The LIT Design Awards catalog showcases the best of 2023 Lighting Designs and Lighting Product Designs! The brochure features exclusive interviews with Ryan Salim from ERRELUCE, winner of the “Architectural Lighting Design of the Year” with the IronPlate Restaurant; Eleftheria Deko of Eleftheria Deko & Associates, winner  of the “Entertainment Lighting Design of the Year” for the “Persephone Reconsiders Her Fate” and Chris Sorensen, the Senior Director of Engineering at Hydrel, winner of the “Lighting Product Design of the Year.”

Takatoku Nishi, a student of the Tokyo University of The Arts, won the “Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year” title with “Ripple”, and speaks with us about his love for design and inspiration for Ripple.  Arash Abbaszadeh, a student at the Hochschule Wismar in Germany and winner of the  “Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year” prize, shares his enthusiasm and future professional aspirations.

The annual catalog includes an introduction of the recipients of the 2023 “Lifetime Achievement” Award, Roger Narboni, Pioneer in Urban Lighting Design. Last, an insightful article on darksky, the “Spotlight” 2023 recipient, on their Harmonious Approach to Sustainable Lighting.

The catalog is available to purchase on Amazon and can be downloaded on the LIT Awards website.

The winners of the LIT Lighting Design Awards 2023 have been unveiled, showcasing designs that not only redefine the present but also offer a glimpse into the future of cutting-edge lighting trends.

Switzerland, November 28, 2023 – The winners of the highly anticipated LIT Lighting Design Awards 2023 have been unveiled, showcasing the brilliance of international lighting product designers and implementers. The 7th edition of the LIT Lighting Design Awards attracted over 800 submissions from 58 countries, with notable debuts from the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela. A distinguished panel of 45 professionals, including architects, interior designers, academics, and media representatives in the lighting industry, evaluated the entries, selecting those that exemplified outstanding creativity and innovation.

The Architectural Lighting Design of the Year 2023 award went to ERRELUCE with the lead designers Ryan Salim and Mitha Audina for their exceptional work on IronPlate Restaurant. Highlights include a dramatic entrance featuring a strategically placed zig-zag mini spotlight and a central kitchen illuminated by narrow-degree spotlights (2700K, CRI95) to authentically showcase the colors of cooking meat. Other notable mentions in the Architectural Lighting Design category included Ambient Lighting‘s 301 Hillsborough Street Lobby, dpa Lighting Consultants‘ Duck & Waffle – Edinburgh, Vermilion Zhuo Design Group’s Intercity BAR, L’Observatoire International‘s Tin Building by Jean-Georges, Kris Lin International Design‘s LIGHT PATIO, and Tiffany House Interior by Lichtvision Design GmbH.

The prestigious Lighting Product Design of the Year 2023 award was claimed by Hydrel for their FLAME Lighting Technique. FLAME is a unique lighting technique with two beams in one luminaire – a central beam and an outer beam that blends harmoniously. Other outstanding entries in the Lighting Product Design category included LDE – Light Design Exporlux‘s Luminarias NOON, Sean Eichelberger’s Voltik, Edison Price Lighting‘s Infinity: Sculpture in Light, Rousseau Design Ltd‘s Tempus, and Meteor Lighting‘s REV Flex.

In a new category introduced this year, Entertainment Lighting Design of the Year 2023, Eleftheria Deko & Associates claimed victory for the lighting design for the “Persephone Reconsiders Her Fate.” The dance performance seamlessly integrated light and projection to create an atmosphere representing the in-between world of the living and the underworld. Other notable entertainment lighting projects awarded include AMA-KO by Yoko Seyama Art & Scenography, THE METAROOM by Kabluka Light And Digital Sculptures, RESPIRAMOS – interactive light sculpture by Rizomatique, and Interwoven by Lawrence Liang Public Art.

