IYL 2015 Interviews:
Light Collective


The UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 is fast approaching. Following the campaign to get lighting designers recognised as part of the IYL, the Lighting-Related Organizations (L-RO), was founded  as a means to unite all the different global organizations related to light and lighting design in coordinating their IYL efforts. With the L- RO’s “Call for Ideas” currently running, we speak to some of the world’s best known lighting people about the importance of the IYL2015 and the L-RO.

What does the International Year of Light 2015 mean to you?

It’s an opportunity for every single person involved in and passionate about lighting within our industry to speak to a wider audience. As an industry, we are excellent at talking to each other about lighting but we rarely break through the confines of our professional world to connect with other people and share what we do. This is an opportunity to create a dialogue about the importance of light in every aspect of our lives and the spaces we inhabit.

Why did you and the Social Light Movement join Lighting-Related Organizations?

The Social Light Movement isn’t really an organisation, it is a philanthropic movement and has been founded in order to create a network for lighting designers and other interested parties to collaborate on the issue of improving lighting for people: particularly those who are unlikely to have access to good quality illumination within their environment.

Both the SLM and Light Collective support the aims of L-RO as the IYL2015 is our greatest opportunity for education outreach to date.



#WeHeartLight – iLight Marina Bay 2014

In your opinion what are the benefits the L-RO can bring to the Lighting industry?

Our industry is not big. The International Lighting Designers Survey includes approximately 1200 consultancies worldwide. There are an incredible number of organisations that have been created to serve the needs of this quite small community. This leads to a lot of fragmentation and each organisation has its own agenda. We would be so much stronger working together. An initiative like the creation of the L-RO gives us an opportunity to speak with one voice. The fact that UNESCO have already created an International Year of Light that does not have design on the agenda proves how invisible we are.

Which is your favourite L-RO Cornerstone for IYL2015? Why?

It’s virtually impossible to choose between them when we consider them all to have equal weighting and importance. However raising awareness of lighting design should be the top priority. The idea that lighting design is fundamental for all environments is something that we need to strive to make the whole world aware of.


Guerrilla Lighting Hjulsta, Stockholm 2012 – Photo: Daniel Griffel

Do you think it is important that Lighting-Related people participate in the Call for Ideas for IYL2015? Why?

We think the Lighting Industry is in real danger of letting itself down. This is an amazing opportunity and we are shocked and disappointed at the lack of support that the L-RO has received and at the general lack of interest in the idea of being part of the IYL2015. Lots of people seem to be excited by the idea of an official year to celebrate the thing we love the most, but are unable to get it together to put forward a proposal to help create an exciting and educational year. Without a program of events, it’s hard to demonstrate that we are a force to be reckoned with. Light is not just physics – it is design, it is art, it is life… and we want other people to understand that too.

The chosen ideas would be able to use the UNESCO logo on their event and to be officially part of the International Year of Light. There should be no barrier to entering an event or idea. It doesn’t have to be something that costs lots of money not do you need to have years of experience. It also doesn’t need to be a large event. You could offer a lighting design clinic, open your office to other disciplines, go into a local school and talk about light, offer to teach a class at a university or college, create a tour of your projects or a general light walk around a city…

Now the call has been extended. Do something. Join in and help make this happen.

Sharon Stammers, Martin Lupton
Light Collective
Co-Founders of the Social Light Movement


Call for ideas by L-RO Deadline extended to September 29, 2014

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