CLUE - 02 Edition


"To live between earth and heaven, man must “understand” those two elements, and their interaction."

christian norberg-schulz; Genius loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture


GLOBALIZATION: From one village to another, from a great capital to another, from one continent to another, there are fewer discoveries for the traveler: this epidemic phenomenon, sanitizes cities as well as man. Humanity has no more time to think; ease and expediency reigns. Everything must go quickly, risking the abuse of the copy-paste and multiplying the mistakes by overriding respect for context, originality of a place, a space: globalization tends to depersonalize our environment.

GENIUS LOCI: the spirit of place. In the religion of ancient Rome, a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. Man, over history, has always endeavored to promote local quality of its environment to build their living environment. The intrinsic characteristics of a place differ from a geographic, sociologic, demographic, urban point of view, giving the place its uniqueness. Whatever the level, the context, the creation must be an appropriate response to the sense of place: the place must be the starting point of the reflection of design.

CLUE 02: The second edition of the CLUE competition invites you to think about the spirit of a place where light does not escape the genius loci design principle.

Candidates should choose a place without limitation of scale, location, inside and outside, and provide a response in line with the local reality.

Proposals will be evaluated primarily according to relevance of the lighting plan in relation to the selected location and context.





NAME OF WINNERS : YeonHo Lee, WooSeok Jang, DongGyun Ha 

PLACE: South Korea

What is the evocative power of a name? Just the mere mention of three letters – DMZ, brings haunting memories for millions of people around the globe. The name is also a place, “sacred” in the sense of what it represents. To conceive that this fence – illuminated – could represent the unification of two counties, is a belief worth holding. In this sense, “Lightius Loci” becomes “Hopeius Loci,” the place of hope.

Frederick Oberkircher
Jury member

Two weeks ago we announced the winners of the international lighting design CLUE  02 Competition. The theme this year was Lightius Loci – Spirit of Light.

Today we are posting our interview with the first prize winner Yeonho Lee and his team from Korea.

First, congratulations on winning the first prize for edition 02 of the CLUE Competition.

Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

I live in Seoul, South Korea, and I’m in my 4th year of studies at Kookmin University. Our school is a renowned architectural school in the nation. I’m doing a double major in architecture and interior design. People often say I have a keen sensibility. In my childhood, I worried a lot which can been seen as fragility. This fragility has become my hidden talent and one of my strengths. Since then, I enjoy studying the emotional aspects of architecture. The CLUE Competition was the first time we participated in an international competition. My friends and I are very happy and proud to have won the first prize on our first try. On my team we have Wooseok Jang and Donggyun Ha.

Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

In Korea, architecture and interior design are separated. They are offered as two different disciplines. I chose to study both in a double major. Since then, I always try to consider the correlation between lighting and space. In particular, professor Kwon, who studied lighting design at Parsons College in the United States, encouraged me to develop an interest in lighting. Within the framework of architecture, light can alter a space and create a completely different mood. This aspect inspired me to embrace an interest in light.

Why did you choose to participate in the lightius loci themed CLUE Competition?

I’ve been familiar with Philips products since childhood. I have table lamps and also have frequently used acoustic devices such as headsets and earphones. And I also know that Philips Lighting creates breakthrough lighting solutions. The lighting design contest sponsored by Philips had enough charm and offered an interesting challenge. Also it was a very interesting topic for us to combine the principle of genius loci with light.

Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of DMZ : N38 ̊and what is the interface aspect of this project?

The internal space of the Military Demarcation Line is a forbidden space. And it is the place of great implication bearing the pain of war. It is also a place of infinite possibilities. We thought about these endless possibilities. Beyond the healing of the physical dimension, we thought about the emotional side of healing, using light.

Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?  

In fact, if peaceful reunification is not achieved, the proposal can never be done. The reason why we have created this project, this illuminated symbolic fence, is to share a message about desired unity. Even if unity is achieved, this place, the DMZ zone is not a place that is easily accessible. It would not be easy to implement.

What were your motivations for DMZ : N38 ̊?

Before and after submitting our project, provocations by North Korea was intensified. We were seriously worried about unity and harmony. Expressing unification with light was a really good way for us to share our message. That’s the main reason why we chose DMZ as a theme.

Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work? 

DMZ is a frontline, and lights for monitoring run 24 hours a day. It means electrical facilities are already equipped. Nowadays, in Korea, renewable energy is a very hot topic. Our proposal also has to adjust its key measures to connect with the existing facilities. The final goal of this proposal is to create the light filled Peace Park. Of course, for safety reasons, not all sections will be lit in the park, which is open to the public. But perhaps some sections could be lit to create a fence which would represent a symbol of world peace.

How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis? 

Recently, historic confrontation between Korea’s Lee Se-dol & AlphaGo had a tremendous impact on our society. Somebody also complained of group depression. The core of humanity that we believe in, is the ability to be sensitive and empathize. Light is the best medium to stimulate these senses and behaviors. And I think that it is the direction of lighting design. The design of the light is to stimulate sensitivity and create better designs and a better life.

How do you see your professional career evolving?

Recently I won an award in a national competition with the theme “Architecture of disaster”. Both topics, architecture and disaster are closely related to human life. After all, architecture is for all humans. Architecture begins to take its meaning when society inquires about human nature. So I plan to learn the theory of architecture as a base to support human life and emotions, and plan to practice those theories.







NAME OF WINNERS : Maria-Chrysoula Akrivou, Antonis Athanasiou

PLACE: Greece

The jury was very moved by this proposal, not only by its social relevance, but also with the idea to erect a form of memorial in honor of the migrants who have perished at sea while fleeing the war. The use of light as a landmark, like a lighthouse, becomes pragmatic, symbolizing an unprecedented international social crisis.

Marc-André Carignan
Jury member

Hope you enjoy reading our interview with two dynamic and talented architects from Greece,  2nd prize winners of this year’s CLUE Competition.

Tell me about yourselves, your career and your education.

Our team is composed from two young architects.

Antonis Athanasiou_ I have a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Patras. When I joined the Department of Architecture, I realized that the training of an architect involves much more than art, it is also about technology, social sciences and many more. After five years of studies at the University of Patras, I came to understand that architecture had to “belong” to a place and a culture and as such it affects and guides our experiences. I have a special passion for lighting design and the way it affects the design process. During my studies I had the chance to work as an intern at a Greek architectural studio in Athens. At the moment me and my teammate Maria participate in architectural competitions, collaborating with other architectural studios or on our own.

Maria – Chrysoula Akrivou_ I have also a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Patras. After my graduation I had the opportunity to study in depth the field of the landscape architecture to acquire a better understanding of landscape design topics by attending a four-month professional development program on urban regeneration, with emphasis on green infrastructures. My participation to the program further increased my awareness and involvement with environmental considerations and landscape issues, that form the broader frame of my current research interest. I have worked as an intern at a Greek architectural studio in Athens and now I am currently collaborating with Antonis participating in different architectural competitions.

Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

During our studies we realized that light and architecture have a strong connection. This was also the reason why Antonis chose to make a research thesis concerning urban lighting design. The design of urban lighting presents a discipline that aims to improve the aesthetics and quality of public space. Through a series of examples and theories his research analyzed the way lighting is used as a tool of design on the three scales of the urban plan: urban design of cities, public spaces, and the facades of buildings. Finally, we both believe that light is a part of architecture and a tool to highlight the interaction between the space and the user.

Why did you choose to participate in the Interface themed CLUE Competition?

The fact that CLUE’s Competition theme involved the use of light to highlight the Genius Loci design principle aroused our interest in the way that light and topos interact with each other.  We felt the need to explore a different aspect of landscape design that acquires a better understanding of the theoretical approach of the Genius Loci.  Our team perceived this theme as a chance to combine the spirit of the light and human life and highlight them throughout the landscape design process.

Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of Lightening a Modern Odyssey and what is the Lighius loci aspect of this project?

Shelter and light are fundamental elements of architecture. The first is concerned with protection from natural elements; the second with the creative and sometimes spiritual interaction between the man-made and the natural worlds.  While we were witnessing the general refuges problem that Europe and especially Greece was facing during the last year, we felt urged to find a solution in order to help all in this desperate situation. Our goal was to combine these two fundamental elements through the design process to envision an installation that could become a temporary solution to this problem. We were focusing on a concept, the priority of which was the use of light as a tool of rescue for human lives.

Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Our goal was to construct an installation, which does not necessary implement a utopic vision, but would be based on existing technological attainments. The materials that we chose to use are already developed on the market, so we firmly believe that our proposal could become a reality.

What were your motivations for Lightening a Modern Odyssey?

More than four years of armed conflict in Syria have caused millions of people to leave their homes in search of a safe haven. Fleeing for their lives, refugees are forced to leave all that they have behind. At least 800 people have died or vanished in the Aegean Sea since the start of 2015, as a record of more than 1 million refugees-migrants entered Europe. About 85% of them crossed to the Greek islands from nearby Turkey. The part of the Aegean Sea between the coastline of Turkey and the Greek islands has become a place of sacrifices.

Therefore, we aimed to indicate how the architecture design can give a solution to such a problem sensitizing the human response. This new topos presents its unique genius loci and the light becomes a landmark for the lost lives.

Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

The main feature is a polygonal linear vertical hallow structure, covered with concrete panels. It is a rigid floating installation that uses the daylight, through solar panels, which are attached to the concrete top, producing enough power to supply the two main sources of light. The first source is on the base of this structure and its beams of light shape a cross on the sea’s surface, oriented on the x and y axis and can be seen in plan view. The second one is placed on the upper level of the installation and uses a beam of light oriented on the z axis in order to be seen from distance. Both of the sources function as a rescue sign for the refuges who can approach it and find a temporary shelter in the four parallel planes, which are placed within the empty volume of the of the installation.  Meanwhile, the sources of light alert the rescuers in order to indicate that humans’ lives are in danger.  At the same time light converts the installation into a memorial for the lost lives.

How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?

An architect has to explore the role and use of light in space and gain a better understanding of this intangible and free material, which will lead him to a better architecture and, ultimately, improve the quality of life. We believe that light is one of the main tools that is involved in the design process and the successful lighting design starts with the analysis of the functional requirements of the space.

How do you see your professional career evolving?

We are both interested in landscape architecture and we would like to delve into this field. A master program in this field is one of our future plans, but until then we are trying to broaden our knowledge.

