The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) hosted its Enlighten Europe online event on Nov. 18–19, 2020. A boutique conference for the international lighting design community, Enlighten Europe was offered online this year and drew over 500 lighting professions—including designers, architects, students, educators, manufacturers and suppliers—from all over the world.
“While we all wish we could be together in person, our online Enlighten conferences still give us the opportunity to gather together as a global community,” says IALD president, Douglas Leonard, IALD. “This year’s Enlighten Europe showcased a strong line up of lighting luminaries from all over the world. The topics were engaging and forward-focused, reminding us that lighting design is an ever-evolving profession and our passion for the study of light and its applications.”
“2020 has been a year of many ‘firsts’ for the IALD. And bringing IALD’s Enlighten conferences online this year has been yet another first for us,” says IALD Chief Executive Officer, Marsha L. Turner, CAE. “In addition to the strong educational content, our Enlighten events are for connecting and reconnecting—to catch up with long-time friends, meet new colleagues, be inspired and have a bit of fun. As a result, we created interactive events that focused on connecting and networking virtually.”
Enlighten Europe kicked off with a leading international panel, on “How Have You Adapted and Remained Inspired Throughout Your Career by this Ever-Changing Field of Lighting Design?” In this opening session, Kaoru Mende, FIALD, shared that three lighting and architectural legends influenced him to become a lighting designer over 43 years ago. Claudia Paz, IALD, CLD, revealed how she has been inspired to show people “emotional lighting” and how light affects how you feel in spaces. Kai Piippo, IALD, began lighting in the theater and still uses the principals of beginning designs with darkness and building from that base.
This year, there were two sessions on the topic of lighting for darkness: “Design for Darkness” by Helga Iselin Wåseth from the University of South Eastern Norway and “Rethinking the Night” by Darío Nuñez, associate IALD. Wåseth reported on her academic research from a study completed in 2019 on how lighting designers can create safe environments with lower light levels and less impact on nature. Nuñez spoke about city nightscapes and how they should be developed the same way we do for the daylight hours of a city. Both talks spoke to mindful applications of light and not trying to eradicate darkness.
Enlighten Europe offered more content on “What Inspires You and How is it Different Now Than When You First Started Lighting Design?” World-renowned lighting designers, Gustavo Avilés, IALD, Mônica Luz Lobo, IALD, CLD, and Andreas Schulz, IALD, shared their inner thoughts and wisdom about inspiration during the closing session. From mindful observations and finding meaning from the things around us, to discovering the inspiration from people and the stories behind projects, and unleashing creativity through founding your own company—each designer shared their path to inspiration. Another interesting session spoke to technological advances in “3D Printing of Luminaire Prototypes” by Frederik Friederichs, associate IALD. Friederichs divulged that his initial inspiration came from an unobtainable luminaire component which led him to experiment with rapid designs that eventually evolved into a new lighting product.
The LIRC Emerging Lighting Design Professional Initiative, which focuses on supporting early career lighting designers, provided 37 emerging professionals full access to Enlighten Europe and Enlighten Americas online this year.