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Derek Phillips receives 2009 IALD Lifetime Achievement Award

21 October 2009 16.00 BST

(USA) - The 2009 IALD Lifetime Achievement Award, the greatest honor bestowed by the IALD, was presented to Derek Phillips, FIALD, founder of DPA Lighting Consultants and first to practice architectural design in the United Kingdom (UK), at IALD Enlighten Americas 2009 in Sonoma County, CA USA on 10 October 2009.

The IALD Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the true pioneers and visionaries in the lighting design field. The requirements for the lifetime achievement award are that the individual displays outstanding contributions to the lighting design profession over his or her lifetime; that they show exceptional leadership in the aesthetic, scientific, educational and practical effectiveness of the profession; and that their individual work significantly contributes to a better public awareness and appreciation for lighting design. 
Born in the UK and spending much of his formative years in India, Derek Phillips, FIALD, began his training as an architect only after serving in the fleet arm of the Royal Navy during World War II. Derek's first thoughts of a post-war career in architecture stemmed from discussions with his pilot and close friend, Lieutenant Dennis Thornley. When the opportunity arose for an educational release back to the UK, Derek left the Royal Navy and interviewed in Liverpool to study architecture and was subsequently admitted. 
After completing his studies in Liverpool, Derek received a commonwealth fund fellowship to study daylighting and architecture at the graduate level at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was during his time in the United States that Derek met with several architectural luminaries, including Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work was a powerful influence on his own.
Upon his return to the UK in 1954, Derek secured employment with the British Thompson Houston (BTH) Company - a lighting company. His four years with BTH served as his apprenticeship in lighting technology. 
In 1958, he established Derek Phillips Lighting Consultants, the first lighting design practice in the UK, where he worked on such projects as the British Foreign Office in Whitehall, the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, and the Dumbulla Cave Monastery in Sri Lanka.
Despite officially retiring in 1993 at age seventy, Derek continues to be active in the lighting design community, authoring four publications on lighting design published by the Architectural Press. He was recognized as a Fellow of the IALD in 2001.
Derek Phillips' IALD Lifetime Achievement Award presentation and acceptance speech are both available on the IALD YouTube Channel, located online at


Derek Phillips IALD
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