Lighting design vision

The Challenge finalists, PLDC 2015, Rome, Italy


Through a prestigious global competition, six students from around the world got to speak at the 2015 Professional Lighting Design Convention in Rome. As partners of the program, we were proud to help put their talent in the spotlight.

The speaker competition


The Challenge is a student speaker competition organized by VIA Events and partnered by the Philips Lighting Academy. Its goal is to discover newcomers in lighting design and help the next generation of specialists to join the lighting community.

Students from around the world participate, and under the coaching of lighting designers, they compete in four rounds of challenges. Five finalists reach the fourth round, where they get to present their ideas at the Professional Lighting Design Convention in Rome. Read about this year’s finalists below.

Isabel Sanchez Sevillano


Isabel is a lighting designer at Dot Dash, New York, and a licensed architect in her native Spain. She is a fervent believer in the concept of total architecture and design as a tool, wherein light is the most important link between space and the people inhabiting it.

How do you envision the lighting design of tomorrow?

“New technologies and codes are changing the industry. People are beginning to see lighting as important for health. I see lighting design becoming more related to the user than the space, where luminance is much more important.”

Eik Lykke Nielsen


A student of architectural engineering at Aarhus University in Denmark, Eik is currently working on a bachelor’s thesis titled “Lighting design to enable elderly citizens to live more independently”.

How do you envision the lighting design of tomorrow?

“Even though lighting design is a big field in itself, it has to "live" in an interdisciplinary symbiosis with all other disciplines. I  feel that the building industry is beginning to focus more on integrated lighting design and acknowledging its potential. The increasing amount of research and development should create motivation for investors to embrace integrated lighting design processes.”

Pernille Krieger


Through studying a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering (B.Sc.) in Denmark, Pernille has gained considerable knowledge about lighting. Previously she completed an internship at Grontmij in Copenhagen, and a two-month Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange in Sydney.

How do you see the lighting design of today?

“As a lighting-newbie, I see lighting design today as a field with unlimited opportunities. The last few years have pushed the boundaries and made the impossible possible. Today, we see incredible light installations all over the world that constantly push our perception of what is possible, and time after time enchant us.”

Roslyn Leslie


Roslyn studied lighting design at Napier University in Scotland, graduating in August 2014.  Having grown up predominantly in Asia and travelled extensively before returning home to Edinburgh, she developed a fascination for natural light around the world. Roslyn is passionate about the potential for light to engage moods with new and existing technologies.

How do you envision the lighting design of tomorrow?

“I see tomorrow’s lighting design continuing down the 'smart lighting' route, with designs that mimic or flow with natural light throughout the day and night. This not only saves energy, but also has the potential to work better with our circadian rhythms and create more sustainable, pedestrian cities.

Stephanie Denholm


After completing a BDes (Hons) undergraduate course in interior architecture, Stephanie went on to study lighting design (MDes) at Edinburgh Napier University in Great Britain. She now works as a design assistant for Edinburgh Napier University, and for lighting design consultancy LightMedium. Her lighting master’s major project focused on a new paradigm for lighting urban parks.

How do you envision the lighting design of tomorrow?

“I think that lighting design will focus on the evolving and increasingly 24-hour cities we live in today. The growing importance of responding to the uses of the city during darker hours could lead to more tailored and unique lighting designs in urban parks and urban spaces at night.”

Mahdis Aliasgari


After studying Architecture in Iran, Mahdis graduated from KTH in Stockholm with a masters in lighting design. She gained experience in several practical workshops at KTH, and has worked as a research and architectural assistant in Tehran, Iran. Since graduating from KTH, she has become a junior researcher at the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT in Stockholm.

How do you envision the lighting design of tomorrow?

“Smart interactive lighting design will become a fusion of function, meaning and beauty. Also, light art will move beyond event-driven projects and/or entertainment. To achieve this, we need to re-frame our ‘human-centric’ design approach and learn from the emerging fields of design anthropology and participatory design to bring novel values into city dwellers' lives simply by involving end users in the design process. “

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