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The Challenge Final 2017

SLL Secretary, Brendan Keely reports on the final of the PLD-C Challenge 2017 competition

In brief, The Challenge is a 4 round competition with speakers and their appointed coaches.

The Final of the Challenge, now in its 2nd year, is held on the last day of the PLD-C, in this case Saturday 4th November. The Linea Light room was scheduled to host all the presentations on that day so the participants and delegates were well used to the space by the time the last competitor presented. Again, this year was sponsored by Philips and the SLL was the Knowledge Partner of the Competition.

The 1st Presenter was Marina Lodi who was coached by the SLL Immediate Past President, Jeff Shaw. Marina who is from Brazil presented her paper ‘The urban underground, a sequence of adaptation’. Marina spoke about removing antagonistic attitudes of life above and below the surface. How light and the control of adaptation could be used to help communication and pedestrian movement below ground level. Her case study was based on the abandoned Delancey subway station in New York using Greek mythology as an inspiration.

Marina was followed by the 2nd presenter, Anuj Gala from India, who was coached by Thorsten Bauer. Anuj enthusiastically talked about Media facades and in his words, the disappearance of cities. Anuj reviewed the development of media facades from the 1930s in Paris through to facades that act as media and socio-cultural interaction, facades that act as identity of a city or town as well as facades acting as communication focusing on the responsibility of digital content.

Next up at The Challenge was Aditi Govil, coached by Anne Bureau: Aditi’s presentation was titled ‘A walk in a woman’s shoes-rethinking lighting in urban spaces’. Aditi spoke about her own issues and the issues women face in the urban environment after dark. Investigating the connection between gender, fear and Light and rethinking the quality of lighting. Aditi took colleagues and friends around an area with various landscape, built form and lighting and asked them to comment on how they felt and whether they felt safe in their surroundings.

The 4th competitor in The Challenge was Ana Miran from the UK who was coached by Paul Gregory. Ana’s presentation was titled ‘Improving spaces for individuals with autism’. Ana looked at the impact of light in people with autism for the individual and surrounding family and community. Ana said that Individuals with autism generally have a larger pupil diameter allowing more light to enter the eye, also increasing the impact of glare. Glasses with coloured lenses can help individuals but some perceive colours as sounds or patterns. In addition, people with autism are more susceptible to buzzing, flicker and glare from lamps.

The penultimate presentation was by Zhuofei Ren from China who was coached by Paul Traynor and the presentation was ‘Living in the colours of the colour blind’. Zhuofei stated that many will not know they are colour blind until they go for a role or job where a colour test is performed. Many professions including interior designers and lighting designer need a good appreciation of colour, when you further look at the Built Environment you can extend this to electricians who need to be aware of cable colours or data cables. The objective of study was to determine if light could change the colour vision deficiency but there was no fixed lighting solution for all.

Finally, after 3 years of waiting (Gregor was very ill when he first applied for the competition) Gregor Gartner took to the stage with his presentation ‘Presenting light’. Gregor was coached by Koert Vermeulen. Gregor looked at the preference of industry professionals on presenting concepts and with most preferring sketches and photoshop yet inexperienced people preferred photo realistic representations. Drawings could be made and presented in many ways, in real 2D with hand drawn sketches, virtual 2D with software packages such as photoshop, real 3D (physical models and mock ups), virtual 3D with video glasses and finally a mix of real and virtual presentations.

The day was inspiring and educational and all competitors, who obviously listened to their coaches did themselves proud.
Then the waiting… Not too long a wait as the winner was awarded with the title the same evening at the Gala Dinner. The 2017 winner of The Challenge 2017 was by Zhuofei Ren with her Living in the colours of the colour blind coached by Paul Traynor!

Congratulations to Zhuofei and Paul as well as all finalists and competitors.

An earlier report on the first three rounds of the The Challenge 2017 competition can be found here: here