Antonis_ After completing the master program in Landscape Architecture I would like to join different leading architectural office teams in order to gain knowledge and experience in that specific field. Finally, my goal is that one day I would see myself as an experienced architect with my own personal design methods owning an architectural office. 

Maria_ I would really like to travel all over the world and collaborate with different architectural offices expanding my horizons on the different architectural design methods. I believe that I will have fulfilled my goals when I will have my own architectural office and my drawings will be materialized.




NAME OF WINNERS : Christopher Calo





NAME OF WINNERS : Irena Milojeska, Simona Tasevska, Hristina Sekuloska

PLACE: Macedonia




NAME OF WINNERS : Aurore Foray, Fanny Guigon, Giovanni Guillabert

PLACE: Canada

CLUE - 01 Edition



Lighting at the edge: between built and unbuilt environments


As we expand the competition to embrace all types of lighting environments, this year’s theme invites the design community to investigate the integration of light at an interface: a world where two systems, subjects, organizations, etc. meet and interact.




Imagine lighting in areas of transition where these interfaces, through their exchange of functions, provide added value and become "space events" or "spatial objects", which contribute to the richness of the territories.


This year’s participants are asked to explore transformative potentials and to define unique lighting innovations that celebrate the activities of both the built and unbuilt communities. Incorporating the concepts of contact, transparency, transition, threshold, limits, dark/light, natural/artificial, the interface focuses on the spatial interactions influenced by exchanges between one and the other, and thereby distinguishing the two adjacent spaces.


"The interface contains both rupture and exchange, transaction and interaction, enabled, facilitated or regulated by its very existence. At a time of globalization, mobility, diffusion, the contact of spatial systems of different natures is becoming more and more frequent, as well as the promotion of such contacts via interfaces." Corinne Lampin-Maillet is an engineer of Bridges, Water and Forestry and has PhD in geography. She is a Researcher at the Research Unit on Mediterranean Ecosystems and risk at Cemagref Aix-en-Provence.


The boundaries between spaces, places and states are not straightforward. There are areas where we are situated in neither one nor the other, but rather in a third place with its own conditions. This third place, like an ecotone which serves as an ecological transition zone between two ecosystems, offers conditions raising its own questions, and hopefully, its own answers.


Are indoor and outdoor lighting solutions so radically different? How could they be integrated into a single system? What concepts can they share? How can light be used to transform the experience of moving from inside to outside? We are looking for smart, edgy, out of the box ideas that will redefine how these interfacing areas are experienced, perceived and used through light.



PROJECT NAME : Photovascular system

NAME OF WINNERS : Michael Luigi I. Manzano, Riel L. Gutierrez, Roselane Leigh Jade T. To Chip

PLACE : Philippines


In early March, Philips announced the winners of the revamped international lighting design CLUE Competition. The theme this year was Interface. The participants were asked to explore transformative potentials and to define unique lighting innovations that celebrate the activities of both the built and unbuilt communities. Incorporating the concepts of contact, transparency, transition, threshold, limits, dark/light, natural/artificial, the interface focuses on the spatial interactions influenced by exchanges between one and the other, and thereby distinguishing the two adjacent spaces.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing all of the winners for the competition since 2012. In the next few weeks, I will be posting the latest interviews on the Philips Lighting Blog.

Today we begin with the 1st prize laureates of the CLUE 01 Competition; three young professionals from the Philippines with a passion for design and architecture. Mr. Michael Luigi I. Manzano and his team Riel L. Gutierrez and Roselane Leigh Jade T. To Chip received the top honor for their project Photovascular System which proposes a symbiotic indoor and outdoor lighting system. The jury awarded the first prize to this project because it uses the interface as a channel for lighting and it creates an intimacy between the day and the night.


Congratulations to the three of you for winning this international lighting design competition. Tell us about yourselves, your career and your education.

Our team is composed of young, budding designers locally educated in Cebu City, Philippines. We share a common interest in Architecture, Interior Architecture, along with the enhancement brought about by the play of light in such spaces. We are all currently undergoing mentorship from one of the country’s leading Modernist Architecture firms – ARKinamix.

Riel L. Gutierrez has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of San Carlos. Currently in his second year in apprenticeship, Riel has found great interest in lighting design and passion for innovation. He believes that light is the most fundamental element in creating space. Light and architecture, he says, are two different things yet inevitably related and supplementary to each other. He appreciates how it helps define what is around us and influences how we perceive things during the different times of the day.

Michael Luigi I. Manzano graduated from the Cebu Institute of Technology  with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Luigi is currently an apprentice for ten months now. He thinks that there is always a strong relationship between people, spaces, and their contexts. Therefore, he believes that designers have the power to creatively envision spaces that truly answer and reflect the necessities and conditions of the people and the environment at a given time and place.

Roselane Leigh Jade T. To Chip graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of San Carlos. A registered Interior Designer and member of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, she has been in practice for over a year with ARKinamix. Her design philosophy urges for a user-centered experience, trusting that for a design to be truly successful, it must be tailor-fitted to its end-users in order to provide an effective and efficient environment. Her designs inclinations lean towards sleek modernism, allowing the outdoors to flow seamlessly into the indoors.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

Lighting design often comes as an afterthought in designing spaces. That should not be the case because light, innately, casts a subtle yet very big impact onto built environments despite taking up little to no space at all. Without noticing it, light not only illuminates a given area, but also influences our perception. It is therefore a crucial element in both exterior and interior architecture.

Our group understands that architecture is more than just pleasing the eyes with beautiful physical objects and composition. Architecture takes in to consideration the entire experience a space affords its occupants. As such, light is an indispensible tool in achieving an utmost experience.


Why did you choose to participate in the interface themed CLUE Competition?

Our team felt that this year’s Interface themed competition raised excellent questions highly relevant to our country’s current situation. It piqued our curiosity and we ended up with a simple idea that could, if developed seriously, could become a solution to complex urban problems. Le Corbusier once wrote, “A house is a machine for living.” Considering that we are in the field of architecture and interior design, we wanted a creative solution that is deeply-rooted in a building system so that more than anything else, it can serve its occupants on a daily basis. The competition asked us to create a synthesis for indoor and outdoor lighting and so we came up with quite a literal solution wherein indoor and outdoor lighting function mutually.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind the concept of the Photovascular System and what is the interface aspect of the project?

While trying to come up with a proposal, we brought ourselves to our own streets and found that a building’s envelope shuts off too much of what happening outside, creating disparity and blocking the entry of daylight and the exit of indoor lights. With the goal to reduce energy costs, make streets brighter and recognizable, create indoor-outdoor continuity, and celebrate the true colors of daylight, we formulated a concept to tie two lighting systems from two different spaces. We are situated in a tropical region where sunlight is abundant and it would greatly help if we could use this to our advantage. We also wanted to create a system that could easily be attached to an existing building without interfering with its basic functions.

Moreover, we wanted this system to benefit the community in a larger scale in which, when seen at a macro scale, the urban fabric could be highlighted, thereby giving the city an artistic identity as a whole.


Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Among our considerations while brainstorming was the feasibility of the project we would eventually propose. We opted to use available technology such as fiber optics, and are urging its further research and development to craft a more advanced innovation rather than creating a very abstract idea which could take years upon years to realize.


What were your motivations for the Photovascular System?

The Philippines is a third world country. A lot of people live in poverty. However, the team sees this in a positive light – an opportunity for improvement and growth. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

Our country is full of potential and is actively developing. However, right now, we are facing issues such as high night-time crime rates, high-density communities, low awareness of environmental sustainability, and a looming power crisis, to name a few. These are issues we wanted our project to address because it is the reality we go through day after day. Therefore, we came up with a concept that would brighten the streets at night without much additional expense, optimizing and channeling daylight into rooms inaccessible to fenestrations, and using the most renewable resource readily available and free of charge to everyone – sunlight. Furthermore, we aimed to create aesthetics that impart a sense of community at the level of public spaces more than merely serving utilitarian purposes.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

The organization of pathways made of fiber optics took its inspiration from the circulatory system in human beings. Like the heart and the many organs of the body where there is a rhythmic exchange of blood between the two components to distribute oxygen and other nutrients, light is channeled back and forth between two major organs – in this case, the indoors and the outdoors. The hierarchy of optical fibers unifies light fixtures with light pores in the building: the light aortas gather light directly from the light pores and direct them to the light arteries. These arteries branch out into capillaries to distribute the gathered light to the different parts of the building. At night, the organization functions in reverse, as light is gathered from indoor artificial lighting and channeled to the light pores to shed off light to the building envelope. When this is applied to an entire city, the city becomes brighter, and its aesthetics more pronounced.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long term basis?

The discovery of fire gave humans control of light and empowered us to enjoy life beyond daytime, no longer limited by the sun. Light has rapidly become indispensible in our lives since it not only serves utilitarian purposes but is now a big player in art and architecture. We hope that designers see the relevance of light in architecture and apply it accordingly. As such, we believe that lighting should be geared towards lessening its environmental impact, and thus seek to optimize natural light. A quote from James Benya reads: “Daylight is quality light that is available to everyone. Designing buildings to optimize it will let us turn off the lights.”


How do you see your professional career evolving?

We took on this challenge mainly because of our inherent curiosity and will to innovate, both of which are vital in creating successful developments or inventions. We continue to fuel our potential and passion in revolutionizing the way we solve problems. We are optimistic that in the near future, we can tackle design problems in the same way.

Problems don’t need to be solved with complex solutions. Come to think of it, our proposal is a rather straightforward and obvious answer yet it still took us quite a while to come up with it.




PROJECT NAME : Dancing on the clouds


PLACE : Germany


Dancing on the clouds, brought to us by Mr. Hyunje Joo, who is originally from Korea and now studies in Germany, was awarded second prize for his project that actively engages its environment by changing shapes with the climate and the people around. It was deemed by our jury as being very poetic and it helps in bringing people together. There is an interesting relationship between the object and the user. It is a very good interface between the sky and the ground.


First, congratulations on winning the second prize for Edition 01 of the CLUE Competition.


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

My name is Hyunje Joo and I am 30 years old. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Korea and I have worked in an architectural design office in both South Korea and Japan. Currently I’m studying for a Master in Architecture at the Kunstakademie (Arts Academy) in Duesseldorf.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

I think that lighting is very important in a building and in our lives. In the future it might bring even more value to them. For this reason, I am always interested in lighting design.


