete, finally unveiled what was left of the original painting after carefully removing the clumsy attempts at restoration made previously.

The new LED lighting system brings richer colour to The Last Supper while also guaranteeing better light distribution control and the correct conservation of the painting thanks to unchanging light levels and a consistent reduction in the heat dissipated inside the room. Thermographic assessment and spectramorphic survey values have been achieved that are 30 times lower than the levels stipulated by Italian and European standards for highly sensitive artworks. All the photometric, thermal and microclimatic values registered were conducted and certified by the Photometry Laboratory for the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration or ISCR.

The colour rendering index (CRI or Ra) is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to faithfully reproduce the colours of objects. In order to compare the colour rendering properties of each light source objectively, the standard CIE measuring method operates on a scale from 0 to 100 (poor to excellent). The Palco floodlights used to illuminate The Last Supper are fitted with continuous spectrum CoB LEDs with a high blue radiation presence and ample warm light tone. The colour temperature is 3400K.

The new lighting systems for the art works and their environment improve energy efficiency and reduce absorbed power (more than 80%) by helping conserve these masterpieces in the best way possible. The decision to replace halogen lamps with new LED products has reduced the power dissipated by the system from 3400 watt/h to 570 watt/h.

At PLDC Fabio Aramini and Piergiovanni Ceregioli from iGuzzini will present the design process in a 45-minute presentation.

Project team:
Client: Architectural and Landscapes Heritage Office for the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lodi, Monza, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese.
Lighting solution: iGuzzini Research and Development Centre, the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR), the Architectural and Landscapes Heritage Office for the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lodi, Monza, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese.
Electrical installation: Tecnosaier srl – Lucio and Fabio Pironi.

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UL and the call for quality

Official PLDC warm-up in collaboration with UL

by Joachim Ritter

The call for a minimum level of quality is becoming louder. Many designers and clients feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the issue of whether they have managed to reach the level of safety stipulated for the products they specify or apply. The reasons for more stringent quality management requirements lie, on the one hand, in the risks arising from a global market and, on the other hand, in the competition through the price pressure from the Far East, which is swamping the globe. Strangely enough, very few people link the price of a product with the quality of that product. As a result, even high-quality suppliers of lighting solutions are compelled to succumb to lower pricing and forgo larger profit margins. There comes a point, however, where someone has to put his foot down with a firm hand. Especially when the quality of light is not only a question of technology but also a human-oriented issue.

The term Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is widely used by high-quality suppliers of lighting products and systems right now… and actually describes the work a lighting designer does pretty well: designing spaces for humans. This is therefore also an argument for gaining more recognition for the lighting design profession – a big chance to come nearer to establishing the profession – provided lighting designers can prove they know how to design lighting in order to satisfy the demands of this new approach.

Manufacturers of high-grade HCL products and product ranges are prepared to go to considerable lengths to ensure their quality products end up in the hands of qualified designers. Otherwise they would once again be compelled – as they were in the seventies – to continue to activate, or educate, their own design departments. That would be like making the same mistake all over again, which neither the lighting design community nor the lighting industry really want, but which will become unavoidable if the independent lighting designers don’t deliver.

Who is in a position to offer Human Centric Lighting products on the market today is another question. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories and is originally from the USA. UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.

In the field of lighting UL is now globally promoting new standards and offering services to certify quality products and services. We as the organisers of PLDC 2015 are happy to welcome UL as a sponsoring partner of the event in Rome. In collaboration, we are also staging a warm-up in Milan together within the framework of Euroluce. Please note down the 15. April, 2015.

