25.10 Lighting Design Conference – speakers

Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar

A trained architect and an advocate for all elements of lighting – design, education and research – Amardeep is the founding principal of Lighting Research & Design. After obtaining a master’s degree in lighting from Germany and a PhD from New Zealand he solidified his academic and professional leadership role into a high-level career. Aside from working on high-profile projects and teaching at several architecture and design schools, he was instrumental in establishing IALD India.

Amardeep’s work in the field of lighting design, education and research for the past 15 years has won him several international accolades and awards. His most recent undertaking, the IALD India Light Workshops – a series of practical hands-on educational light installation workshops for professionals and students –, was shortlisted under the “Best Creative Event” category at the darc awards 2017

Professional profile Issuu

This presentation posits a new standard in resilient lighting design under the rubric of ‘Slow Design’ – a design paradigm where design balances socio-cultural and individual needs with environmental wellbeing. ‘Slow’ because time constraints of economic growth and expediency are removed, and design goes beyond fabrication for the marketplace, consequently avoiding competition in an increasingly accelerated game of technological progress, brand positioning and commercial globalization.

Slow design neither conforms to shortening time spans allocated for product life cycles in the marketplace, nor celebrates the smallest, biggest or fastest. However, it does celebrate balancing anthropocentric needs with planetary needs, and the decommodification of time. While skeptics may argue against removal of economic constraints, protagonists of this idea retort that economic interests will soon gather around slow design, the simple reason being people who in future will prefer built environments that provide deep satisfaction of human needs while scoring positively on environmental and sociocultural balance sheets.

But how does the lighting profession benefit from slow design? Are there any such standards for resilient lighting design on how to perceive built environments? And how, if at all, do they increase the resilience of lighting design practices in dealing with a changing future?

Slow design is where lighting professionals can experience real freedom, when lighting improves our lives while simultaneously improving our societies and cultures, when lighting contributes to restoring health of our environment. The principles presented in this presentation will offer an opportunity to find fresh qualities in lighting design research, ideation, processes and outcomes.

Claire Tomara

Trained as an architect, Claire earned her master’s degree in lighting design after graduating from Edinburgh Napier University in 2017. She has worked as an architectural assistant for offices in Greece and India. Ms Tomara has  also been involved in the stage lighting design of several amateur theatrical productions. Currently, she works for KSLD.

Evolution of lighting technologies has not just changed the image of cities at night, but also the way we experience cities and public space after sunset. Since the invention of fire, people have been using light to extend their activities at nighttime, either in terms of work or leisure. Nowadays, vibrant centers and abundant night-time economy define the status of cities, which are turning into 24/7 commercial and entertainment hubs.

Throughout the evolution of lighting technologies, the public has played a great role in shaping the nocturnal images of cities. From placing a lamp in front of their windows to demanding or voting for specific lighting installations, people have always participated in the construction of the urban nightscape. Today, urban lighting is considered the background of night activities, an infrastructure of the built environment, where people usually have no say in its design. At the same time, projects and activities, such as guerilla lighting events, interactive lighting installations, and co-design projects, invite people to participate and become aware of how lighting can affect their surroundings.

Emerging smart technologies provide a new way of designing and interacting with light and information. How can these new technologies change the way we experience night in the cities? Lighting is more than just illumination. It can create atmospheres and change the way we perceive space. Could urban lighting exceed its role as infrastructure and become a platform of communication and creativity providing more opportunities for people to get involved?

Emre Güneş

Emre is a  lighting design advocate, co-founder of Ağustos Teknoloji, editor of PLD (Professional Lighting Design) Türkiye Magazine. After 10 months of corporate life, he decided to quit in order to fulfill his duties in a small family business. This is why he started a job (journalism) in a sector (lighting design) that he had absolutely no clue about in 2006. In the course of  this process, he kept reading, writing, learning, searching and organizing events about lighting design (20+ events including conferences, workshops, guerilla lighting, light walks etc.). In the beginning of 2014, he co-founded Ağustos Teknoloji.

At the moment he is introducing innovative lighting technologies to the Turkish market.


More than ten years ago, I was having lunch with the CEO of a very well known manufacturer. The subject was CFL (compact fluorescent lamp), and it’s influence on the environment. I was trying to persuade him that CFL, regardless of how they are introduced to the market, was a significant threat to the environment. As you can imagine, I succeeded but failed at the same time. He understood my point, but it was clearly against his company interest, so there was not much to do. But he told me something that I never forget. “I’m working in lighting sector for over 30 years. And every time, when there’s a new technology, we’ve acted as if we’ll never use the old ones”. 

Thank God, we did not end up having only CFL all around the world. Introduction of LED has helped CFL’s market share to shrink. But what else has happened since the introduction of LED into the general lighting market? Rest assured, this little, talented, long live technology called LED (Lighting emitting diode) has fundamentally changed the lighting industry. Is it for the better or worse? Needs to be discussed and evaluated. During this talk, I’ll try to summarise what has happened so far and where we are right now.

Johan Röklander

Johan is a light designer and also an illusionist (lately more like a hobby). He has graduated from Jönköping University in Sweden and has over 10 years of experience working with light and lighting as a daily activity. He has been involved in major hospital projects as well as art installations and teaching at a university. He harbours a fondness for outdoor lighting and thinking about what it is to be able to see space and light in interaction.