The emerging talent categories saw Tokyo University of The Arts’ student Takatoku Nishi winning the Emerging Architectural Lighting Designer of the Year 2023 for Ripple, while Arash Abbaszadeh, a student of Hochschule Wismar, received the Emerging Lighting Product Designer of the Year 2023 for the enchanting “Moist Sparkle” light art installation.

Introduced in 2018, the Lifetime Achievement Award honored Roger Narboni for his exceptional contributions to landscape, urban, heritage, and architectural lighting over more than 35 years. A true pioneer, Narboni’s work has left an indelible mark across the globe.

DarkSky received the esteemed Spotlight Prize for its outstanding commitment to preserving the darkness of the sky. Recognized by the discerning jury, DarkSky International’s mission involves restoring the nighttime environment and protecting communities from the harmful effects of light pollution.

The winning entries of the LIT Lighting Design Awards 2023 showcase extraordinary creativity, amplified by the addition of the Entertainment Lighting category. Additionally, this year, we introduced a ‘Sustainability Approach’ section, providing companies with a platform to showcase the eco-friendly aspects of their projects or products. The Gala in spring 2024 will not only honor outstanding talents but also serve as a networking hub for industry leaders and a gateway for emerging talents to step into the limelight and connect with industry luminaries,” commented Astrid Hébert, Director of the LIT Lighting Design Awards.

All winners will receive extensive global publicity over the next year and will be celebrated at a Gala in spring 2024, where they will receive their well-deserved trophies. To explore the full list of LIT Lighting Design Awards 2023 winners, please visit litawards.com/winners.

New jury members enhance the LIT Lighting Design Awards mission of acknowledging global lighting design excellence and nurturing innovation within the design community. Designers worldwide are urged to submit their work by the final deadline on October 22, 2023.

Zurich, Switzerland, September 28, 2023 The LIT Lighting Design Awards, a globally recognized competition dedicated to honoring and promoting excellence in lighting design and innovation, proudly announces the addition of five distinguished industry leaders to its esteemed jury panel. The newly appointed jury members are:

Sooner Routhier, CEO of The Playground, is a two-time Parnelli Award winner, Live Design Achievement recipient, and a multi Top Dog award-winning Designer. Her work has graced major screens worldwide, including The AMA’s, The Ellen Show, and The Billboard Music Awards. In 2020, she co-founded EVEN, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the live events industry.

Andrea Siniscalco, an Assistant Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, is an expert with a rich academic background. In 2007, he obtained his Ph.D. with a thesis focused on optimizing production processes in the lighting sector. Since 2003, he has been deeply involved in research and teaching at the Laboratorio Luce of Politecnico di Milano.

Claudia Paz, Founder and Design Director of Claudia Paz Lighting Studio, established her independent studio in 2001, specializing in architectural, retail, and interactive lighting design. Her unique approach blends architecture, technology, and art, earning international recognition.

Yenchih Wang, President and Chief Designer of GD-Lighting Design, founded GD-Lighting Design in Hong Kong in 2004, a comprehensive lighting design company with a strong international presence. Under his leadership, the team has completed numerous well-known projects.

Kasper Hammer is a lighting designer and product director with extensive international experience in architectural and urban lighting design. Based in Denmark, Kasper now runs his own studio, offering creative and commercial direction in the high-end lighting industry and operating an architectural lighting design practice. He is actively involved in the field, serving as a board member of the Copenhagen Light Festival and delivering talks on lighting and design.

These new jury members will join the esteemed jury that already includes prominent names like LeRoy Bennett, Owner & Partner, Seven Design Works and Dakana Design, Roland Greil, Lighting Designer & Director, Roland Greil & 360 degree collective, Bahare Yaghar, Design Manager, MOMA International, Cosmo Wilson, President and Lighting Director, Cosmo Enterprises, Inc., Thiago Gaya, Founder of the LEDforum, Publisher of L+D Magazine, Craig A. Bernecker, Founder, The Lighting Education Institute, Professor, The New School, New York, Annie Block, Executive Editor, Interior Design Magazine, Amit Gupta, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, STIR, Waleed Fakousa, Director, CD+M Lighting Design Group & The Lighting Institute, Sally Storey Creative Director at John Cullen Lighting, Founding Director at Lighting Design International, and many other renowned experts, ensuring that the LIT Lighting Design Awards continue to recognize and celebrate the very best in lighting design worldwide.