FullOfLightExperienceUL services and expertise bring new opportunities to light.
Rapidly evolving thinking about energy efficiency and public safety – along with exciting technological advances – is driving the evolution of the lighting industry, providing greater opportunities and growing challenges. Designers and manufacturers can leverage UL’s safety science expertise, worldwide presence, and active involvement in the lighting industry to gain accelerated access to the global marketplace and to meet regulatory requirements.
Leverage UL’s global lighting expertise in testing, certification and standards development activities.
UL testing, certification and global market access services provide efficient, cost-effective entrance to over 50 countries.
UL works to build relationships with the entire lighting supply chain, including manufacturers, retailers, showrooms, designers, regulatory authorities, government agencies and consumers. UL is the only independent laboratory currently serving on the Zhaga Consortium Steering Committee, an industry group that is developing specifications to enable interchangeability for LED light sources made by multiple manufacturers.
UL meets the needs of the lighting industry so effectively because they know the industry from the inside out. Their active leadership in lighting standards development committees and industry technical task groups and their participation in global industry conferences and trade shows allow them to deepen their understanding of the ever-evolving lighting industry and to share this critical business intelligence with customers.
In response to the high-pressure deadlines that are part of doing business in this industry, they have further enhanced their capacity to accommodate short turnaround time requests. UL’s five state-of-the-art performance and energy efficiency laboratories, located around the globe, help speed the testing process. Test results can be delivered in just five business days for IEC’s LM-79 testing and in seven days for DesignLights Consortium testing.
The breadth of UL service offerings enables customers to take advantage of cost-saving bundling offers and to eliminate unnecessary redundant testing. Thus customers can meet the performance and energy efficiency requirements in support of programmes such as ENERGY STAR®, California Energy Commission, DesignLights Consortium, Lighting Facts, NRCan and Zhaga. Additionally, UL regularly conducts testing to IESNA LM-79, IESNA LM-80, IESNA LM-82 and fluorescent lamp ballast testing requirements. UL’s trusted expertise and network of accredited global laboratories convincingly demonstrates adherence to safety and energy efficiency standards to regulatory authorities.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about UL is welcome to attend the official PLDC warm-up on the occasion of Euroluce 2015 in Milan. Please register here. Tickets are limited.

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PLDC programme 2015 realeased

CIBSE acknowledge PLDC for CPD credits

by Joachim Ritter

TCIBSE CPD_150x150he fifth edition of the Professional Lighting Design Convention, PLDC 2015 in Rome will continue in the vein of what has proven to be a highly effective and successful modern convention concept. The educational event is built around communication and the active sharing of knowledge and know-how. This year we are anticipating welcoming more than 1500 attendees. Besides the groups we have targeted to date – lighting designers, educators, researchers, students and representatives from the lighting industry – a larger number of architects, as well as public and private clients, are expected to be present in Rome. Expanding our target groups in this way illustrates our medium-term strategy to encourage all those involved in architectural projects to understand more about light, and how and why it is applied.

The motto of this year’s event, “An educated decision”, points to the fact that lighting design is a specialist discipline which is based on scientific findings and knowledge from the fields of medicine and technology – and that it can be learned. Whereas in the past some people have referred to lighting design as something you are born with, we have now come to recognise that architectural lighting, like any other design disciplines, is based on design principles that can be learned. That is to say: every decision made during the design process is an educated decision and not exclusively subjective or arbitrary.

We again received more than 250 paper submissions, and again only 72 could be selected for PLDC in Rome. Everyone knows when they respond to the Call for Papers that not every paper can be accepted, but needless to say those who were not chosen were disappointed. Basically, only one in three submissions received is included in the final programme. This does not mean to say that two thirds of the paper submissions were not important or relevant. It means that the 72 papers presented at PLDC were triple blind reviewed and their topics and content were assessed as being most important for the lighting design world right now.

But PLDC offers far more than a high-quality conference programme. This year attendees can sign up for excursions to projects in Rome, visit a series of Experience Rooms, take part in moderated discussions outside the conference rooms, join social networking events, attend pre-convention meetings, witness Round IV of our young speakers competition The Challenge, visit the manufacturers’ exhibition, and book a seat at the traditional gala evening for the PLD Recognition awards that concludes the overall event.

Last but not least, I would like to mention that established institutes and associations accept PLDC as a high-quality event and valuable educational activity. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, CIBSE acknowledge this by granting CPD points for attendance.

From start to finish, there are ample opportunities to expand your personal knowledge and skills and develop your professional career, all in line with Jim Rohn’s philosophy: “Formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune!”

Please check out the complete program here.

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Patience, people, patience!

by Alison Ritter

It recently came to my notice that a TV commercial promoting the sale of chocolate to kiddies was actually based on a famous experiment carried out in the late 1960’s at Stanford University in California, one of the world’s most revered research institutions. The experiment was called The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control. Children of kindergarten age were sat at a table with a small toy – or a marshmallow – on it and told that they would be left alone in the room for a few moments. If they refrained from touching (or eating) the “object of desire” they would be rewarded with a second toy/marshmallow.

So what is this about? Self-control? The power of endurance? Or just about being patient? Sayings such as “good things come to those who wait” spring to mind, and we are always being told that “patience is a virtue”. But why? Why do we have to be patient if we can get what we want right away? We can source just about any information we need to know on the Internet. We can order clothes, books, entertainment products online and have them delivered the next day. And we can send back what we don’t want, or things we ordered without truly thinking about it. Wow! Is that progress – based on anti-patience?

Whatever field of work you are in, there will be times when you have to rustle up all your strength to be patient. Impatient people are often regarded as being insensitive or even arrogant. They come across as impulsive people who are likely to be poor decision-makers. Such people are unlikely to end up in leadership positions.


