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New era for PLDA as meeting with IALD takes place

30 April 2012 17.00 BST

(Germany) - Meeting between ten associations held during Light + Building as Herbert Cybulska takes over from Francesco Iannone as President of Professional Lighting Designers' Association.

A new era of closer cooperation between the PLDA and the IALD appears to be emerging with a new management structure at the PLDA now in place. Herbert Cybulska, a partner at German architectural lighting design practice L-Plan, is the new President and Thomas Braedikow, an expert on the effects of light on the  environment and health, is the Managing Director.

Cybulska was officially elected as President during Light + Building in Frankfurt. He became President Elect in July 2011 during Francesco Iannone's presidency at a particularly troubled time for the PLDA following the presidential resignations of Martin Lupton and Georgios Paissidis.

Cybulski has been a partner at German architectural lighting design practice L-Plan since 2006 and is an accomplished theatre lighting designer. He has also contributed light installations for festivals of light including the LICHTSTROEME festival in Koblenz, Germany in May 2011.

The PLDA hosted a meeting of representatives from ten lighting associations from across the globe during Light + Building in Frankfurt. The goal of the meeting was to advance steps towards formal recognition of the lighting design profession by sharing declarations and other initiatives that endeavour to define an architectural lighting designer.

Initiatives by the PLDA, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), and the Federation of National Manufacturers Associations for Luminaires and Electrotechnical Components for Luminaires in the EU (CELMA) were presented to the group.

The meeting was convened by PLDA founding member and immediate past President Francesco Iannone to identify commonalities and overlaps that exist in these initiatives and to provide a forum for discussing strategies to coordinate efforts where appropriate. The key outcome of this meeting was the establishment of a network of lighting associations for the sharing of information and official communication at association level.

The formal presentations described recent developments to the PLDA Declaration of the Official Establishment of the Lighting Design Profession, the CELMA Lighting System Design Energy Label, and the IALD Global Architectural Lighting Designer Certification Programme.

The PLDA Declaration, originally developed in 2007 to formally define the role of the lighting designer, was presented alongside PLDA efforts to develop a continued professional development scheme and common objectives of lighting education programmes.

Stéphanie Mittelham, CELMA Managing Director and Peter Thorns, CELMA-ELC Lighting Systems Legislation Task Force presented progress on the proposed Lighting System Design Energy Label.

The LSDEL is intended to provide an alternative to proposed energy efficiency regulations that address only light source efficiency. Key to the success of this approach is a clear definition of the skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience of the person who is responsible for the design of the whole lighting system. Or, in other words, a clear definition of the term ‘lighting designer’. CELMA and PLDA have been working together on this issue with the intent that the PLDA Declaration will provide the basis for this formal definition within the context of LSDEL.

Kevin Theobald, IALD President and Marsha Turner, IALD Executive Vice President outlined benefits of a lighting design certification in recognising the high level of competency of those who self-describe as architectural lighting designers and building trust with clients and the public. This presentation included an overview of a proposed framework outlining what architectural lighting designers do on a typical project. Expressed as "Domains of Practice” these core competencies of architectural lighting design work are in the process of being validated via online survey.

The meeting was intended as a starting point in bringing these issues into a common forum and it is intended that the newly formed lighting associations network will immediately facilitate more detailed input into all these critical issues. Commenting that whilst he understood that these initiatives would continue to evolve over time, Iannone appealed to the lighting associations to leverage synergies and work quickly to deliver these programmes.

"There is an immediate need for lighting associations to work together. Time is our enemy. We need to define next steps and a timeline," remarked Rafael Gallego Vargas (Spanish Lighting Designers Association APDI) in the spirit of collaboration that marked this meeting. “We don't need to start from the beginning. I am proud to share (this) work and receive input from other associations because we are in a global world.”

The associations present at this meeting were:

APDI, Asociación Profesional de Diseñadores de Iluminación (Spain)

APIL, Associazione dei Pofessionisti dell'Illuminazione (Italy)

CELMA, Federation of National Manufacturers Associations for Luminaires and Electrotechnical Components for Luminaires (Belgium)

CLDA, Chinese Lighting Designers' Association (China)

IALD, International Association of Lighting Designers (USA)

IESANZ, Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia & New Zealand Inc (Australia)

LiTG, Deutsche Lichttechnische Gesellschaft e. V. (Germany)

PLDA, Professional Lighting Designers' Association (Germany)

VNISI, Russian Lighting Research Institute (Russia)


New PLDA President Herbert Cybulska.

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