Astrid Hebert, Program Director, expressed her pride in the growing design community and the involvement of industry leaders, stating, “We are proud to see the LIT Lighting Design Awards continue to attract big names in the lighting design field. This strong and diverse jury panel reflects the ever-expanding reach of our platform and its commitment to celebrating exceptional design, and we look forward to recognizing outstanding contributions in the upcoming awards.”

The final deadline for submissions to the LIT Lighting Design Awards is October 22, 2023. For more information about the LIT Lighting Design Awards and the esteemed jury members, please visit litawards.com.


Hero picture From top left: Sooner Routhier, The Playground, Orlando Marques, OMstudio Lighting, Yenchih Wang, GD-Lighting Design, Claudia Paz, Claudia Paz Lighting Studio, Andrea Siniscalco, Politecnico di Milano, Annie Block, Interior Design Magazine, Kasper Hammer, Studio Kasper Hammer, Waleed Fakousa, CD+M Lighting Design Group & The Lighting Institute.

Do you think you should sit amongst the best Lighting Designers and Lighting Product designers of your generation?

The LIT Design Awards™ was established with the aim of acknowledging the exceptional work of talented lighting product designers and implementers from around the world. We firmly believe that lighting encompasses both artistic expression and scientific principles, making it a vital component of any design.

The LIT Awards was envisioned as a platform to recognize and honor outstanding achievements within the realms of lighting products, Architectural and Entertainment lighting designs.

​​LIT Lighting Design Awards is a partner of the LEDforum.23 held in São Paulo, Brazil, on the 16th and 18th of August.

LEDforum is known nationally and internationally for offering lectures and activities of high technology and knowledge level, conducted by great names in the Brazilian and international lighting universe. It presents an opportunity for launching lighting systems and Lighting products, generating new business and unbeatable networking opportunities.

The event brings together an audience of lighting designers, architects, product designers, urban planners, landscape designers, academics, developers, and providers of lighting solutions, coming from different regions of Brazil and Latin America.

The LIT Lighting Design Awards will be holding an Award Ceremony, introducing its regional winning projects and inviting winners on stage.

More information on the LEDForum website.

Take a moment to look at the Best of 2022 Lighting Product and Lighting Designers.

Meet Hervés Descottes, Principal of L’Observatoire International and winner of “Lighting Design of the Year” with “The Hermès’ collections at Milan Design Week 2022” and Mykola Kabluka, founder of Expolight winner of the “Lighting Product Design of the Year” award for the “Chandelier in the B14 UNIT. City business space” and hear from the Emerging Designers, Owen Fernando Patia and Elsa Gil Benito.

Don’t miss the chance to meet Patrick Woodroffe and Dave Kavanagh receiving the “Lifetime Achievement Awards” for their incredible design contributions and from Mark Stanley of The Studio School of Design being awarded the  “Spotlight” Prize for the school engagement towards education accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity.

Zurich, Switzerland – The LIT Lighting Design Awards was created to recognize the efforts of talented international lighting product designers and lighting designers. The program celebrates creativity and innovation in the fields of lighting products and applications.

The jury panel composed of 43 talented and experienced professionals, Architects, Interior Designers, Academics and media representatives in the lighting industry have selected the winners of the 6th Edition of the LIT Awards. The program received over 650 submissions from 51 countries, all designs have been evaluated based on their own merit.

The range of work is astonishing, L’Observatoire International was awarded the “Lighting Design of the Year” title for the Hermès’ collections at Milan Design Week 2022 and  Expolight won the “Lighting Product Design of the Year” award for the Chandelier in the B14 UNIT. City business space. 