Why did you choose to participate in the Interface themed CLUE Competition?

First, the word ‘interface’ was interesting to me. Beyond the boundaries of space, I wanted to experiment with this project.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of Dancing on the clouds and what is the interface aspect of this project?

Dancing on the clouds is a flexible structure. The project aims to interact with people. People are allowed to touch the inflatable structure, as well as to sit and lean on it. The pavilion actively engages its environment. It gently sways from the wind and people’s actions. It also expands and contracts with the change of air pressure and temperature, almost appearing to breathe and causing the yarn (fiber optic) hanging from the balloon to sway.


Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

This project is architecture in the air.  It also finds a practical and sustainable solution to temporary construction. It is completely opposite to conventional architecture. This project does not require a thick foundation.


What were your motivations for Dancing on the clouds?

People cannot touch clouds with their hands, but they can see and feel the clouds. My motivations for Dancing on the clouds started from there.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

The installation is composed of air, polyurethane, fiber optic. The balloon is filled with Helium gas and it works with the control socket.In making the shade outdoors, it produces light indoors, such as the Milky Way under the soft lighting. And it is interactive, they move and breathe with people. For this reason it is a temporary installation that has good mobility since it can be moved easily. It is not necessary to have foundation.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?

The future of lighting design will have to consider the integration of natural and artificial lighting techniques. All lighting should become sustainable solutions. Also it should be interacting with people.


How do you see your professional career evolving?

I want to constantly be challenged to learn by the works of others. By participating in various competitions, I want to learn new ways of thinking that offer different perspectives. It will help me to grow and develop in my field as well.



PROJECT NAME : Interlace

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Rahul Gujarathi

PLACE : Singapore


The project Interlace by Rahul Gujarathi is an elegant composition, said jury member, Randy Burkett. “It’s two technologies woven together to serve the user and occupant. A near endless number of manifestations seem possible with the creative application of this approach in building design. Definining a timeless and traditional boundry this is innately linked to light and the environment, in an exciting and artistic manner. Connection, protection, interaction – all present at this border. This project, more than most, looks forward at the ultimate integration of technology and human needs.”


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

My name is Rahul Gujarathi and I am a highly motivated industrial designer looking for challenges and experiences that enrich my life. I studied architecture for my bachelor degree in India (University of Pune) and later I continued my design education with a master in Industrial Design from the Industrial Design Centre at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. I am currently working in Singapore as a Research Associate at TUM CREATE where we develop electric mobility solutions for tropical megacities.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

I have always been intrigued by lighting and its ability to create atmosphere and transform mood. My first encounter with lighting was through architecture and how the structure is designed to sculpt natural light and create an interesting poetic space. Later I got interested in luminaire design with increasing inclination towards changing lighting technology.


Why did you choose to participate in the Interface themed CLUE Competition?

This is the first time I came across CLUE Competition and found the theme very interesting. I really liked the fact that it had overlapping concerns between the architectural/urban scale and product/luminaire scale. Thus I was able to use my experience from both architecture and industrial design education to analyse the theme and develop ‘Interlace’.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of Interlace and what is the interface aspect of this project?

I was intrigued by the theme ‘Interface’ and wanted to explore this concept in a direction of how I could create a product, an intervention on the edge; a relation between the built and the un-built. Concept ‘Interlace’ is an integrated structural glazing system which forms a meaningful interface between the interior and the exterior by incorporating photovoltaic cells and OLEDs in a single system. The glass thus becomes a living interface at the edge, absorbing solar radiation from outside and powering OLEDs for lighting up the interiors.

It makes the existence of glass even more meaningful. Exterior glazing is very popular in modern architecture but then solar radiation has always been a concern considering it increases the load on the air-conditioning system to cool the interior. As a result some sort of solar blocking systems like louvers/blinds, films, coatings etc. are required to be implemented along with glass. ‘Interlace’ provides an integrated and efficient solution to these issues while providing a chic, modern visual.


Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Yes, I firmly believe that my proposal could become a reality as it is based on technologies that are already on the market. I have been following the development of the OLED technology by Philips Lumiblade and have designed by concept around the rectangular OLED panel released in 2012.

I would be keen on developing this concept further to become a reality, if possible together or with support from Philips.


What were your motivations for Interlace?

One of the motivations for this project was the observation that glass has been an extremely popular material for external cladding, especially in tropical countries where climatically it doesn’t seem very appropriate to use glass for the exterior. I wanted to design something that improves this popular existence of glass and makes it a more sensible choice of material. My approach was more towards designing a material rather than an object.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

‘Interlace’ is an insulated structural glass panel, which sandwiches a system of OLEDs in one layer and a system of energy harnessing photovoltaic cells in another layer. As these panels are planned to be used for exterior glazing the photovoltaic cells harness solar energy from the sun and store them into batteries. Later as the sun goes down, this energy harnessed is used to power up the OLEDs.

The glass being triple glazed provides good insulation for the interior, while the use of translucent PV cells and OLEDs helps in reducing the unwanted solar glare, yet maintaining an intimate transparency. The glass panels get connected with each other with male-female connectors on the periphery and form a huge interconnected surface or system.

This opens up a huge pool of possibilities on how we could use this system depending on where it is employed; it might be used for art/installations or for directing crowd in urban areas in a more intuitive manner or it could simply be ambient lighting for streets or corridors.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?

Lighting technology has rapidly evolved in the last few years making it more energy efficient, cost efficient and stretching boundaries like the colour of light. All this has led to new applications of lighting ranging from light therapy to agriculture to installations in urban areas to name a few. I see lighting design to evolve in the future to become an integral part of the nature and have a seamless transition between the natural and the artificial lighting. Energy harnessing and alternatives to electricity to power light might gain importance in the future and also might change the way we see light today.


How do you see your professional career evolving?

I see myself continuing to develop interesting innovative solutions and finding appropriate application for new developing technologies that will change, challenge and improve the existing. I want to work for a company driven by passion and where I am able to develop state of the art solutions for the near future. It is my dream to see people satisfied using my solutions implemented in the real world.




NAME OF WINNER(S) : Jin Yung Bargon 

PLACE : Germany

2013-1 Edition




PROJECT NAME : Crowd Darkening

NAME OF WINNERS : Sabine De Schutter, Florian Peter Strenge, Sebastian Krapp, Thuy Chinh Duong,     Birte Schaper, Mia-Alina Schauf, Hanna Martus

PLACE : Berlin, Allemagne


Last month we announced the winners of the 2013 CLU Foundation Contest whose main purpose is to encourage young designers to develop innovative lighting concepts for exterior public spaces. In the next few weeks we will be posting interviews with the three winners.

Today, I have the pleasure of posting an interview with the 1st prize laureate, Sabine De Schutter from Belgium, is co-founder of the Berlin-based lighting design sutdio jack de nimble and her team from Germany who won for the project Crowd Darkening. This project was chosen by the jury as the winner because of its interventions on a human scale. It takes into account the security of the users as well as bringing a poetic and intimate dimension to the lighting. 

We wish to congratulate Sabine De Schutter and her team on winning the first prize of the Socialight, CLU Foundation Contest.


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

We are a multi-disciplinary group that at times teams up under the name “What Would Harry Do?” to work on specific and passion-driven user-centered design projects. We aim to empower others with our methods and creative spirit.

Sabine De Schutter, Belgium, is co-founder of the Berlin-based lighting design studio jack be nimble, and she lectures at Hochschule Wismar.

Sabine has an M.A. Interior Architecture and a M.A. in Architectural Lighting Design. In 2012 Sabine received the award of Young Lighter of the Year for her research “Shadow designing Space”.

Thuy Chinh Duong, Germany, works as a freelance Design Thinking coach and consultant, and is part of the teaching team at HPI School of Design Thinking, Potsdam. She is interested in innovation in the fields of
transportation and infrastructure planning, sustainability and education. Chinh studied in Berlin, Montréal and London and holds a M.Sc. in Applicable Mathematics.

Hanna Martus, Germany, is involved in different cooperative, trans-disciplinary projects in the field of social and ecological sustainability. Her passion topics are education, mobility and healthcare. She lived and studied in Barcelona for seven years and works now from Berlin as a graphic designer and consultant for a responsible design approach with her own company BEWUSST-SIGN.

Sebastian Krapp, Germany, is working as a physician in Switzerland, and studied Design Thinking. He loves to occasionally exchange his hospital duties for working in multidisciplinary teams on topics such as
innovation in healthcare, mobility and education. Sebastian dreams to achieve a more patient-centered and work-friendly healthcare system in the future.

Birte Schaper: Germany, works as a research associate at the Berlin based Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht. Holding a M.Sc. in Economics from Humboldt University, her current research interests include business model generation, start-up ecosystems and dynamics of social networks.

Mia-Alina Schauf: Germany, conducts research in the areas of corporate management and business culture, regarding the question how to make an organization become innovative. She works as a freelance consultant with the Design Thinking approach. She holds a master degree in Business Sociology.

Florian Strenge: Germany, focuses mainly on urban design and transportation issues. He worked in the fields of electric mobility and renewable energies and is holding a degree in economic psychology. In 2012, he and a team of “What Would Harry Do?” won an international urban planning contest with a system that re-organizes informal public transport in Vientiane, Laos.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

Sabine: It might have been nurtured through my parents which where photographers. Through them I certainly learned to look at light. However I wanted to work with space of which I find its atmosphere the most important element. And as light is the key ingredient to influence an ambiance, I got intrigued and this is how I discovered the lighting design profession.

Each member of the team takes through his/her background an interest in lighting. The fact that we are surrounded by natural or artificial light all the time, makes it a self evident aspect. Nevertheless it is those moments where we lack light or where the lighting is not suitable, that we notice it the most. It was very interesting to share these experiences with each other.


Why did you choose to participate in the Socialight contest?

We found the topic of lighting together with the social component very interesting. We like to question the given, in this case street lighting and the urban nightscape, and create solutions that emerge from the users needs.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of Crowd Darkening and what is the social aspect of this project?

Through intense discussion on social structures and thoughts on how our society could evolve, we came up with some aspects that we were keen on incorporating in our concept, for example, we wish that street lighting could become a tool that improves well-being. It became clear to us that we didn’t want to invent any new light source nor luminaire, however create a social process to define the light!


Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?

