Researchers in the field of light and lighting are not as few and far between as you might think. The idea of creating a database of research outputs is not exactly new, but has never been realised. It would be extremely valuable for designers, educators, manufacturers and of course other researchers to be able to access such a database. Google Scholar is not the answer. Nor is it beneficial only to be published in peer-reviewed journals – the number of which in the lighting world can be counted on one hand – and the chances of an architectural lighting designer, or an urban planner with a focus on public realm lighting, reading a psychology or medical journal featuring an article of the effect of light on humans (… flora and fauna …) are not high.
The Educational Concepts and Programmes team at VIA have been giving the topic of Lighting Research serious consideration and are about to implement some of the initiatives they have developed as a consequence.
A meeting for early career researchers will be held in Wismar/D on Saturday, 15. October, 2016 directly following the Light Symposium at the University of Wismar. The meeting will gather interested pre-docs (and post-docs) for a discussion on the status quo and the next steps to be taken to structure the lighting research landscape and address the points mentioned above.
The intention is to build-up early career researcher contacts over the coming months to find out who is researching in which field, to gain insight into ongoing research projects, and to find ways of bridging the gap between academic researchers and the practising design community, as well as clients and all others involved in (day)lighting projects.
VIA Events organises the successful young designers’ speaker competition The Challenge. The talent promotion competition comprises four rounds, the final round being an integral part of PLDC. Round III of The Challenge 2016/2017 will take place in London in February 2017, and Day Two will include a specific number of 15-minute slots for early career researchers (pre-docs). This is not part of the speaker competition, but one step towards bridging the gap between the research community and the lighting design community referred to above.
PLDC itself comprises four tracks, one of which is dedicated to Lighting Application Research. The plan for PLDC 2017 is to amend the timing of this track on least one day and stage a series of 20-minute scientific slots to enable early career researchers to report on their ongoing research studies.