In the young talent categories, Owen Fernando Patia, a student at California College of The Arts received the prize of “Emerging Lighting Designer of the Year” with AQUA and Elsa Gil Benito, a student of ESNE, Escuela Universitaria de Diseño, Innovación y Tecnología won the “Emerging Lighting Product Designer of the Year” for Ma-Ka Lighting System.

“At the LIT Lighting Design Awards, we strive to support and promote inspired projects and innovation by professional and emerging designers from around the world; assembling in one platform outstanding projects from Brazil to Canada, Germany and Thailand.” said Program Director, Astrid Hébert. “This program will continue to showcase Lighting Product and Lighting Design excellence.” 

Introduced in 2018, the Lifetime Achievement Awards has recognized Lighting Designers, Lighting Product Designers and other professionals in the Lighting Industry, whose contributions are inspirational. Patrick Woodroffe is celebrating over 40 years of career lighting rock concerts, operas, ballet, architecture, and special events; Dave Kavanagh, Senior lighting and industrial designer at Planet Lighting in Australia, are awarded the LIT Lifetime Achievement Awards for their impressive design contribution to the International lighting community. 

The Spotlight Prize is awarded to an organization, association, project, or initiative that carries out remarkable work for its community and has a major contribution to the Lighting Industry. The LIT Design Awards is thrilled to announce that “The Studio School of Design (SSD)” in New York City is receiving the 2022 Spotlight prize for its engagements towards education accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity. Launched in spring 2021, SSD is a 501c3 Not-for-profit community organization, seeking to provide equitable and inclusive low-cost classes in lighting design both online and in-person to a wide-ranging pool of talented and motivated students.

Other honorees in the Lighting Design category included Liska with Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík, Iceland, CLL . Concept Lighting Lab won with the One & Only Mandarina hotel, SEAM Design is awarded with the MahaNakhon Tower: Ritz-Carlton Residences, in Light Art Project, Light is More won with the Pavilion of Moonlight Horizon and Bruno Ribeiro with Vibrance; Tillotson Design Associates, Licht Kunst Licht and Beijing Leuchte Lighting Design received multiple prizes.

Winners in Lighting Product Design included Maytoni with Maya, John Cullen Lighting is awarded in the Deck and Step Lights category with Lecco Floorwasher, BuzziSpace with BuzziChip, Pharos Architectural Controls for their newly developed “Full management of lighting installations from anywhere, with any device” and ambience with the LEGO Linear Luminaire.

Winners will receive extensive publicity over the next year to present their achievements to a global audience. Their designs will be featured in the annual Book of Design, which will be distributed worldwide, and they will also receive the LIT Lighting Design Awards certificate and badge of achievement, as well as a year-round profile in the LIT Awards Online Directory. To view the full list of the LIT Lighting Design Awards 2022 winners, check litawards.com/winners

For over 40 years Patrick Woodroffe has been a guiding force in the lighting for rock concerts, operas, ballet, architecture, and special events. Patrick began his career in lighting in 1973 and since then has lit and directed productions for many artists including, AC/DC, Paul McCartney, The Police, Take That, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Rammstein, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Elton John and many more.

Patrick’s contribution to the lighting industry is tremendous, he has been one of the revolutionary minds behind the evolution of entertainment lighting.

Rolling Stones 14 on Fire (2014) Creative direction + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

In the world of rock touring he has lit and directed shows for a long list of iconic artists as diverse as ABBA, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Simon and Garfunkel, Adele, Sting and Michael Jackson. He has worked for over thirty years with the Rolling Stones, beginning his association with the band in 1982 and continuing as the band’s lighting designer and creative director for all their live and filmed performances since then. He was one of the curators of Exhibitionism, the band’s traveling exhibition showcasing artifacts and examples of the band’s work over 50 years.