Our proposal could be realized today. We designed Crowd Darkening solely with technology that is already on the market, as our focus was on creating a new social lighting system. Our proposal minimises light pollution and energy usage. And we hope that this could persuade governments to look beyond the initial cost, and appreciate a social lighting scheme.

When we are designing, we specify our question as much as possible. In this case we had a few people (users) in mind and a park in Berlin. It would be great to see our proposal being realized over there.


What were your motivations for Crowd Darkening?

There where different values that we wanted to incorporate in our concept.
Firstly we aimed to design a lighting system that adapts to the social use of the public realm, thus creating a pleasant atmosphere at the place where it is needed. This generates public spaces to which the user can identify him or herself, and consequently find their sense of belonging. We found identification to a public space essential, as people get more and more de-rooted and life is increasingly more virtual.

Secondly, we had environmental motivations. Illuminating where and when it is needed is an effective way to reduce energy consumption, decrease electricity expenses and light pollution.

All these facets added up to designing a locally responsive atmosphere for parks and public spaces that enhances the well being of its users and the neighborhood as a whole.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

The illumination intensity and the height of light source correspond to the time of day, the amount of people in the park and their location.

When someone enters the park it activates a change in the light level. On the one hand, there is more illumination when there are fewer people, giving a higher feeling of security through optimum visibility of the surrounding. On the other hand, you need less light when you are with a group of friends. A low-level cozy lighting creates a pleasant setting to socialize.

We thought give illumination where it is needed, and as well as also generating energy where there is activity. Every contact from the visitors with the parks soil generates electric current, through kinetic energy. Like this the visitors of the park fuel their own illumination, making public lighting more sustainable.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?

Light is becoming increasingly more complex as technology is evolving. There is not just the incandescent bulb anymore, but a whole range lamp and luminaire types adding to the choice. The importance of lighting design in architecture and public spaces is becoming more recognized, as people and planners become more aware. I believe that in the long-term, lighting design will be as known and recognized as architecture is today.

How do you see your professional career evolving?

We will keep on questioning the status quo, and we hope that we, as a team, will be developing plenty of innovative concepts that can challenge and improve the present.
We will keep on creating concepts that are people orientated. We hope to find plenty of clients that are open to our new and fresh ideas and that we can help them with our multi disciplinary expertise.




NAME OF WINNERS : David Sasaki, Son Van Huynh, Christopher Mudiappahpillai

PLACE : Toronto, Canada


David Sasaki from Canada is the 2nd prize winner of the 2013 CLU Foundation Contest for his project Light Fall. It was deemed by our jury as being very creative as well as functional. It addressed a key part of the city: the vertical spaces.

Congratulations on winning the 2nd prize of the Socialight,  CLU Foundation Contest.

Thank you!


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

My name is David Sasaki and I’m a Project Architect currently practicing at the architectural firm ARK located in the city of Toronto. I have received My Master of Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto in 2008 and I have an undergraduate degree in Engineering.  My personal interests include the study and understanding of light and the exploration of the intersection of Film and Architecture.

My colleague Son Van Huynh received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Toronto, and is currently completing his PhD in Art History and Visual Culture at York University in Canada. The intersection of memory, place, and architecture lies at the heart of his research and work. Huynh is a project designer for architectural office ARK in Toronto and holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Christopher Mudiappahpillai believes that Design can make the world a better place, and that every problem should be critically considered – “good enough” is not an option, and settling for less usually ends up costing more than the solution is worth in the long run.  He works at The Working Group, where he focuses on facilitation, with both designers and developers, as they solve customer problems.  Christopher graduated from The University of Toronto, where he studied Philosophy.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

My interest in lighting design is inspired by my preoccupation with both natural and artificial light and the exploration of their relationship and individual properties. I believe that an intimate understanding of light is paramount to meaningful architectural design.


Why did you choose to participate in the Socialight contest?

The Socialight contest was of particular interest as it dealt with both light and future urban projections. It was an opportunity to speculate on the consequences that future urban conditions will have on the urban population and light access within this context.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of Light Fall and what is the social aspect of this project? 

The initial idea for Light Fall, came from studying the relationship between the ever rising skyline and the depth that it allows direct sunlight to penetrate into the urban fabric.  As vertical forms of future urban centres continue to grow both in height and concentration they prevent direct sunlight from reaching the ground plane and cast the dwellers below into perpetual shadow.  Disconnecting the urban population from the sun triggers health issues such as seasonal affective disorder, and lack of vitamin D production in the skin which may lead to depression and other health risks.  Light Fall seeks to find resolution between the skyline and the penetration of sunlight in order to increase sun access.


 Do you think that you proposal could become a reality? 

This idea is already a reality in a sense as it is based on the idea of channelling or bending light. The bending of light can be accomplished by numerous materials and methods such as light pipes (fibre optics, flowing water), or as light travels from one medium to another.  The major hurdle is the transmission loss that occurs as the light travels through the light pipe to its destination.  This of course leads to other interesting questions and ideas such as light amplification and light storage.

Numerous products already exist today which employ fibre optic cables to transfer natural daylight to basement levels in buildings. In nature, the silica structure of the Venus Flower Basket acts to harvest ambient light from above and transport it to the ocean floor below, creating a dwelling place for seahorses – an example of light contributing to symbiotic relationships.


What were your motivations for Light Fall?

The primary motivation for Light Fall is to return the shadow covered ground plane to a more humane condition by providing urban inhabitants with greater access to natural light – despite the seemingly unstoppable trend of vertical densification within urban centres.  Greater access to light and (re)connecting the urban population to the rhythms of the sun will ultimately provide a healthier living environment.


 Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work? 

Light Fall works to harvest, transport, and distribute the light of the sun to urban inhabitants living within vertical concentrations. Light is harvested from the roofs of buildings and partially from their faces receiving direct sunlight (i.e., the tallest of the high-rises) and transferred to the inhabitants below. Distribution points exist at various levels, not only distributing light to the public at grade, but increasing access to sunlight for those who live / work in the constantly shaded faces of surrounding high-rises. By channeling sunlight, this intervention reduces the need for artificial illumination and energy consumption and returns the temporal qualities of the sun.

This intervention essentially uses the idea of bending or channelling light around buildings to allow them to defeat their own shadows.  If buildings were able to defeat there own shadows – that is, did not produce shadow – what would this notion do to our everyday urban experience?


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis? 

The future of lighting design will have to consider the integration of natural and artificial lighting techniques.  Sustainability and excess energy consumption will demand a return to more natural or sustainable forms of lighting.  Hybrid lighting solutions will become important – those which harness the usefulness of the sunlight by day and switch to artificial supplements by night (or during cloudy conditions).


How do you see your professional career evolving? 

I would like to continue to develop ideas and solutions and eventually be in a position to one day unify my architectural career with my thoughts.



PROJECT NAME : 10577 Rays in Helsinki

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Roque Peña Pidal

PLACE : Madrid, Espagne


Spanish Architect and Designer Roque Pena Pidal is the 3rd prize winner of the 2013 CLU Foundation Contest for his project 10577 Rays in Helsinki. The jury selected his project because it uses light as an event and it would bring people together. His proposal to have an assembly of reflectors to make the winter solstice as bright as the summer solstice would help the population by increasing their serotonin levels. It is created for a specific location and resembles a big public event.

First, congratulations on winning the 3rd prize of the Socialight, CLU Foundation  Contest. 

I wish to thank the CLU Foundation, the Jury and Philips Lumec for the prize and the interesting subject of the Contest. I also thank Roger Wilson and Alicia Andrés who helped me.


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

I studied architecture at the Universidad Europea de Madrid and at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, where I had the opportunity of having Sir Peter Cook as a professor. I graduated in Madrid in July 2013 with distinction. About one year and a half ago, I began a personal project called Waspmod focused in the digital fabrication in architecture. Now I’m starting up ExArchitects, an Architecture Studio specialized in parametrical design and digital fabrication with my colleague Jose Salinas. I worked with several Architecture Studios and Artists.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from?

I agree with Philippe Rham when he says “Architecture should no longer build spaces but rather create temperatures and atmospheres.” Also, I’m fascinated with Alvar Aalto’s use and consideration of light. In my Master Project the goal was to generate public space, so I decided to work with the light knowing by my own experience the positive influence of light in space design.


Why did you choose to participate in the Socialight contest?

A friend of mine told me about this contest because it suited the subject I was interested in and in which I had been working for the last year.


Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of 10577 Rays in Helsinki and what is the social aspect of this project? 

In Finland, people experience negative mood changes (low levels of serotonin) related to the few hours of sunlight in the winter time. This is medically recognized as a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). My proposal concentrates light so that at the winter solstice, there is the same illuminance as the summer solstice. The scheme lifts the spirits of the Finnish people, and increases their serotonin levels. It creates an uplifting, bright public space in the winter, bringing people together through the manipulation of light.


Do you think that you proposal could become a reality?

It’s an ambitious project that wouldn’t be cheap but whose benefits for the inhabitants of Helsinki would be worth building it. In my opinion it is very important to invest in public spaces in the cities.


What were your motivations for 10577 Rays in Helsinki?

The motivation was very simple, to develop a social architecture that helps people in everyday life.  I would like to recommend you a very inspiring clip of the Vitorio de Sica’s film “Miracolo a Milano”, where you can see something very similar to my proposal’s goal.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?

The scheme reflects and densifies light to a focal space. 6838 parabolic shaped forms are strategically located over the adjacent surroundings with an area twenty times as big as the focal space. The 10577 reflectors of the infrastructure, built in fiberglass with a mirror finish, rotate in one axis to direct the light under its 11600 m2 canopy.

Thanks to the parametric design and the computer control the movement of the reflectors can be automated and follow the sunlight.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?

I would like it to evolve in an ecological –in the sense of Félix Guattari’s  “Three Ecologies”- and responsible way. Good examples are the ideas proposed in this contest and the ones that are generated from it.


How do you see your professional career evolving? 

I wish to continue developing my ideas in order to work on projects that help people to improve their lives through the study and design of the space and the environment. I enjoy working in many different areas, from architecture to art, so there is a lot to do!




