The Challenge is a talent promotion project in the form of a speaker competition for young designers in four rounds. Participants can be students or recent graduates embarking on a career as a lighting designer. The goal of the programme is to activate more students and recent graduates from more schools to interact with each other, learn from each other and from experienced professionals, and become a more accepted part of the lighting design community.
The Challenge is designed to develop presentation skills and structured thinking, to boost young designers’ confidence, and to integrate more practising professionals into educational efforts.
Through The Challenge we set out to find new young and inspired presenters. The lighting professionals of tomorrow – who experienced lighting designers today can learn from … and vice versa.

Find out more about the coaches Anne Bureau/F, Jeff Shaw/UK, Koert Vermeulen/B, Paul Gregory/USA, Paul Traynor/UK and Thorsten Bauer/D and latest news below in the information box.

See here for the full report on the first edition in 2014/15.

Round I (April 2016) Digital

Following a call for topics at universities in different countries, a panel of experts from the respective universities select 15 students (topics)
to continue to the next round. The universities may accept submissions from current students or students graduating
in the next 18 months (up to October 2017).

Round II (June/July 2016) Digital

This involves the groups of 15 students from the different universities in Round I – on film. Students are requested to film a three-minute
“elevator pitch” to convince a jury of six lighting professionals. The professionals evaluate all the films submitted by the universities and select
the best 18 students to go through to the next round (6 coaches à 3 students each).

Round III (February 2017) Live

A mini-conference will be held in London in collaboration with our Main University Partner for 2016/2017, The Bartlett, UCL.
The 18 winners from Round II will each present a 20-minute paper on their topic. Each coach decides who he/she will be taking to
the final – Round IV at PLDC 2017. The mini-conference will include professional papers given by the coaches,
an opportunity for a specific number of early career researchers to present their ongoing research, and a students’ critical debate.

Round IV (October 2017) Live

The best six are prepared for PLDC 2017 by their individual coaches. An independent jury decides on the best presenter of the
six at PLDC 2017, who wins a money prize.

For sponsoring opportunities, please contact Alison at


The Challenge is sponsored by

Principal Partner


Gold Partner

Silver Partner

Vorlage The Challenge sponsor_Lucifer Vorlage The Challenge sponsor_Amerlux


Knowledge Partner

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