Exhibitionism (2016)  Design – Pentagram, Curator – Ileen Gallagher, Curation + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

In the classical world, he has lit performances by many singers, conductors, and international orchestras including Jessye Norman, The Three Tenors, Sir George Solti, and the London Symphony Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and Gustavo Dudamel. In opera, he has created works in Vienna, Salzburg, Bregenz, and Helsinki, on occasion using lighting in the place of scenery to convey mood, atmosphere and narrative.

His musical theatre credits include productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Batman Live, Bat Out of Hell, West Side Story, Mama Mia the Party and Ben Hur Live. He lit the 25th Anniversary Performance of Les Miserables at the O2 Arena and Phantom of the Opera at the Albert Hall. For over twenty years he has lit and helped to produce the famous Vanity Fair Oscar party in Los Angeles and at the Cannes Film Festival.

In film he lit This Is It with Michael Jackson and Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light, the superb film of the Rolling Stones in performance.

Adele (2016)  (Production Design - Es Devlin, Lighting Design - Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Adele (2016)  (Production Design – Es Devlin, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Romeo + Juliet, Vienna State Opera (2001) Director – Jurgen Flimm, Stage + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Romeo + Juliet, Vienna State Opera (2001) Director – Jurgen Flimm, Stage + Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Aside from Entertainment Lighting, Patrick has created some important architectural lighting schemes, including those at the O2 Dome, the Lake of Dreams in Las Vegas, Highgrove House for The King, Prague Castle, the Madejski Garden at the V + A, and Somerset House in London.

In 2012 he lit the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic + Paralympics Games in London.

London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (2012) Director – Danny Boyle, Choreography – Akram Khan, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

With his long-time collaborator Adam Bassett, he runs the international lighting design consultancy, Woodroffe Bassett Design. The company operates globally designing lighting for many different genres including music, theatrical performance, special events as well as permanent architectural entertainment installations.

Patrick is a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and in 2014 was awarded OBE by the late Queen for a lifetime of services to the arts.

“I’m so pleased to receive this lifetime achievement award from the LIT Awards, particularly because I join a group of previous honorees who are all from very varied disciplines. They remind me of the familial feeling that exists in the lighting world despite our coming from different ends of the spectrum! As ever, this is an award shared with the many, many collaborators without whom my work would not exist – my partners, associates, programmers, designers and producers. The practice of working with Light, in all its glorious forms, is as much a privilege as it is a job. Thank you.” Patrick Woodroffe.

Skyscape at the Millennium Dome (2000) Design – ESS, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe

Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD) is one of the best-known and most prolific lighting design brands operating in the world of entertainment and architecture today.  The studio was established by lighting designers Patrick Woodroffe and Adam Bassett in 2013. In 2019, Terry Cook, a long-standing and experienced member of the team, joined Patrick and Adam as a partner.

WBD works for an unrivaled network of global clients and is a thriving creative practice focused on providing dynamic, intelligent and often breathtaking lighting design projects across a broad range of genres. WBD has seen few boundaries in its artistic ambition and currently provides full creative service across multiple entertainments and architectural sectors and projects with skill and integrity.

WBD comprises a core team of agile and experienced specialist designers, supplemented by a regular team of associates in the form of lighting directors, programmers, assistants, logistics and planning experts. This group is experienced in working with artists in all disciplines and can interpret and deliver any brief, detailed or otherwise, ensuring their client’s vision is protected and creative ambition often exceeded.

Michael Jackson This Is It (2009) Director – Kenny Ortega, Set Design – Michael Cotton, Lighting Design - Patrick Woodroffe, WBD

Michael Jackson This Is It (2009) Director – Kenny Ortega, Set Design – Michael Cotton, Lighting Design – Patrick Woodroffe, WBD


Senior lighting and industrial designer, Dave Kavanagh has been working for 44 years at the 110-year-old lighting manufacturer Planet Lighting, Australia. Dave has a unique and impressive career, with an impressive design contribution to the Australian and International lighting community. Dave has been successfully navigating extensive technological changes in the industry!