NAME OF WINNER(S) : Alberto Vasquez

PLACE : Mezotur, Hongrie



PROJECT NAME : Tracing Moment

NAME OF WINNERS : Sungyeon Hwang, Sungyub Kim, Minkyoung Youn, Hyein Zhang

PLACE : Gunpo, Corée du Sud



PROJECT NAME : Wastelight

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Chironne Moller

PLACE : Pretoria, Afrique du Sud



PROJECT NAME : Night Poetry

NAME OF WINNER(S) : W. Victoria Lee

PLACE : Cambridge, Royaume-Uni

2013-2 Edition



PROJECT NAME : Lightwaves

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Paul Alexander Cohoon

PLACE : Londre, Royaume-Uni


PROJECT NAME : IlluminoBand

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Kassandra Gonzales

PLACE : États-Unis

2012 Edition




PROJECT NAME : Color Cloud

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Sergio Ramos

PLACE : Madrid, Espagne


A month ago we announced the winners of the 2012 CLU Foundation Contest whose main purpose is to encourage young designers to develop innovative lighting concepts for exterior public spaces. In the next few weeks we will be posting interviews with the four winners.

Today we are happy to post an interview with the 1st prize laureate, Mr. Sergio Ramos from Spain who won for his project Color Cloud, emotional system for public spaces.

First, congratulations on winning the first prize of the CLU Foundation Contest.

I would like to thank the CLU Foundation by proposing a design competition so suggestive, and the support of Philips Lumec for making this a reality. I would like to congratulate all participants, especially my two colleagues for this project, Ricardo Morcillo and Justo Garcia. My prize is also theirs. 


Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

I’m almost 30 years old and I am an architect who is just beginning his career. I studied architecture at the School of Alicante, AeA, with Ricardo & Justo (my colleagues in the winning project) and I have worked in several architectural firms and with a great Interior Designer, named Luis Galliussi. However I have now chosen to start my own studio, cr3am. We started with artistic installations in public spaces and are producing projects all over the world. We recently won a contest in Stuttgart Germany and we are looking to construct a winter-hut in Canada.


Where does your interest in lighting design come from? 

I think it started with Ricardo during our student days playing with lights to create lamps for our rented flat. Then we specialized a bit more in understanding light as one of the key parts of architecture. In the latter stages, we tried to understand how light can help humans physically and mentally especially what artificial light and control design can do on their physical parameters.


Why did you choose to participate in the CLU Foundation contest?

We decided to do a summer workshop with friends that would allow us to spend time working together and enjoying each other’s company. Our work and our careers often separate us.

The theme Lightitude –Lighting Urban Areas above the Polar Circle seemed so suggestive and we were able to go back and rethink the material that Ricardo had prepared for his final thesis and recontextualize it for this special project. We entered the contest so we could have fun and have time to think about the future and improve the world by thinking outside the reality of our work in architecture.

The jury really appreciated the festive element of your proposal. Can you share with us your initial idea behind this light cloud? 

Urban lighting can often be dull and boring, this color is a cheerful light invasion within the public space. If you also think of places like Murmmansk Russia, we would bring a little warmth. But it is a cloud that works with color therapy. It’s an emotional device.


 Do you think that your proposal could become a reality? 

Some things in life are bad, but we are looking on the bright side of life. The technology of this system is real and it would be easy to carry out. Of course this would require further development of the project, prototyping, etc… But who would invest in this? We just saw a guy jump into the void from the stratosphere, for what? For advertising. Spend millions on weapons, for what? Humans do stupid or silly things. Perhaps the cloud was one of them or perhaps it could be something brilliant and beneficial to humans.


What were your motivations for the light cloud?

It is a line of research that Ricardo began to develop. It combines everything we learned in our career. With Diller & Scofidio Blur Building we started to give our first steps as students of architecture. It is our history in this world as Architects. We want to produce spaces where people could feel emotion.


Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. As it is powered by natural elements, how does it work? 

It combines three natural energy aspects. Simulating a phenomenon of nature called Raleigh,

The wind, provides electrical energy to create light.
Moisture, water, is the canvas where light is trapped, the colloidal system.
The light emitted changes its color to pass through this mist, depending on its wavelength and the manner of colliding: Colors.

It’s something very pictorial, almost artistic and an expression of nature.


How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis? 

It will tend towards the naturalization of light and generating power saving. These efficiency systems will provide us with intelligent controls and increasingly complex systems that are at our disposal. That way the light shows and their many possibilities will never end.


How do you see your professional career evolving? 

We live in a period of deep crisis in our country, economically and politically. It is a tough time that we live in. But for me, starting my professional career makes me feel more alive, more daring. We live on the edge of survival, always trying keep the light, the heat, the passion.

Surfing the difficulties and enjoying every moment, I hope to enjoy architecture and design every single day.



PROJECT NAME : L'oasis lum ineu x

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Ivan Rodriguez

PLACE : Nantes, France


Today we introduce you to Mr. Ivan Rodriguez, a young designer and the 2nd prize laureate of the 2012 CLU Foundation Contest. The judges were intrigued by the therapeutic benefits of the project Oasis lumineuse. Lighting panels projecting a blue light are installed around a gathering area. The light oasis created allows remote area inhabitants to get together and enjoy rare lighting benefits.  

Congratulations on winning the second prize of the CLU Foundation Contest. Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

First of all I would like to say thanks to the CLU Foundation for awarding my project with the second prize, it is a great motivation to keep working as a designer and keep exploring different and new fields the way this project did.

I am a 25-year-old product designer from Bogota Colombia. I studied product design for five years at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, in France, so I lived in Nantes for three years. I was part of the first batch from this school following a Master’s degree in Cross-cultural Design in Bangalore India, on an exchange program of two years with the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

I have worked as an intern for Bruno Houssin a French designer based in Nantes, with Abhijit Bansod, designer from India at Studio Abd in Bangalore and with Tycka Design a consultant design firm, also based in Bangalore.

When I entered the contest I was still a part of the exchange program in India, but since then I have finished my studies and I’m back in Nantes for this year. I will be working as a freelancer in France for some time and then I will try to get a job opportunity in some other country other than Colombia, France or India in order to get more experience as a cross-cultural designer.  This is very important to me because discovering new cultures is fascinating, but also because I think and believe that design needs to answer real needs and problems of the societies that are closely related to particular cultures and context. In order to give the best answer possible to a design problem, we need to understand those societies, those cultures and those markets. And in a world that is more and more ruled by globalization, I think that design becomes a key that allows preserving global markets without breaking the characteristics of each culture, adapting what we produce to a particular context.  


Is this the first time that you have worked in lighting design?  

I have already completed school projects where I had to think about different kinds of lighting designs, like for example trying to conceive a lamp that follows the standards and ideology of IKEA, or trying to express emotions through light by thinking about a night club where the user will have a different experience through light and color.

Also, two of the designers with whom I completed my internships have already done very good works involving lighting design, so I had the chance to learn some elements from them. On one side there is Bruno Houssin who works very often for Artemide, and who has a Red Dot Award thanks to his project KAO. He also likes to merge furniture design and lightning design on luminous seats or luminous desks which I find really interesting. And, on the other side there is Abhijit Bansod who has a Red Dot Award too, for his study-lamp for BPL “Halo”, and here what is interesting is the answer to a specific context and a specific problem which is power cuts in India. This lamp using LED has a battery that can last for a long time without being charged. So, here the thinking about this problem is also something I found interesting.


Why did you choose to participate in the CLU Foundation Contest?

My school in France keeps encouraging us to take part in design contests every year as a part of our formation, so I had to find a contest to work on. When I found the CLU Foundation Contest, I thought it could be a good experience for my formation on cross-cultural design, because the contest itself was pushing me to think about a particular area of the world, with a particular environment where I have never been. This was definitely interesting to me because it forced me to try to understand how people living in the areas above the polar circle could be influenced by their environment, and to try to think and search about the cultural consequences coming from the fact that the sunlight in these areas don’t follow what we could call a normal circadian rhythm.


How did this year’s contest theme inspire you in creating this proposal? 

The contest theme was inspiring in the sense that it made me try to think and look for a solution that could have some impact and contrast with the life that people in those areas could have. It was inspiring because I have never been in any of those areas, so even though I did some research about them and about their way of life, the theme by itself was already creating in my mind an image related to those places, imagining an environment that is cold and dark, but also that is painted by white and blue tones. An environment that becomes wild and natural because of the extreme conditions of life. It was inspiring by the simple fact that you can imagine yourself in a complete different place from where you are. 

Also, in my research about the theme and the region I got a strong inspiration from the architecture from the cities of those areas, specially from the Arctic Cathedral and the Library in Tromso. These two structures break with the traditional architecture of the city by their form and the fact that in the dark they become a strong outdoor source of light. It was great context to be creative and look for contrast.


Tell us about your idea and the importance it gives to the community.

The idea behind the Oasis lumineuse (Oasis of Light) is to create a space that allows citizens from the urban areas above the polar circle to first of all find a place that will provide a source of light that can replace the natural sunlight. My research showed me that the lack of sunlight creates sleep and fatigue problems in everyday life. So creating a space that allows people of the community to feel better with themselves is something I consider very important, not only in a personal aspect, but also in helping them to improve their relations between each other around a common activity, and more so if this activity turns around space into an interesting activity area for kids who are the most affected by those sleeping problems. Here, I’m proposing an open space for people of all ages to meet and share together in the middle of the darkness. It is also proposing a new outdoor activity in cities where the cold and the dark might make people feel reluctant to go outside.


 Tell us about the therapeutic aspect of your project.

I conceptualized this project around the fact that when we are in the dark there is a chemical reaction that is produced in our brain. The lack of sunlight, specially the blue light that is on it made us produce a hormone called melatonin. This hormone is produced in the pineal gland, and it is the one that makes us feel sleepy. The production of the hormone is inhibited by the light and it decreases with the age of the person. Also, it is important to know that the exposure to blue light for 30 to 40 minutes a day is enough to have a normal day and helps cut the chemical reaction, putting a stop to that feeling of fatigue and sleep.

Those elements are the key point of the Oasis lumineuse. First of all because of the fact that the regions above the polar circle are not exposed to the sunlight for almost six month, this creates problems in the sleeping cycle of people. Secondly, the people who will be the most touched by this lack of sun, are kids by the simple fact that they produce more melatonin than an adult, so those are the reasons why it was important for me to create a public space that propose artificial blue light to replace the lack of sun. But also, it is why it was essential for me to turn this space into a fun and attractive area for the kids. The Oasis lumineuse proposes a game of light where kids will have to jump from a spot to the other making them use their balance and agility. This activity is part of the therapeutic aspect of the project because the combination of the light with the physical activity will help kids to stay awake and help them to be more focused during the day. I think that this can be very important for them to be more dynamic and focused when they will have to go to school.

