The week that was 20-24th November 2017
Weekend 25-26th November 2017
PLDC – Paris 2017
Over the years I have attended all PLDC events, London, Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen, Rome so I was really looking forward to attending this year’s edition in Paris, in what I consider my second home town! It was not to be for the sad reasons you know. This year however I had my senior designers to join me for this experience and being there first time attending this event, I thought it would be nice to let them report back on their experience attending PLDC.
This is my 1st time joining a PLDC event that allowed me to broaden my knowledge and open my view. The convention started with an official opening party where we had the opportunity to meet with people from different backgrounds such as lighting designers, manufacturers and suppliers from different parts of the world. Subsequently Joachim Ritter, the Convention Chair, addressed the crowd with his welcome address. As this was my first PLDC, I really looked forward to the next 3 days.
The program started with a keynote speaker for each half day session with a speech traditionally being a view on lighting from a non-lighting design perspective, I attended all of them. Among all the keynote speakers, I personally found the presentation from Kathryn Gustafson, UK, the most interesting topic. Kathryn is renowned for creating distinctive sculpture landscapes which engage at a fundamental human level. During her speech she shared her experiences and problems that she faced during her works. One of the key issues was that of minimum lighting level requirements for plants to survive in areas that do not have any exposure to sun or natural daylight at all. She pointed out that plants that grow in European countries require different minimum lighting levels than those in tropical countries like Singapore. However, these lighting level requirements remain unknown to her and no one could advise her on this issue.
The program then continued with presentations from different lighting experts. It was impossible to attend all these presentations that were divided in different categories, as they were held at the same time in different rooms. These categories were: Urban Life, Professional Practice Issues, Lighting Application/ Case Studies, Philosophy & Debate, The Challenge & Research. Each of these categories had interesting subjects. The most interesting topic to me was “Living in the colours of the colour-blind” by Zhuofei Ren. She might not be the best speaker at the convention, however her study was one of the most interesting subjects. People with defective colour vision have difficulty differentiate colours. Having a colour deficiency can greatly impact our ability to function on a daily basis. The purpose of her research was to comprehend the impact of light on persons with defective visual systems, explore lighting solution that enabled colour deficient individuals to perceive the coloured objects with more distinction. She had done many experiments comparing different lighting properties such as spectral power distribution, lighting levels, colour temperatures of light. By controlling the light reaching the human eye, she found out it was possible to help colour blind persons to distinguish between different coloured objects. She stated that with dedicated design strategies, there is indeed an opportunity for lighting professionals to provide persons with defective colour vision more perceivable colour experiences. Well said. I hope she will continue doing researches on this topic and bring more good news to people with defective colour vision.
I enjoyed being able to attend this year PLDC and hope there will opportunities in future.
This is my first time attending PLDC in my nearly 10 years of being a lighting designer. One of the reasons I have remained in this industry is because I feel that there is still so much I can learn about lighting and light remains such fascinating subject to me. This was being reinforced at the conference, with so much more to learn about lighting and its relationship and effects to human beings. As I never had the opportunity to be formally trained in lighting design at an institution, I find every opportunity to learn about the lighting design industry to be very exciting and interesting.
I had the opportunity to attend previous two Light+Building Fairs in Frankfurt, which had been great opportunities learn about the latest lighting technologies available to professional lighting designers, while listening to the excitements of the lighting manufacturers explaining their latest innovations.
The PLDC conference is a rather different event, being mostly focused on lectures sharing expert knowledge by fellow lighting designers. I find that we have so much to learn from each other and yet there are not many platforms to share and learn. PLDC is a very good platform so I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I get to hear how fellow lighting designers share about their projects, passions, ideas, findings but also their concerns about lighting design. Although I would not say all the lectures were impactful or satisfying, I attended a few good ones that were real good mind and eye-openers.
What left me the greatest impressions are the following:
1. People interested about lighting design are wide and varied! I saw a great range of age groups at the convention, from students to grey-haired people, as well as people with all kinds of skin colours!
2. Light is such an important element of life, just as water and air. Artificial lighting is becoming key in city life, yet there is so much more we need to learn about lighting the impact of light on our life. We can never assume we know enough to say we can confidently design with light to regulate human life; light can harm as well!
3. There are many people suffering from the new forms of lighting, enough people to set up an organization to create awareness for it (Light Aware). I can really relate to it since I suffer from several chronic conditions which led me to realize about some of my food intolerances such as wheat, which is such a common item everywhere; yet I can choose the food I eat, while these people cannot choose the light that is being installed everywhere in their environment.
4. Lighting design has become rather complex due to LED and the technology and possibilities that comes along with it. Designing lighting in our increasingly intelligent world with illuminated media cityscapes, requires the participation and collaboration between many experts to achieve a good integrated design. (Artificial) Light is no longer just simply a standalone device to turn on and off!
So what is the work of a lighting designer? I find that it is about education. We need to educate people about the values of light, values of lighting design and doing it right, harms and cost of doing it wrong, just as I continue to seek to be educated about lighting as it continues to evolve.
Being first time going to PLDC and also first time to Paris, I was really excited and looking forward to it. When the Convention started, it made me feel being back in school when we joined various speakers presenting talks about different subject at different timings. In addition to what my colleagues shared, I would like to share one other speaker’s presentation; “Lighting for Cities Inhabited by People, Not Cars – By Malcolm Innes/UK.
Malcolm started his presentation by comparing the role of a designer from both an owner’s point of view as well as from a designer’s point of view. It was interesting to see that all present seemed to agree that the design stage, from the designer’s point of view, is the most time-consuming phase in a project. He then brought up a project of lighting up corridors walkway around heritage building in which he had asked the help of residents staying around the area, a new way of engaging residents to team up with the designer to come up with a lighting design for an area which they are familiar with in their everyday life. With this collaboration, the resident becomes co-designers or curators of revitalized spaces, providing some interesting and meaningful ideas that the designer can incorporate to make it happen!
Enjoy the weekend!