Created specifically for the lighting design market, the annual Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) 2019 was a platform to meet, learn about the latest trends and developments in lighting design, and discuss the lighting profession. The globally recognised event was held from September 23 -26, 2019, at Rotterdam Ahoy, in Rotterdam, and presented high quality transfer of knowledge and opportunities of international networking. Like each edition, this year saw an enlightening and diverse assemblage of professionals from light-related disciplines interact with each other over three days of conferences, discussions, awards and other engaging activities. Ever since its genesis in 2007, PLDC has observed an impressive turnout of over 8,000 attendees over the years.
The convention also saw a massive attendance from the lighting design community from across the world, across all levels and sectors from within the industry - lighting designers, lighting educators and researchers, architects, media persons, urban planners, light artists, designers and facilitators from related disciplines, public and private clients, and students of lighting design.
Anyone even remotely related to the profession of spatial design understands how crucially influential light is – to define spaces and alter moods. To intersperse that into our modern digital society, along with addressing sustainability, the connection between architecture and good lighting is sturdier than ever before. Today, more than ever, lighting professionals are expected to redefine, elaborate and review the quality and nuances of lighting design, and successfully bring it together with architecture, ambience, technology, energy, biorhythm, human beings, flora and fauna, communication, and existing social behaviour.
The eighth edition of PLDC was centered around the motto of ‘Merging Masterminds’ – encouraging and exploring new and appropriate ways of cooperation on architectural projects, between architects, lighting designers, programmers, sociologists, media experts, researchers, manufacturers and clients. Earlier, dialogues on improving lighting often underlined the challenges faced in the process of lighting design, but seldom brought forth any conclusive solutions to said questions. The convention this year focused on the challenges, as well as offering concrete solutions for the future of lighting, along with recognising professionals in the field.
Attendance on the pursuit of recognition
Some countries have formed their own lighting designers’ associations, and many of these become part of PLDC as Associate Partners, and encourage their members to attend the Thought Leadership convention to learn and network. Some associations are locally active, while others partner up to gain visibility. The convention serves as a place for networking and discussion, on and around professional practice of lighting, discussing its way forward, and to officially recognise lighting designers/specialists for their contribution to the industry.
A ‘Think/Do Tank’ comprising renowned lighting professionals and enthusiasts, such as Elettra Bordonaro, Tapio Rosenius and Michael Grubb, was also part of the convention, and people like them, over the past few years, have been striving to outline essential steps to gain more recognition in order to upgrade the profession. These discussions reviewed the need to set up an efficient CPD (Continuing Professional Development) structure for the working professionals to chart their respective careers.
The programme also included a 45-minute plenary session, which offered the lighting design community opportunities to express their views on the stance of their profession in the current scenario. It also offered a space to chalk out and explain the requirements of structures and possible collaborations as a conclusive system to identify the skills, creativity and knowledge, to recognise qualified professionals in the field.
The session was concluded with a vote by the members of the committee to obtain a clear, comprehensible set of statements to recognise qualified lighting professionals. A total of 80.2 percent of the plenum voted yes, which lay the common foundation pledging to a professionally structured and independently coordinated CPD platform.
The event also offered outings to famous architectural buildings and lighting design projects in Rotterdam, accompanied by professional guides who provided insight into the design process, history and use of the space.
PLD Recognition Awards 2019
The Professional Lighting Design Recognition Awards awarded individuals, organisations and institutions across varied platforms in the lighting industry, over the concluding Gala Dinner. These awards recognised exemplary work and achievements leading to significant improvement in lighting design.