Not shy of a challenge, Dave has helped bring to life some of the most ambitious custom architectural lighting projects across the globe. He’s worked on renowned projects of architects such as Renzo Piano and I. M. Pei, and helped design and deliver a suite of iconic lighting concepts from South-East Asia to the Middle East, including lighting for Larry Oltmanns Hong Kong Handover at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, I.M.Pei’s Bank of China in Beijing and Caesar Pelli’s Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

As described by former CEO of Planet Lighting, Brett Iggulden, Dave has easily designed more light fittings for architects than any other designer in Australia. “He would literally save architects’ lives, turning their crazy concepts into working, safe and reliable light fittings.” Dave’s work is found everywhere from Australia to Dubai.

Dave also developed, improved, and expanded on a range of important and award-winning Australian medical and task lighting products. His design adaptations of the prestigious Prince Phillip Australian Design Award- winning U-arm, and his work on modernizing task lighting resulted in a range of quintessential Australian medical lighting products such as the MSE, UMH, UGP and include the important redesign of the 7 LED head for the ULED – one of the most prevalent examination lights in Australian hospitals. He designed the iconic Continental C arm, a spring-balanced desk lamp and in 1992 his Ninox Workstation Tasklight won the Luminaire Design Award of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand Award (IESANZ).

ULED Medical Light with Planet Lighting unique award-winning floating balance U-arm and fully enclosed springs.

Dave’s successful design and technical proficiency, which his colleagues agree includes his exceptional penmanship and eye for detail, is equally matched by his creative ability to adapt and navigate extraordinary technological and industry change. He saw the transition from pen and ink hand drawings to CAD, and from incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes to modern LEDs as well as the transition from hand machining to Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining.

Dave’s legacy is extraordinary,” says Sinclair Park, Dave’s colleague and fellow industrial designer who raised the idea for nominating him for the Award. “He even managed to become an expert in glass mould design when Planet Lighting built their own glass-blowing facility in the 1980s.”

Dave promptly designed a screening process to quickly generate shapes in plaster as patterns for sand casting, equipping Planet Lighting with semi-mass production capabilities. As a result, there was a time when every Starbucks in the world had custom glass luminaires, all of which were glass blown in Planet’s factory and company headquarters in regional Bellingen NSW. Planet Lighting subsequently became the biggest glass-blowing operation in Australia.

Dave’s use and demonstration of scientific and supporting evidence and use of emerging technologies married well with his unhindered propensity to “tell it like it is” to his customers and architect partners.

Dave recalls a successful job tender “a half-inch thick” for Australia’s Parliament House. “They wanted 400 lamps with a hot and inefficient 100-watt globe. So I showed them a light head with 13 watts that had even better light output, and for good measure demonstrated that the entire cost of the light fittings could be recovered in reduced power consumption and lowered air conditioning costs over 18 months.”

DG “Boat” chandeliers to commemorate the Hong Kong handover. Each chandelier is 8.4 meters in length with strips of slumped glass. Each weighs 500 kilograms and is suspended 30 meters in the air.

DG “Boat” chandeliers to commemorate the Hong Kong handover. Each weighs 500 kilograms and is suspended 30 metres in the air. Also showing Dave’s engineering plans for the construction.

Dave graduated with a Diploma in Design from the National Art School, Division of Design in 1975. After college, he was invited by Paul Schremmer and Associates, a leading Sydney design consultancy where he began his first professional role. In April 1977, and less than 2 years out of college, he was hired by the iconic Australian lighting manufacturer Planet Lighting after an interview with then-CEO of Planet, Brett Iggulden. While his current employer thought he was too young, Brett was impressed enough by his interview to put him on a 9-month contract. Now, 44 years on and one of Planet’s oldest and most accomplished staff members, Dave jokingly admits: “I’m still waiting for my probation period to end.”

