Moderated discussion

Moderated discussion

Future of the profession: getting it right!

Discussion date: 24. October
Discussion time: 14:00 – 14:30

Everybody is talking about it: big engineering firms buying boutique lighting design studios or big architectural firms developing their own lighting design divisions. One could dismiss this by saying it is just like in the rest of the world – the lighting design profession is in a process of change. But maybe we should take this more seriously than we do right now and start asking ourselves: Should we be worried? Could this be considered a threat to the profession?

Even though the lighting design profession has developed over the past years, the journey is far from over. The situation is different everywhere, but generally speaking, anyone can call him/herself a lighting designer. The profession is not protected as a profession in its own right. It might even be fair to say that in many places, questions such as “What does lighting designer do?” or “Who can call him/herself a lighting designer?” are still valid.

With this in mind, we need to discuss these recent trends. One negative reaction would be to feel concerned about these changes, and there are reasons to consider this. Especially since the cultural change that accompanies such changes might be fatal and not easy to identify in the short-term. While the profession is not fully established, going back to being the providers of an “additional” service might be a big problem in the long run.

The topic of this moderated discussion is to discuss the questions above with people who have been part of this new trend and to gain an insider’s perspective. In the end, if this is not the place and time to discuss the future of the profession, what is? And when?

Confirmed participants:
Kevan Shaw, KSLD
Kai Piippo, ÅF Lighting


Joachim Ritter/DE

Joachim Ritter, is a free-lance journalist with 25 years‘ professional experience. Special topics: architecture, lighting design and lighting technology. Joachim is the owner of the VIA-Verlag company and editor-in-chief of the Professional Lighting Design online platform. He is a Founding Member and was a board member of the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association, PLDA for 13 years. Until 2011 he was a Fellow Member. He also co-organises international workshops, conferences and other educational activities to promote the lighting design profession. He is organiser and founder of the global lighting design conventions in London PLDC 2007, Berlin 2009, Madrid 2011 and Copenhagen 2013. Joachim Ritter served also a Member of the Board of the IALD Education Trust Fund of the IALD, International Association of Lighting Designers from 2005 to 2006.