Fifty-five educators, course directors and lighting designers involved in programmes of study in 18 countries around the world gathered in Milan on 12. and 13. April, 2011 to share experience, ideas and visions to further the process to establish the Lighting Design profession through common efforts on an international scale in the field of education. The goals of the two-day summit were to discuss the contents of a virtual syllabus and to discuss the status quo of Lighting Research and pinpoint needs and wishes for improving the Lighting Research landscape. Both days featured series of short presentations given by educators as well as, in-depth group discussions on the syllabus and lighting research topics.
The compilation of virtual syllabi (Bachelor and Master levels) will be carried out by an effective Working Group based on the results of the summit group discussions, and is part of the process to establish the lighting design profession. PLDA had already developed a set of Architectural Lighting Fundamentals (ALF) as an aid to schools to check the topics and expertise required for designers entering the market. Although the ALF was never intended to be used as a course programme, this check-list may serve well in future when it comes to reviewing the quality of ourses. The question that still remains to be answered is: who could/should validate courses or programmes?
On the second day, PLDA Director for Education, Jean Sundin, gave a stunning presentation of a new Lighting Research Database which she has developed with the support of Laura Bernadet and Paula Longato. It was acknowledged as a good new start to promote a designled approach to research and for connecting research institutions and researchers to the design community. The final discussions revolved around the status quo of lighting research worldwide and where there is room for improvement in the coordination of research topics and programmes, the publication of research results and funding. The International Educators‘ Summit was sponsored by Cosmit, Fagerhult, Rovasi, We-ef and Xicato, with Targetti Poulsen kindly hosting an evening event at their new showroom
– Spazio Luce – in the centre of Milan on the first day. On this occasion the educators and other lighting specialists were able to view „Nebula – a work where geometry and light come together to create a world of illusion, form and art“ by artist and designer Cecil Balmond. The work was created specifically for Targetti Poulsen and is Balmond‘s first work in Italy.
The data collected from the qualified debates that took place during the summit will be evaluated and compiled by the Educators‘ Summit steering committee and presented as a paper at PLDC 2011 in Madrid. A further educators’ summit is to take place in the near future.