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PLDC a great success

4 November 2009 10.00 BST

(Germany) - The second Professional Lighting Design Convention, PLDC took place in Berlin from 29th to 31st October 2009. The convention offered a three-day conference programme with a small exhibition of the sponsoring manufacturers such as We-ef, Philips and Fagerhult. With an estimated attendance of 1,100 participants, the PLDC is by far the biggest lighting design conference in the world.

The impressive speaker line-up was only spoilt due to the number of clashes that took place because of the sheer number of sessions taking place - there were around 70 presenters. There was a lot to see! With each of the days starting with a keynote speaker (Professor Brainard's talk on effects of lights on biological and behavioural responses of animals and humans was particularly illuminating), the four parallel tracks (Lighting Application Case Studies; Research; Daylighting and Sustainability; and Professional Practice Issues) began in earnest.

Highlights included Kit Kuttle's unscheduled talk about a new way to designing workplace lighting entitled ‘Towards the Third Stage of the Lighting Profession’; James Benya's continuing crusade for daylighting to be taken seriously in ‘Net zero requires daylighting and super efficient lighting design’; Vincent Laganier and Jasmine van der Pol's talk on ‘Exploring light cultures: Light and Emotions research’; Speirs and Major's in-depth masterclasses on ‘a Grand Cathedral and a Grand Mosque’; Jesse Lilley's ‘Marketing for lighting designers’; and Gorm Teichert's brilliantly confusing ‘LED products and systems - a structure for comparing performance and quality’.

As well as the conference and exhibition, an awards ceremony also took place...

PLD Recognition Awards 2009 - the winners
Award at Large... went to the LUCI organisation for making more efforts to improve urban lighting by interacting more seriously with PLDA to bring together decision-makers at municipal government level with professional lighting designers. LUCI members are beginning to understand that being a "city of light" is not confined to staging festivals, but indeed involves creating better lighting schemes and strategies for inhabitants

Award for Lifetime Achievement... went to Bill Lam. 'Quality not quantity' was Lam's battle cry: “I wanted the emphasis on quality, judgment and common sense rather than numbers.” As a result of his crusade, the light levels once recommended by the standards committee have been reconsidered and lighting design, no longer compelled to fulfill what Lam would term “ridiculously high requirements”, has evolved into the kind of design we have today. Bill Lam was critical in changing the way we now 'perceive' our environment. His books ‘Perception and Lighting as Formgivers for Architecture’ and ‘Sunlighting as Formgiver for Architecture’ have become definitive references for many students of architecture and lighting designers alike.

Award for Best New Project... went to Speirs & Major Associates for The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. This project incorporates supreme lighting insight and skills. While it respects the building's inherent cultural and religious aspects, it can be celebrated as the best of its kind in aesthetic, meaningful and spiritually overwhelming architectural lighting.

Award for Best Daylighting Project... went to Bruder Klaus Kapelle in Wachendorf, Eifel, Germany designed by Peter Zumthor. The tiny chapel is based on a very simple but extremely clever and unique idea using daylight as a shaper of the interior space. The atmosphere generated inside the building supports the spiritual and meditative purpose of the space.

Award for Research and Education... went to Prof. Jan Ejhed for installing and heading the Masters programme in Architectural Lighting Design at KTH in Haninge, Stockholm, Sweden, and for his untiring efforts to install a PhD programme at the same university.

Award for Best Partner in Industry... went to WE-EF. Starting as a typically technical lighting manufacturer, WE-EF became a partner for architectural lighting designers within a very short period of time. WE-EF was the first company to support PLDA (then ELDA) in the association?s workshop programme, thus setting an example in the lighting industry.


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