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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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