COLLABORATIVE COMMITTED DRIVEN DIVERSE CURIOUS GLOBAL PASSIONATE
Once again, a panel of leading international lighting professionals and experts
has identified 40 rising stars of lighting design aged 40 or under. The brief
introductions to this year’s 40 focus on motivation and extra-curricular activities
because in addition to the quality of their work it is also their commitment to the
good of the profession and willingness to share their knowledge that will shape
lighting design’s future.
These young professionals have demonstrated unusual ingenuity, lateral thinking
and inventiveness, and have shown an exemplary eagerness to tackle aesthetic,
technical, regulatory and environmental challenges. Their response is often
shaped by local perceptions and culture including the supply and value put on
resources. Some have had to leave their roots to pursue their passion. They come
from a range of backgrounds, some entering lighting design by seemingly unlikely
routes such as economics, or are self-taught, others joined through academia or,
But it is remarkable how many refer back to a childhood or early influence,
perhaps a parent’s guidance or a naive experience of light and its magic. It
confirms that many people have, if not a nascent lighting designer within
them, an instinctive and vital relationship to light and lighting. A respect for
and understanding of this relationship is at the core of lighting design; metrics
and technology are essential but as a means to an end. Collaboration and
communication are what turn concepts into reality, hence, the judges looked not
only at each nominee’s body of work but also at their role in explaining light and
lighting to others, especially by passing on what they have learnt.
There is a saying used to justify spurious statistics that ‘two of anything is
a coincidence; three is a trend’. But without extrapolating too wildly from a
deliberately small sample – a very short list of the most promising young
creatives in a fast-evolving and increasingly global discipline – this year’s
40 Under 40 selection hints at a growing pattern in lighting design. It is one of
rising professionalism and growing appreciation of lighting design around the
world and by related disciplines.
The nature and composition of each year’s list varies but many of the choices
made by the judges are fine ones and that means that there are many more
talented designers who missed the mark by nanometres; there is no shame in that,
but special congratulations are due to those who made it over the bar.
It is high and rising.
People lighting for people