Dubai, UAE: Building on the success of the inaugural Light.ication initiative designed to blend lighting design and education, Light.ication will return at this year’s Light Middle East, reinforced by fresh interest in participation from regional universities.

Once again the contest, organised jointly by Messe Frankfurt Middle East and Light.Func, will highlight the wealth of talent in youngsters and promote positive interaction with leading lighting design professional’s architecture and engineering students from local institutions.

Currently, entries have been received from American University of Dubai (AUD), Herriot Watt University, the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA), and Manipal University Dubai.

As before, the teams will be tasked with designing a light installation from scratch, with the guidance of professional lighting designers using material from participating exhibitors. The teams will be challenged to produce the installation within an assigned budget and conforming to the Holi Festival of Colour theme.

The teams will get have to present their installations and explain the concept during a forum on the first day. Each team will also have to submit a written explanation of the concept behind their installation, and produce a time-lapse video detailing how they set up their installation.

“The encouraging response to the inaugural edition of Light.ication shows the amount of interest in the concept among student body as well as the lighting design industry,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Light Middle East.

“Light.ication shines the spotlight on the immense pool of talent that the region’s youngsters possess and puts them in touch with leading industry professionals who will be able to guide them towards achieving their true potential.

“While providing young designers with a platform to showcase their talent and develop their conceptual vision Light Middle East is also proud to be able to contribute to the community by promoting lighting design through education,” Pauwels said.

Sakina Dugawalla, Principal and Head of Design at Light.Func said: “With the success of the debut Light.ication initiative, Light.Func wanted to continue the mentorship program between studios and universities. The idea that we can still spread the word that light can be fun, is still what drives us as designers.

“The theme/inspiration for this year is the Holi Festival. We find that this festival embraces colour, an element of art, theatre, architecture and design – and of course now lighting design as well – but furthermore, the combination of colour very much emulates the melting pot of culture that is the UAE population.

“The design process for designers and students is the most fun, coupled with nail-biting and hair pulling challenges of implementing it. It is the only initiative of its kind that focuses on creative acumen, mentorship, a lot of fun, hands-on experience and collaboration for lighting design, which is still a very primitive profession in comparison to its peer industries of architecture, interior design, industrial design and engineering.

Light.ication further destroys the adage that lighting design is just technical, it gives all participants and visitors the opportunity to truly experience an amalgamation of art, design and light combined,” Dugawalla added.

Idepconsult, is one of the leading lighting consultants involved with supporting the participating teams from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts at Light.ication. Chérine Saroufim Sacy, Vice Managing Director, and Partner at Idepconsult, said: “A good lighting design is a key factor in any successful architecture or interior design project.

Idepconsult, being a multidisciplinary firm fully understands the importance of Lighting. As a professor of Lighting Design at ALBA, my aim is to encourage students to look into lighting and integrate it in their project and earn the basic skills to coordinate with lighting consultants.

“It’s important that as early as undergraduate levels students be educated on lighting – Light.ication is one of the means for lighting education.”

Encouraged by their participation at the first edition of Light.ication, AUD is back for another shot at the contest. Kristin Lee, Chair and Associate Professor of Interior Design at AUD said: “Light.ication takes students through all the phases of design and into execution, and it does so very quickly.

“It’s the execution part that’s special; we don’t get to do that often in the building industry. Exhibiting at Light Middle East is a logical final step, but it’s also really amazing and creates the potential for a dialogue between students and those in the industry. This connection is invaluable.”

Meanwhile, Vidya Rao, Assistant Professor at the School of Design and Architecture at Manipal University in Dubai spoke about the importance of participating in initiatives like Light.ication: “Design education requires a broad exposure and collaboration with design, such initiatives strengthen the academic delivery and give practical experience to students to work with latest trends in the design profession,” said Rao.

“Light.ication gave a platform for students to interact with the lighting industry and understand more about this area of specialization. This is a unique initiative where students interact with lighting designers, contractors, manufacturers to conceptualize, build and execute their ideas.”

Now in its 12th edition, Light Middle East 2017 returns with a host of headline features such as the Light Middle East Awards, where the spotlight will shine on outstanding regional and global lighting projects; and the Think Light Conference, a two-day summit bringing together designers, architects, engineers, and developers to share insights, inspiration, and thought leadership in the lighting industry. More information about Light Middle East is available at: www.lightme.net.