The idea is to create a space where people will go to be exposed to this blue light every morning before going to work or to school in order to be more awake and feel better.


Do you think that Nordic communities would appreciate your proposal?

I think Nordic communities can appreciate the proposal because it is not just a therapeutic proposal, but also because it is proposing a place with an outdoor activity. I think that in Nordic areas it is important to propose outdoor activities in the period of darkness in order to promote social exchange in their natural environment. This can make them feel more comfortable with the extreme conditions of the place where they live, by meeting people from their community outside and by gathering in a public space.


What did you learn by taking part in this contest?

There are two elements that for me are the most important that I learnt by taking part in this contest.

The first is that I have definitely learnt a lot about the regions above the polar circle and I found those areas really beautiful and exciting, giving me the desire to one day go and see them for myself. I found that the beauty of those regions is inspiring from an aesthetic point of view.

The second is that I also learnt a lot about lighting, and specially the effect of sunlight on human beings, which I found really interesting and I think it is the best part because it could be helpful for future projects, if I work again on lighting design, and am sure that will be the case.


How do you think lighting design will evolve in the future? 

I think that lighting design first of all won’t have the choice and will have to find a way to evolve into an element that doesn’t represent a problem for the environment. It will habe to be accessible for everyone and everywhere at the same time. I think that lighting design will have to go hand in hand with research for new sources of energy that are not harmful to the environment. And when I say that it should be accessible for everyone everywhere I’m thinking about the regions of the world where people cannot afford the access to light in a particular or public way. I’m thinking about cities or public spaces where the darkness can become an element of insecurity. Places where the night and the darkness become a reason for danger. I think lighting design will have an important role to play in these areas.

Also I think and hope that lighting design will evolve into a more sensitive experience, becoming something more than simple lighting on a street or a in a house.

Creating experiences that involve other senses other than vision: touch, hearing, and smell! Experiences that will help people to share emotions in every kind of situation! I’m thinking about an intelligent lighting that adapts to us even if we are not at home and that becomes part of the representation of us like clothes or accessories, creating a game of light and color around the person. 


Where would you like to be in 10 years, from a professional standpoint? 

This is no doubt a very hard question to answer, especially when you have just finished your studies and got a diploma. I am in a period of my life where I will have to get out of the bubble that comes with the student life, and in some way keeps you protected from the real world. And when you see that you face a world with an economic crisis, with no job opportunities, with political conflicts all around, a society of consumption and hypocrisy that is destroying the environment and that is based on keeping strong inequalities, superficiality or facebook status it is hard to project where one will be in a decade.

But I guess that the challenge is there, I know I have the basic tools a designer needs, and I hope that 10 years from now as a designer I will be able to understand easily what is happening around me and the way the different societies of the world behave in order to provide design solutions that are pertinent and useful, because I believe in a design that brings solutions, not a design that just sell products.

I know that 10 years from now I want to have increased my international work experience and be in a position to produce for different cultures, products that adapt to their particular needs. I see myself working for a multinational design firm using what I have learnt as a cross-cultural designer.



PROJECT NAME : Arctic Blossom

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Robert Trempe

PLACE : Philadelphia, États-Unis


Let us introduce you to Robert Trempe from the United States, the CLU Foundation’s third prize ex aequo winner for his project Arctic Blossom inspired by a summer he spent in Iceland. Members of the jury were charmed by the poetic aspect of his lighted trees.

First, congratulations on winning the third prize. Tell me about yourself and your career path.

I am trained as an architect, work day to day as a professor of architecture, and spend my free-time developing projects that often blur the line between architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and landart.


Why did you choose to participate in the CLU Foundation Contest?

I found the brief to be an interesting challenge and one free of the over-specificities often subscribed to competitions. The ability to design, inspired by a theme rather than conscripted via a precise brief, is something you don’t often see in competitions. It provided just enough context and logic to establish a concept while still providing freedom for me to generate specificity though a set of conditions I found important. 


What did you think of this year’s theme? What do you know about the reality of living in a Nordic region?  

This year’s theme is what drew me to the competition as I am (in a very opposite way) familiar with the reality of light in a Nordic region. In the summer of 2009 I was lucky enough to live in Reykjavik as part of an artist residency. I still remember the “night” I (and others at the residency) watched the sun dip below the horizon line of the North Atlantic for the first time since we entered residency…11:55pm to be exact. I took a picture of the clock. As someone from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, the midnight sun is something you do not witness, and something you learn to both appreciate and fear. It’s staggering to realize how much our internal clocks depend on light to understand time. It made me question how much light can affect our day to day operations.


Tell us more about your project and the inspiration behind it.

Arctic Blossom is wholeheartedly based on my experiences in Iceland. I spent a massive amount of time hiking throughout the Western Fjords, Southwestern Lava fields, and the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar). In that time, I was struck by three contrasting factors: Landscapes tend to be flat or rolling until something massive (like a volcano, active or extinct) projects straight up, trees are almost non-existent in the west (except for the ones that are imported…and they look in-and-out of place simultaneously), and even in the midst of a devoid and dead lavascape, flowers will do their best to blossom.

Arctic Blossom is inspired by these factors: It can be inserted into a flat landscape – projecting out like a landmark, it creates a canopy in the same way as a relocated-tree and with the same awkward relationship to the landscape, and it blossoms like the small flowers I found in the middle harsh lavascapes.   


How do your light trees work?

The system is quite basic: A large light at the base is connected to a series of thick fiber optic cables, with the cables splaying out as the height increases and the structure gathering the cables decreases. The cables would be coated with a brittle resin or finish that crackles and breaks under stress. So, as the cables splay outward due to their weight and lack of structure, bits of the finish fall off through the bending of the cable, revealing the light transmitted from the base in a random pattern reminiscent of holiday lights on trees.


Do you think that Nordic communities would appreciate your light trees? Why?

I don’t know. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that these could be deployed everywhere from the sculpture & shore walk in downtown Reykjavik to Akureyri (Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of 17,000 or so) and everywhere between. I could envision the trees clustered together to create outdoor meeting points in remote locations, they could become landmarks for travelers and locals alike, even be employed in the most pragmatic concepts such as bus-stops and town center “pavilions.” It was my intent to design the system in such a way as to allow users to determine the function, an intentionally ambiguous system purposed by location and interest. I think it’s this lack of programmatic specificity that could become an attractor to people.


Tell us about your urban lighting vision.

I’m not really sure if I have an urban lighting vision as I think so much of any form of design is based (in large part) on the context of place. So, for me, place informs vision.


What did you learn by taking part in this contest?

I’ve learned a great deal more about fiber optic cable, and the fact that a single summer in Iceland has had a profound impact on my life.


Your proposal has a strong poetic, aesthetic proponent. How significant are simplicity and aesthetics in your other projects? 

I feel that levels of simplicity and aesthetics hand-in-hand with one another. Often the simplest ideas have a massive (and often complex) underpinning, in which case aesthetics become the method by method by which complexity is wrangled into something seemingly simple.


Where do you see yourself in the future? What would be your ideal career path?

I love being an educator. It is one of the most frustratingly rewarding experiences you can have. While you try to disassociate yourself with the work of your students, you live and die with their projects and process. And my students inspire me and fuel my own creative process. Ultimately, I would want my path to continue with an underpinning of teaching. Beyond that…who knows. Isn’t that the beauty of a creative discipline? The unknown allows for invention and reinvention as well as learning. I suppose I want my path to continue on in some way that facilitates a continual learning.




NAME OF WINNER(S) : Balazs Szilagyi

PLACE : Szombathely, Hongrie


Extreme climate challenges near the polar circle, both attracted and inspired the CLU Foundation’s 3rd prize winner from Hungary to come up with the concept for his project Spheres.

First, congratulations on winning the third prize ex æquo with your projects Spheres. Tell me about yourself and your career path.

Thank you for congratulating me on winning the prize. I’m honored.

I’ve studied mathematics, physics and architecture in Hungary, where I live. I work in architectural planning and teaching.


Why did you choose to participate in the CLU Foundation Contest?

Last year I worked on a project aimed at building houses for a region over the polar circle. Through that plan I had the opportunity to study special challenges this extreme climate offers. As that work made a big impression on me, I immediately took a liking in the assignment of this year’s CLU Foundation Contest.


What did you think of this year’s theme? What do you know about the reality of living in a Nordic region?

I’m attracted to extraordinary projects, so to me this year’s theme and projects similar to this are inspiring. They take participants on an interesting voyage of exploration. In what ways can humans become part and adjust to a world existing upon severe rules?

My project for the CLU Foundation Contest chooses the path of trying to melt into it and to become one.


Tell us more about your project Spheres and the inspiration behind it.

The setting sun, fading rays touching snowy landscape have had great effect on me since childhood, it inspires me.

What does a living creature do when it’s awfully cold, a terrible wind is blowing and it can’t see the sun? It lies low, huddles itself up, turns inwards and tries to adjust. It only looks around when and where it’s absolutely necessary.


How does your proposal work?

The lamp is part of the ground’s surface. ‘Surviving’ form adjusts to: severe climate, scattered flora and whatever built environment is present in this area. The system of earth-cables connects between the luminous points like a root system.

The caps that are opalescent in different ways and can create various lighting objectives ideal for public spaces. By replacing the caps and bulbs we can easily change the function of the lighting depending on its environment. A global cohesion can maintain this public lighting-system.

Light is emitted from beneath eye level and rays arrive at the earth-surface in large incident angles. This lamp utilizes light-reflecting and scattering ability of snow, thus light is reflected in larger portion.

With this lamp, reflected rays are spread close to the ground, and scattered light is therefore less reflected skyward, as by perpendicular lighting coming from lamp posts.

By locating these lighting system close to the road, the immediate neighborhood of the lamp is strongly lit even in foggy weather. Because of its design close to the ground, this results in a light and shade effect appropriate to low sun’s orbit characteristic for this region.


Do you think that light spheres would be a realistic solution in Northern regions? 

I believe so. That’s why I proposed it.


Tell us about your urban lighting vision.

The luminous spheres are like frozen drops of the sun. There are no overhead cables and lamp posts influencing the view of the streets. This way the effect of buildings and urban squares can truly stand out.