To return to the Marshmallow Test: this experiment was, of course, in the context of evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience, where patience is studied as a decision-making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in the short term, or a more valuable reward in the long term. Apparently, when given a choice, all animals – humans included – tend to favour short term rewards over long term rewards. In the Stanford experiment, the researchers were able to indicate that the children who showed self-control did better in school, had fewer problems with overweight or drugs, and were by far more successful professionally. Needless to say, in the TV commercial I mentioned above, the children succumbed to the temptation, because the goodies were simply too hard to resist.

It is hard to resist what appears to be a rewarding offer. We are faced with such offers on a daily basis, from buy-one-get-one-free at supermarkets (generally low or average quality commodities) to a plethora of profession-related offers we are encouraged not to refuse – courses, conferences, seminars, workshops that all promise to “enlighten” us. The right choice should be related to quality. Impulsive decisions may be ones we regret.

After the last PLDC in 2013 in Copenhagen, attendees left the venue informed, inspired and positively impatient. “What are we going to do until the next PLDC?” was a question frequently heard. Well, it’s still a year to go, but it will be worth waiting for.

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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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The future is looking brighter in the Middle East

Skyline of Dubai will change a lot in the coming years. 400 more hotels planned.

by Joachim Ritter

Dubai Skyline rotIn and around the United Arab Emirates, and in particular in Dubai, they are on the brink of a new building boom. If one is to believe what could be heard off-the-record at Light Middle East, in the coming years they are planning to build another 400 hotels in Dubai alone. The number is not a typing error! There are two reasons for this: the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and Expo 2020 in Dubai. Many of the large expanses of land available for building will be dedicated to Expo 2020, of course. But this is not about the kind of scale we are accustomed to from former world exhibitions. We are talking about dimensions for buildings that make sense on a Burj Khalifa scale. The future is definitely beginning to look brighter after the abrupt building freeze as a result of the economic crisis.


View from the 146 floor of Burj Kalifa = 555 m above see level onto the “small” skyscrapers of the Sheikh Zayed Road.

Not surprising, therefore, that Light Middle East made effort to give the fair an additional push this year, given that its image had suffered somewhat over the last few years. And it would appear they are off to a reasonably good start.

In this context, there are two issues that deserve a more explicit mention. The first one concerns the market and how satisfied clients and users are with the quality of lighting products. Martin Valentine, lighting designer und Coordinator for Public Lighting in Abu Dhabi, gave a talk about the forthcoming stipulations for the specification of products for application in the public realm. Manufacturers who do not adhere to these requirements in advance will have little chance of competing on the market in future. It is interesting to see that when it comes to quality the bar has been raised substantially – much higher than what the industry initially imposed. As a client, Abu Dhabi has made no secret as to what their expectations are to the industry. What the lighting industry has not managed to accomplish of their own accord has now been put upon them in the form of an initiative from clients. And there are many other clients in the region who are more than happy to go along with this.

On behalf of his employer, and with his know-how and experience as a professional lighting designer, Martin Valentine has rung in a new era in the Middle East. Many clients see to be tired of always having to sort out replacement deliveries and claims for damages when specified LED products do not work under specific conditions, such as in extremely hot climates. And they are obviously now experienced and competent enough not to believe everything the manufacturers’ reps tell them, or even what designers claim to be the truth and nothing but the truth. Lighting designers who do not have sufficient know-how or skills to bear the responsibility for their realised concepts are going to have a tough time of it in future.

The second point is that the lighting industry in the Middle East is becoming more structured. The Middle East Lighting Association (MELA) is a federation of manufacturers who have formed a common front in order to be able to address the new stipulations in a professional manner. The association has been active for a year now and is now a member of the Global Lighting Organisation.

Dubai_JR_3In addition to those two developments, it can be observed that the lighting professionals in the Middle East have now discovered that they do actually exist as a community. The 150 lighting designers and architects working in established firms in the Middle East who gathered at the recent PLDC 2015 warm-up and party, which was staged in Dubai in close collaboration with iGuzzini, document this to a tee. This, in effect, means that the region has taken a significant step towards gaining more recognition within the international context. As the initiators of PLDC and organisers of the associated warm-up events – in Dubai with our Diamond Partner iGuzzini – we have to admit that are proud to have provided the framework for this to happen. The group of lighting professionals from the Middle East who will be attending PLDC 2015 in Rome will be of a substantial size and therefore in a position to provide considerable input in the way of new experience in the field.

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Less that 365 days to go to PLDC

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.


PLDC warm-Up conference in Istanbul/TY

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.

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.


Sisteen Chapel in Rome, now lit by Osram.

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