When working with light, his aim is to create the greatest possible visual benefit and beauty for man in his everyday life. “The best thing about working with light design is that some of it is always around me – each day, from opening my eyes in the morning till going to bed, is a study visit.”

Vallastaden is Sweden’s newest city district and is located in Linköping. It’s a expo, where new thoughts about different ways of living and building are shown and no house is the same. At Vallastadens entrance are the building that is called Flustret. It’s something as simple as a parking garage, but at the same time it’s not. Early in the process, the goal was set, it should not be called a garage because it is more than that.

The building contains: recycling center, vacuum cleaner, transformer station, optofiber hub, solar cells, car wash, bee-hive and charging stations for electric cars. It is an entrance hall for the area and it is an energy source and it is a decoration.
Not calling it for garage made the focus on many of the issues surrounding the building moved to find new solutions and methods other than the more traditional. For example, the house has a facade with transparent solar cells. It lets in the sunlight in during the day while it recharges energy. In the evening, it releases its energy through a facade lighting. In this way the house breathes light.

How can we create bigger wholeheads with the lighting as a base? Light is a carrier of information and also as a carrier of energy. Along with the surface and color, the light gives a complete picture of our surroundings. We can integrate information into the solutions we have around us by integrating different functions with each other. Here the light is a very important component. We can create a better whole with more and better features

Lina Färje

Lina has a master’s degree in architecture from KTH in Stockholm, including a year of studies at ETSA Madrid. She has been working as a lighting designer since 2006 with a wide range of projects of different scale and character such as Park of the Seasons in Umeå and the Sölvesborg Bridge. She has also worked with lighting design for dance performances and arranged lighting workshops in Denmark and Brazil.

For who do we plan when we plan lighting? This is a question about democracy but also about what values should be visible in public spaces of the future. We have to look outside the norms and standards to find new solutions to problems. So how do we include as many as possible in the planning process? And how could such a process look like.

I have had the opportunity to work on a project in Umeå, northern Sweden, called Frizon (Free zone in English). An initiative from the municipality to create a space in the city shaped together with these girls. “A place free from expectations, fears and unsafety where everybody would feel welcome”. It started as a dialogue process with groups of girls from different social contexts, in a series of workshops held by the municipality. With this as a starting point, Tyréns lighting design and landscape department, together with artist Kerstin Bergendal, got the commission to design the space. We also chose to engage the girls in an on-site workshop that would set the frames for how the site was going to be used. Places to hang out, watch people and be visible themselves were requests from the girls and resulted in an open roof structure with hanging benches below.

I take this project as a point of departure to discuss in a broader sense for who we design our cities of today and how we can find a process for including groups whose interests are not commonly taken into consideration in city planning.

Darío Nuñez Salazar

Darío is an architectural lighting designer based in Iceland. He works as the leader of lighting design for Verkís Consulting Engineers. He is also an associate member of the IALD and former vice chairman of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Iceland. Darío holds a master’s degree in architectural lighting design from Hochschule Wismar, and in 2017 he was awarded by Lighting Magazine as one of the 40 top lighting designers under 40.

Architectural Lighting Design is relatively a newly acknowledge profession, but it has rapidly evolved becoming way more challenging than it originally was. Technological progress has always played one of the most, if not the most important role in the evolution of Lighting Design. And so has the urge to offer added value among the lighting industry. As a result, we are now flooded with concepts, trends and buzzwords that more than often confuse all of those involved in the lighting design process. Therefore, it is extremely important to define a timeless and meaningful purpose for this profession

To reach a solid approach on Architectural Lighting, it is necessary to understand Light itself. Light is a powerful energy that defines the understanding of our environment.

This presentation will explore the meaning of light; starting from basic scientific knowledge, and progressively linking this meaning to a more profound and philosophical understanding. The talk will include a brief historical reference on the evolution of lighting design

The newest trends in lighting design, such as #humancentric, #smart #IoT will be explored, and challenged. But rather than opposing to these trends, the presentation will propose new and better ways to understand these concepts. Relevant case-study projects will be presented including the design process and stories behind them.

Sabine De Schutter

Sabine De Schutter is an architectural lighting designer. She founded her lighting design practice – Studio De Schutter – in 2015 in Berlin. She has worked on projects ranging from creative lighting for working environments to museum lighting and installations for public spaces. With her human-centred approach to design and architecture, she strives to blend this mindset into all her projects and collaborations.

As a multifaceted entrepreneur, she also works at the Faculty of Design at Wismar University of Applied Sciences and at the HPI School of Design Thinking. For her research and design, she has been awarded prizes such as “Young Lighter of the Year” in 2013, and a place in the top “40under40” as an aspiring lighting designer.


Lighting festivals pop up like mushrooms, every big city has one by now. They are all about spectacle, however, often without any connection to the location. But what if lighting festivals could showcase best practice examples of architectural lighting design?

During my talk I would like to share my stories about leading and organizing site-specific lighting design workshops, and explain how these, as part of a festival, may not only result in examples of creative outdoor lighting but also contribute to further development of methods and strategies for cities with long periods of darkness. We consider this cross-over between festival, mock-up and education to be very fruitful. It has been an eye-opening experience for the city who hosts the festivals, as well as workshop participants and the organisation. In this talk I will reveal how.

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