29. Feb 2016

Young designers’ speaker competition

The Challenge is a young designers’ speaker competition. It was held for the first time in the two years leading up to PLDC 2015 in Rome. All involved were highly impressed by the quality of the speakers and the excellent choice of topics.


The winners of the first edition of the interactive educational programme The Challenge 2014/15 were Pernille Krieger and Eik Lykke Nielsen, a “double act” from Aarhus University/DK, who gave a paper on “Lighting design to help elderly citizens live independently”. They were coached by Brendan Keely. Further coaches involved in the first edition were Florence Lam, Tapio Rosenius, Iain Ruxton and Emrah Baki Ulas. The independent jury who selected the overall winner of The Challenge 2014/15 after Round IV at PLDC 2015 in Rome consisted of Dr. Kevin Houser, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University/USA and Prof. Susanne Brenninkmeijer/B, currently teaching at the University of applied Sciences in Düsseldorf/D, with Malcolm Innes from Edinburgh Napier University/UK as the Jury Head (no vote). The Challenge 2014/2015 was sponsored by partners from the industry who supported this new format and helped the programme to flourish: Philips (Principal Partner), Reggiani (Supporting Partner), SLL (Knowledge Partner), as well as Xicato and Ansorg. The goal of the programme is to activate more students or recent graduates from more schools to interact with each other, learn from each other and from experienced professionals, and become a more accepted part of the lighting design community. It is designed to develop presenting skills and structured thinking, to boost students’ confidence, and to integrate more practising professionals into educational efforts. The competition comprises four rounds: Round I is a call for topics at universities teaching Lighting Design around the world. The respective universities select and submit a maximum of 15 topics. The up to 15 students or recent graduates from the different universities in Round I are asked to film a three-minute “elevator pitch” to convince a jury of six lighting professionals. For the 2016/2017 edition these are: Thorsten Bauer/D, Anne Bureau/F, Paul Gregory/USA, Jeff Shaw/UK, Paul Traynor/UK and Koert Vermeulen/B. They have the task of selecting 18 speakers to go on to the next round. Each designer takes on three speakers to coach. Round III takes the form of a miniconference and will be held in London in February 2017 in conjunction with The Bartlett, UCL. The 18 winners from Round II, supported by their respective coaches, each present a 15 to 20-minute paper on their topic. The best six semi-finalists – one speaker per coach – will present a 45-minute paper at PLDC 2017 in Paris supported by their individual coaches. The mini-conference programme will also include professional papers given by the coaches and a critical debate as well as social and networking activities. Day Two of the mini-conference will include a specific number of short scientific slots for early career researchers (pre-docs). This is not part of the speaker competition, but one step towards bridg-ing the gap between the research community and the lighting design community. Round IV will be an integral part of PLDC 2017 in Paris. All finalists receive a PLDC speaker’s fee and a full conference ticket for the convention. Travel and accommodation costs are also covered. The overall winner will be announced at the PLDC Gala Dinner. He/she receives a money prize to the amount 1000 euros.

The Challenge coaches 2016/17:
Thorsten Bauer/D
Anne Bureau/F
Paul Gregory/USA
Jeff Shaw/UK
Paul Traynor/UK
Koert Vermeulen/B


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