Plenary session on the pursuit of recognition
Thursday, 24. October, 2019
The lighting design community is spread across all countries and continents.
PLDC marks the largest gathering of persons from the different sectors within the lighting design community at different levels – lighting designers, lighting educators and researchers, architects, media architecture designers, urban planners, light artists, designers and facilitators from related disciplines, public and private clients, students of Lighting Design and related disciplines.
In some countries around the globe lighting designers’ associations have been founded. Many of these sign up as Partner Associations of PLDC and recommend that their members attend the Thought Leadership convention to learn and network. Some associations are active on a local scale, others partner with other associations or events to gain visibility.
At the first PLDC event, PLDC 2007 in London/UK, a Declaration on establishing Lighting Design as a profession was read out to a room packed with just over 1000 PLDC attendees. In the meantime, PLDC has been known to attract more than 2000 attendees.
Twelve years after the first PLDC in London, the convention is now staged annually. Serving as a platform for networking and discussion on and around professional practice, the spirit and enthusiasm that builds up before the respective event and follows in its wake has given rise to renewed interest in discussing the way forward with regard to gaining official recognition for the work performed by lighting designers/specialists in this day and age.
Over the past years, a group of lighting professionals and enthusiasts have been working together in a Think/Do Tank* to define the necessary steps for gaining recognition to raise the profession to the next level. One main point that evolved from these discussions is the need for a working, independent CPD structure for practising lighting designers to follow in the course of their career – in their own time and in different ways.
The PLDC 2019 programme includes a 45-minute plenary session, offering the design community the chance to express their views and ideas on the status of Lighting Design in the world and to explain what structures and collaborative efforts are required to define what knowledge, skills, creativity and creative thinking are required to recognise qualified professionals in the field.
The Plenary session will close with an official vote from the plenum – all those present from the lighting design community are invited to participate – to obtain a clear statement on the pursuit of recognition based on a common front and structured and verifiable CPD platform.
Feedback from the Think/Do Tank and first insights into the proposed CPD platform will be presented.
Pro-active in the Think/Do Tank to date:
Prof. Werner Osterhaus/DE/DK
Dr. Emrah Baki Ulas/TR/AU
Prof. Dr. Jens Geelhaar/DE (deceased 6.6.19.)
Prof. Michael Rohde/DE
“As a lighting designers’ community, we have made great progress in recognition and education over the last 25 years. But – there is one thing missing: a solid CPD structure. This is essential to ensure the quality of our profession. Therefore, I am a strong supporter and collaborator of the CPD initiative.”
“Simply put, I do think that a structured and well-audited lighting CPD platform would be a useful resource for lighting designers to assist their professional development. I also support any initiatives that get us as an industry closer to true professional recognition, and such a platform will certainly assist in the drive for that by helping to align our skills and form a strong educational basis for our profession.”
“Architectural lighting design urgently needs a proper, structured CPD system in place, as other recognised consulting professions already have. This is one of the key issues that adds unnecessary ambiguity to this great profession and makes finding a qualified lighting design professional a real challenge for some clients. It’s about time someone offered a solution for this, and I’m happy to support it.”
“Moving forward together as professionals is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Lighting Design industry is going through an amazing time, growing at a fast pace and informing people about the importance of purposefully designed lighting. Giving future generations formal platforms to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career is crucial for the future growth of our industry. This is main reason why I support the CPD initiative. As a big bonus, it also gives those who spend their lives in the field of lighting design a perfect platform to share all the knowledge that has been gathered through their years of experience.”
“We now have several Lighting Design educations offers around the world, and we are facing a growing amount of highly competent, innovative young people leaving university with a diploma as Lighting Designers.
The next natural step is of course to establish a CPD program for the continuous development of these young people – and the rest of us!!”
“Architectural lighting design has evolved and particularly in the last two decades, is now a credible career choice. But as practitioners, we continue to lack the recognition we need to be counted as a separate, respected profession. Education is key and so is continuing professional development – the ongoing learning and updates we need to remain relevant to our clients. Light Bureau and ÅF Lighting are committed to lifelong learning and to gaining recognition of the professional lighting designer.”