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The Challenge -

finding the next generation of lighting specialists*

Proud sponsor of The Challenge

At Philips Lighting University, we lead the way in educating customers and students about the many possibilities of lighting technology and cutting-edge innovations. Students are the future and that is why we are partnering in The Challenge, which is organized by VIA Events. The Challenge is a student speaker competition which provides young professionals a platform that offers them a voice and visibility in the market. The final of The Challenge will be held at the Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) in Paris on November 1-4, 2017.
The challenge

VIA Events organizes The Challenge, which exists of four rounds in which young lighting talents are coached to success by lighting experts. The goal of the program is to discover newcomers in the field of lighting design and to help the next generation of lighting specialists to become an accepted part of the lighting design community. Talents participating in the competition are students or recent graduates from PLDC 2017 Partner Universities and young designers working for renowned offices around the world.



  • Round 1 (April 2016): a panel of experts will select students from partnering universities.
  • Round 2 (June/July 2016): The students need to film a 3-minute elevator pitch and based on this the jury will select the 18 best students.
  • Round 3 (February 2017): mini-conference in London in collaborations with The Bartlett School of Architecture. The students will present a 20-minute paper on their topic.
  • Round 4 (November 2017): The best 6 students present their topic in the final at PLDC 2016 in Paris.


“We are all a product of our environment and being a coach in The Challenge student speaker competition is a privilege and an opportunity to repay my mentors and tutors who moulded and influenced my development, career and presentations. To work with these young and vibrant individuals is a pleasure and I only hope that I can help them as much as others have helped me. The Challenge is a fantastic platform for the students.


Brendan Keely/ UK, coach in The Challenge 2014/2015, SLL Secretary.


Here is the list of the best 6 students who presented their topic in the final at PLDC 2016 in Paris:


  1. Marina Lodi
  2. Anuj Gala
  3. Ana Miran
  4. Gregor Gartner
  5. Zhoufei Ren
  6. Aditi Govil

Congratulations to the winner!


Zhoufei Ren - Zhuofei started her career by gaining experience as an intern with an interior designer in Chongqing, China and with an architect in Beijing, China. She then decided to study Architecture at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang, China, and completed her studies with a Master in Architecture at the University of Illinois, USA. At Parsons The New School for Design, she earned a Master’s degree in Lighting Design. Since her graduation, she has been working for Cooley Monato Studio in New York City, USA.


March 21

Fundamental and Inspirational Light

Presented by Enrique Garcia-Carrera


April 25

Subtext of Context in Lighting Design

Presented by Linus Lopez


May 23

Transcending the Bowl - Stadium lighting beyond the field

Presented by Stacie M. Dinwiddy


June 20


Presented by Dean Skira


Dec 8

Deadline for CLUE Competition registrations

Paul Traynor
Paul Traynor
Marlyn Zelkowitz

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