With the homogenous outward appearance of these lamps almost all public lighting problems can be solved and lamps become a means of organizing townscapes. According to the desired function, rays can be directed and a night-view is not only possible but optimized.

These lamps – situated on the ground (fastened if necessary) – have significant space- and traffic structuring function as well.

The fabrication of this environmentally friendly solution is simple and it is easy to maintain.


What did you learn by taking part in this contest?

In the northern regions specific built environment can be developed, which has harmonic ties to nature. Extraordinary challenges not only mean restriction but it is also a motivating force that must lead to new paths and innovation.


Your proposal has a strong poetic, aesthetic proponent. How significant are simplicity and aesthetics in your other projects?

I believe that the conceptual core of a plan is the most important part. It is where all the details are organized.  For me simplicity means expressing thoughts clearly. Aesthetic experience should be a consequence of finding the right answers to the questions stated by the assignment of planning and the place given.


Where do you see yourself in the future? What would be your ideal career path?

I see myself taking part in a lot of exciting contests, like this one for the CLU Foundation.

2011 Edition




NAME OF WINNERS : Ninad V. Jogdand

PLACE : Pune, Inde


Last week, we announced the winners of the 6th annual CLU Foundation contest whose main purpose is to encourage young designers to develop innovative lighting concepts for exterior public spaces. In the first of four installments with the winners, we present an interview with the 1st prize laureate, Mr. Ninad Jogdand from India. In addition to having submitted a draft of a higher difficulty level, Mr. Jogdand seized an opportunity by reusing the energy generated on site for other purposes.

Congratulations on winning the 1st prize of the 2010-2011 CLU Foundation contest.

I would like to thank Philips Lumec and all the jury members of the CLU Foundation for their time and efforts. I would also like to congratulate all the winners and participants of the contest.

Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.

I am an architect from Pune, a city in West India. I am 30 years old and have been working with a lighting design firm in Goa, India. After studying architecture from the University of Pune, I happened to come across a Masters program in Architectural Lighting which I subsequently completed from Wismar, Germany, in 2007. It has been an interesting journey through the field of lighting since then.


What has brought you into industrial design?

The use of daylight in architecture has always fascinated me. It is an element that reveals architecture and has an effect on both perception of physical spaces and emotional response of those who use the space. The modern day architecture also demands use of artificial light. I find it very interesting how the use of artificial light can enhance an architectural space or give it a completely different meaning. With light as a medium, one can play with textures, building materials and colors in order to create an atmosphere.


What kind of challenges do you have to overcome, being an emerging lighting designer in India?

Architectural Lighting is an emerging field in India and there is not much awareness about the subject. Here, lighting is often provided as a part of interior design or building services and not as an independent design based on the specific requirements of the project. However, working as a lighting designer with a background in architecture helps me understand the requirements of the clients in a better way and provide an optimized solution. The cultural and socio-economic factors also play an important role in planning a design. At the same time, it is also necessary to keep myself updated with current technologies in lighting and construction as the architecture of modern buildings requires varied lighting solutions.


What motivated you to enter the CLU Foundation contest?

The CLU Foundation contest has offered me an international platform to showcase my ideas in lighting. I especially find the theme of the contest “Light it for Humanity” very interesting this year. It makes one think not only about the issues related to public lighting but also about the social, economic and cultural background of a community.


What does your 1st prize standing at the CLU Foundation contest represent?

I feel that winning the first prize at the CLU Foundation contest is just a start. I am pleased that my ideas are well accepted and are not vague. I would be even happier if I could take these ideas forward, transform them into reality or apply them in my projects.


How did your idea for the LightPot project come about and evolve?

For my design proposal for the contest, I started off with a completely different concept and was looking for information on recycling material. In the process, I came to know about Dharavi, a place in Mumbai, which has a large recycling industry along with traditional pottery and textile industries. There have been several plans for redevelopment of Dharavi but none has been realized so far. So I thought of developing a lighting solution for the place, which is sustainable and can be implemented with the expertise of the local workers. Different business activities are carried out along the narrow lanes of Dharavi. This called for a luminaire which provides functional light after dark as well as promotes interaction between people of all ages. The design of the luminaire was of course inspired by the shape of an earthen pot.


How would you feel if your LightPot solution became a reality and was achievable?

I would be happy to see this project realized. I am quite sure that the task is achievable, given the right kind of support and resources. The main objective of the design was to extend the day ambience of the place into the night and thus increasing safety in the frequently used areas. The important question for me would be “how the residents or the users feel about it and if they are satisfied”.


How would it change that environment?

The aim of the proposed solution was to provide functional light for day to day activities of the residents as well as to create a safe environment at night which encourages interaction. Use of colored light at squares and gathering places would add to the atmosphere during the festivals.


How could your project eventually become a reality?

At the moment, it is just a design concept that I have submitted for the project. Extensive site surveys are required to check the feasibility of the project. There is still a huge task ahead to realize a project of this scale. It is however a good start and I would like to take it forward.


What is the most important thing that you have learned by participating in this contest?

The goal of the contest was to design a ‘‘friendly public lighting’’ scheme which is accessible to all the people living in a society. And it was a good opportunity for me to look at other interesting ideas or ‘‘perspectives’’ from which one can look at the same thing.


What do you think of urban lighting in the future?

With the introduction of advanced lighting technologies, the use of artificial light is ever increasing in urban spaces. Therefore, we, as lighting designers, have a greater responsibility of using light sensibly and only in places where it is required. Artificial light plays an important role in overall presentation of the cities and one has to consider the topography, the history, the culture of a place for planning at a bigger scale. The concept can then be applied for planning at local level in order to create a uniform nightscape in urban spaces.


How do you see your career evolving?

As I mentioned before, architectural lighting is an emerging field in India and there is not much awareness about the industry. I feel that working as a lighting designer in this environment is a challenging job as we spend a lot of time educating our clients, the architects and also the interior designers about lighting in general. However, in the future, I hope to complete some projects wherein I can implement new ideas that contribute to improving the lifestyle of a society in general.



PROJECT NAME : Buoyant Light

NAME OF WINNERS : Claire Lubell et Virginia Fernandez

PLACE : Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


Two Canadian undergraduate students, Claire Lubell and Virginia Fernandez receive high praise and win 2nd prize in the CLU Foundation contest. The project entitled Buoyant Light unveils a community that is often left to itself: the Nordic region. The illustrated idea combines the human and his environment, demonstrating an excellent example of humanity. The jury would like to congratulate Miss Lubell and Fernandez for the efforts they put into their theoretical and technical research.


Claire  and Virginia tell us about your background?

Claire: I’m 24 years old and currently completing my final semester of an undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture. Previously I studied at l’Université de Montréal and University of Alberta, each for one year. In the last 5 years I have worked in architecture offices and participated in studios in Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and South Africa. My interests in architecture lie in its more broad ability to address complex social, economic and political issues, rather than its specific role as a practice of object making. I am particularly interested in how the traditional formality of the built form can be reconsidered in contexts where informality in urban development is an autonomous force.

Virginia: I’m 25 years old and am also finishing my last semester of undergraduate studies in Architecture at the University of Waterloo and previously studied in Venezuela. Because of the co-op program at the school I have had the opportunity to work in many places over the last five years including Toronto, Austria and Venezuela. My interest in architecture resides in its power as a concrete medium in which other less tangible economic, political and cultural forces are materialized. As a designer I am interested in context, both physical and notional, as a source of knowledge and invention 


What interests you about industrial design?

We are not specifically industrial designers. In studying architecture we have the opportunity to address design on a wide scale ranging from singular objects to large urban/infrastructural proposals. In the case of Buoyant Light, we decided that the questions we wanted to explore were best addressed with a highly articulated object which could respond in a softer way to the human scale, climate and scale of the Arctic landscape.


How would you define your style? What differentiates you from others?

For us it is not so much a question of style as a one of process. We generally approach projects with research into conditions, be they physical or anthropological, related to the context in question. Based on this research we identify a problem that can be addressed with a simple intervention in the site. In doing this we develop projects that have the freedom to be highly imaginative because they are simultaneously grounded in a framework of rigorous research.


What motivated you to enter the CLU Competition?

The theme “Light it for Humanity” motivated us to submit Buoyant Light. We had developed the project in 2010 and beyond its technical aspirations and response to climate, its potential role within a community is most important to us. We think the proposal’s strength resides in its potential to be a meaningful part of the seasonal cycles and social gatherings of communities in northern Canada. For this reason we felt that the CLU Competition very directly addressed the aspects of Buoyant Light which we feel the most strongly about.


What does your 2nd prize standing at the CLU Foundation contest represent for you?

It is important to us that Buoyant Light has received recognition in a Canadian competition, because we feel that a sensible and innovative development in the arctic, both culturally and ecologically, is of fundamental importance to Canada’s future economic, environmental and political sustainability. As designers we hope that our profession will be able to contribute to the urban and infrastructural development of the arctic in the future.  


How did your idea for the “Buoyant Light” project come about and evolve?

We participated in a studio in fall 2009 at Waterloo Architecture entitled Frozen Cities/Liquid Networks which focused on the development of the Canadian Arctic as a consequence of global warming and the melting of the polar ice cap and in relationship to the development of shipping networks and infrastructure. This studio introduced us to the communities in this vast region and their vulnerability both to climate change, upon which day to day life depends, and to growing international political and economic interest for shipping and resource extraction.

Having completed this studio, we decided to address the Arctic from a different angle, one which focused on smaller scale interventions within the landscape and the role of light as a constant in a climate where all other cycles are changing dramatically. We also saw a potential connection between the need for more widespread data collection for the region, and the relationship of communities to sea ice for hunting and traveling. 


How would you feel if your “Buoyant Light” solution became a reality and was achievable?

Although speculative, Buoyant Light proposes a simple object that we feel is a very tangible and achievable idea and our final goal is to continue developing the project. As students, having the opportunity to address and resolve some of the technical issues would be a great experience and it would allow us to truly imagine the project implemented in a community, how it would be received and what its potential benefits and problems would be. Neither of us have had the opportunity to travel to northern Canada which we believe is necessary if we continue to work on Buoyant Light and other projects in the arctic.


How would it change that environment?

Buoyant Light would offer a solution we think would be of vital help to the community in terms of safety and quality of life, while at the same time offering researchers data that could help understand global warming and its consequences in the Canadian arctic. Inside the community Buoyant Light would enhance spaces for gathering, offer clean energy and most importantly a safe environment particularly in relation to seasonal traveling and hunting on ice. Imagining its potential implementation through the Arctic, Buoyant Light would create a soft network that could prompt points of connections between remote communities.  


What’s the most important thing that you have learned by doing this project? 

We have learnt the value of very thorough research into particular conditions and technical innovations. Without this knowledge, Buoyant Light would remain a highly speculative proposal for a context which needs practical solutions. With it, the project has developed into one with a certain level of rigor and depth which allows it to retain relevancy and a poetic character simultaneously. 


Is it the first time you worked together on a project?

We’ve collaborated many times on academic work throughout our degree at Waterloo but this is the first time we developed a project independently together.


What do you think of urban lighting in the future?

Along with service distribution and location of public and social amenities, lighting should be one of the fundamental infrastructures in urban development. Lighting design has the versatility to give shape to paths of circulation and public space, as well as address sustainability and safety within communities. As designers continue to be involved in new city design as well as redevelopment projects in both the developed and developing world, light will hopefully become increasingly relevant in providing quality of life in urban settlements regardless of context.   


Where do you see yourselves professionally in ten years?

Given that we have a great deal more exploring to do it’s impossible to say where we will be in 10 years.  We both plan to pursue work and graduate studies in the coming years and this will no doubt give shape to the trajectories we take.



PROJECT NAME : Sensible Light

NAME OF WINNERS : Daekwon Park

PLACE : Cambridge, Massachusetts, États-Unis

Today we introduce you to Mr. Daekwon Park, a young professional and the 3rd prize laureate of the CLU Foundation contest. The judges were particularly charmed by the reinterpretation of evenings around a campfire. The aspects of interactivity, communication and community are well represented in his project entitled Sensible Light.


Tell me about your academic background and your work experience?

I am a designer and architect based in Cambridge, USA and simultaneously studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the post-professional Master’s Degree in design technology. Professionally, I have worked for Populous (formerly HOK Sport) as the director in Korea since 2009, independently leading all the projects there including the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Main Stadium, Gimpo Sports town master plan and Ansan Baseball dome project. I have also worked in their US, Australia, China offices from 2006 to 2009 on numerous sports/entertainment projects including the Target Field (Minnesota Twins MLB ballpark), Sochi Winter Olympics master plan, and Taipei Baseball Dome. In parallel with this career I have established my multi-disciplinary design practice ‘meta-territory_studio (’ in 2008 and have been participating in design competitions, exhibitions and publications. Academically, I have focused on a broad range of design disciplines from urban design and master planning to architectural design and product/furniture design. Currently, my work is focused on design technology topics including digital fabrication process, computational design, advanced geometry, and interactive environment/object design.


How would you define your style? What differentiates you from others?

I think versatility is probably one of my strongest design identities. I have studied and worked in various scales and disciplines ranging from urban design to product design. Although everything could be categorized as “design”, there are still many distinctions (goal, process and outcome) between scales and disciplines that make each field unique in its own right. I believe my multi-faceted understanding and experience allows me to truly work inter-disciplinary and integrate key lessons learned from each disciplines in a creative way.


What motivated you to enter the CLU Competition?

The CLU competition provided me with a good opportunity to experiment and implement my interest in interactive/augmented environmental design. I was intrigued with the theme “Light it for Humanity” and ‘public lighting’ as the subject for design was both a challenging and rewarding experience for me.


How did your idea for the Sensible Light project come about and evolve?

Public lighting had various purposes and meanings for different cultures and societies. In the ancient time, public lighting was a bonfire which was a centerpiece for a gathering space as well as a vehicle for ceremonies, rituals and event. As the society grew larger and the territory extended to great distances, public lighting became a beacon. Signal fire was the means for communicating between distant settlements and a lighthouse was the instrument for guiding the sailors traveling the dark oceans. Nowadays, public lighting is an integral part of the urban fabric, preventing accidents and increasing public safety. In this context, this project aimed to create a public lighting that captures all of these aspects which can be summarized as a public lighting that can become a gathering space for events, a beacon for communication, and an infrastructure for public safety.


How would you feel if your Sensible Light project became a reality and was achievable?

I would be very excited to see Sensible Light become a reality. During the design of the Sensible Light project, I have built a working prototype that has all the components including the embedded electronics, light source, sensors and coding. I feel confident that the project is feasible and when the opportunity comes, the process of making it real will be a rewarding experience for me.


How would it change that environment?

I believe Sensible Light system will become one of the key features of the urban environment and define the major public spaces and the fabric of the city in a highly visual way. Not only will it function as a public infrastructure for public safety but also add additional values by functioning as an anchor for major gathering spaces throughout the city and as a visual landmark that communicates with the public.


What’s the most important thing that you have learned by participating in this competition?

This competition gave me the opportunity to think about public lighting as infrastructure for public safety as well as an element that has rich symbolic meaning to the people. I became aware of the importance of public lighting and its potential to expand the effect to urban environment and fabric with great impact.


What do you think of urban lighting in the future?

I believe urban lighting in the future will be interactive, smart, and multifunctional. As a public infrastructure, urban lighting has a potential to become the main interface between the public and the urban environment. With the availability of low cost sensors, actuations and lighting source, urban lighting will not only interact with people through light, motion and visual information but also with each other. This will open up unlimited amount of possibilities (i.e. urban sensing, data collection and crowd sensing, communication and urban media, etc.) that could be implemented into urban lighting system.


Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years?

I would like to see my multi-disciplinary design practice, ‘meta-territory_studio’ running both as an experimental design laboratory as well as a full scale office. The studio would have capacity to handle large scale urban design, master planning, architecture, and landscape projects to interior, industrial design products, and interaction design. In addition to this I would like to see myself teaching/collaborating with talented students and hope to inspire people with a book about design.

2010 Edition



PROJECT NAME : Memories of the city

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Lars Gäfvert

PLACE : Goteberg, Suède


Here’s an interview that I did with a young Swedish designer just after he won the first prize of an international lighting competition organized by the CLU Foundation. The interview originally appeared in Philips’ e-Luminous newsletter.

 The CLU Foundation (Concept Lumière Urbaine) organizes an annual competition to encourage emerging designers to develop innovative lighting concepts for exterior public spaces. This year’s theme was Street Furniture Light and the First Prize winner is Lars Gäfvert, a young designer from Göteborg, Sweden.


Can you tell me more about your background?

I’m an industrial designer. In fact, I graduated in 2009 in something we call Industrial Design Engineering, which integrates a greater part of engineering than in what traditional designers do. I think it’s something that is becoming more and more prevalent as the industries require from designers they be able to communicate with engineers and make concepts and ideas that are easier to adapt to production.


What brought you into industrial design?

I think it’s the combination that interested me between an artistic, aesthetical side and a more technical part as well. This particular segment of industrial design would let me have both. And I find it very appealing, as a freelance consultant, to work with different things in every project. You get exposed to a lot of different technologies and different products, learning new things all the time.


How would you define your style, what differentiates you from others?

Well, I haven’t been doing this for long enough to be defined by any particular style. However, I think that when you are an industrial designer and need to work on a variety of projects, the most important skill to have is the ability to adapt your style to what the client wants. I believe it’s more important to link the result to the company’s existing products, or what the client wants to express in the project, rather than one’s own personal style.


What motivated you to enter the CLU Competition?

During my school years, I did work on a few client projects and the idea for this winning contribution to the CLU was actually something I came up with as a concept that was part of a school project, maybe four years ago. The goal was to enhance life in suburbs, to make them more interesting. We eventually ended up going another way, but I kept thinking it was an interesting idea and that I should do something with it. That’s why I picked it up for the CLU Competition.


What does your victory at the CLU Competition represent to you?

It’s always nice to win such a contest, as it is a confirmation that you’re doing something other people think is good work. And of course, it’s great to have some publicity, something more concrete to prove that you’re good, instead of just saying it.

In your project presentation, you wrote “As the late night wanderer sees the trail of another like himself, I hope that it will remind him that he is not alone.” What emotions do you expect people to feel when they walk across these pavements?

I think the most prevalent emotion or sensation in this type of unusual project is the slightly magical feel there is to it. I think it is very important as it brings people beyond the normal everyday life. But then, I also hope and think it conveys different feelings at different times. During peak hours, with lots of lights and people moving around, one would feel more part of the community and part of the city. While late at night, it might be more melancholic, more supernatural.

That new dimension you added to your lighting project – the time, the delay between people stepping on tiles and the tiles actually lighting up – how did you come up with that idea?

At some point, I thought that making the interaction instantaneous wouldn’t be interesting for very long. People would get used to it. Then I started considering a delay before having a response and I came up with the seven-day idea because the type of traffic depends on the time of day and the day of the week. I started to like the idea more and more since it brings a new type of interaction. While it would be unexpected at the beginning, it would become clear later on that it’s not people on the scene that are making the trails. When people see the tiles lighting up, they will start thinking and wondering. And they can either follow the path of other pedestrians, chasing up with the trails, or start making their own. Both choices would then be reflected a week later!


What do you think of urban lighting in the future?

Lighting is becoming so widespread with signs, lit windows, and fixtures all around in city centers. Perhaps this purely functional light will integrate some more features and more interesting aspects to it. There could be more interaction, light could convey information. It could become something more than just lighting.


Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years?

That’s a difficult question! I’m starting up with my own business as a freelance consultant. I’ll see how it goes and I hope to be successful. Right now, I’m more focused on down-to-earth objectives, like finding companies that will benefit from my ideas and establishing contact with returning clients.



PROJECT NAME : Borne augmentée

NAME OF WINNERS : Alexandre Guilbeault and Jean-Daniel Mercier

PLACE : Montréal, Canada



PROJECT NAME : Dandelion tree

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Klaas Jan Lei and Erik Smid

PLACE : Amsterdam, Pays-Bas



PROJECT NAME : Moving lamp

NAME OF WINNER(S) : Hyunseok Moon

PLACE : Séoul, Corée du Sud

2009 Edition




NAME OF WINNER(S) : Jonathan Bouffard



PROJECT NAME : Misenveille

NAME OF WINNERS : David Giraldeau and Alexandre Guilbeault

PLACE : Montréal, Canada




NAME OF WINNER(S) : Xavier Lapointe

PLACE : Madrid, Espagne