A thinker and entrepreneurial spirit, Dave heralds from a family of engineers and inventors. “My eldest brother is an electrical engineer, and my older brother was a boat builder who became a hot air balloon manufacturer.” Dave describes himself as coming from a family of “have-a-goes” where it’s ok and even important to make mistakes. He even began his own Medical equipment company, Phoebus Design, while working in tandem at Planet in the 1980s. For 8 years he was an important supplier to Australian Medical Equipment, designing and manufacturing intermittent pressure therapy equipment designed to forcibly drain postoperative lymph fluid.

Dave’s passion for design and its importance in society is palpable. “Lighting is something which touches everyone, every day,” says Dave. “The performance of the most mundane tasks to the most demanding, particularly in medical task lighting is intensely rewarding to me, knowing the products on which I work contribute deeply to such tasks.”

Bank of China HQ, Beijing Architect: I. M. Pei Lighting Consultant: William Artists International. LTD.  

“Wheel” Aerial sculpture & chandelier foyer centerpiece 12 meters in diameter and hanging below the 48-meter high ceiling. The wheel, constructed of steel and weighing 350 kilograms, had to be assembled fully and disassembled in pieces for transport in 20m shipping containers. “I had to generate a map of which part of the wheel went into the container first so the first piece that came out could be carried to the back of the assembly area – it was important they came out in the right order!” – Dave Kavanagh

Bank of China, showing wheel aerial sculpture & chandelier also featuring 30 meter steel beam grow lights suspended over bamboo planters.

The wheel, constructed of steel and weighing 350 kilograms, had to be assembled fully and disassembled in pieces for transport in 20-meter shipping containers from Planet Lighting, Australia.

Dave’s interest in design also seems inseparable from his personal interest in both social conscience and design consequence. As a result, he gained the friendship and acquaintances of many academics and pursued interests with like-minded people equally curious about sociology. He was the Public Officer for the establishment of the Bellingen Institute, a think tank endeavor of Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Adjunct Associate Professor, Dr. Richard Hil.

Dave’s design thinking overlapped and complemented educators promoting the importance of socially and ecologically responsible design. He was invited to guest lecture in the Kansas City’s Art Institute for students of the influential design educator Victor Papanek. “I remember my own final year thesis: Outside and Inside: Morality in Design which was kind of a shock to my lecturers who felt that the topic was a bad idea. I’ve always felt there’s no such thing as a bad idea – it only becomes a bad idea when you don’t express it.”

Dave’s deeply personal drive for social enquiry and social justice has also found him volunteering with his local community. In 2007 Dave worked closely with former Australian father of the year Steve Biddulph and candidate professor and Lecturer in Law, Beth Gibbings in the installation of the SIEV X National Memorial. The memorial consists of a series of 353 pole beams which were erected lakeside in Canberra and are engraved with commemorative artworks from over 200 schools and community groups across the country. The important monument commemorates the 353 people, including children, who drowned when the SIEV X boat sank on its perilous voyage from Indonesia to Australia in 2001. Most of the poles remain nameless as the victims were unidentified. “That’s what the ‘X’ in ‘Suspected Illegal Entry Vehicle X (SIEV X)’ stands for, that is, representing the unknown victims,” says Dave.

The memorial is one of Australia’s largest and most extensive installation and collaborative efforts and spans 400 square meters of the peninsula along Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. It remains a solemn symbol and reminder to both the government and public on the plight of refugees and a persistent indicator of the still unanswered questions ordinary citizens have with regards to the circumstances surrounding the tragic event.

The SIEV X installation’s arduous process to becoming a permanent display lakeside and nearby Parliament House has become its own emotional journey for Dave and his peers. Originally, the poles were only temporarily “held up” by 600 people during a televised procession in 2006. Dave helped in the certification and engineering effort to establish their permanent installation in the Australian capital. “I met Beth and Steve through the Rural Australians for Refugees organization,” of which Dave is still a formal member. The memorial continues standing today 15 years on. “It still chokes me up when I see those poles.”

Dave Kavanagh continues to innovate at Planet Lighting today and is a valued member of the community.

Dubai Metro – Red and Green Lines Consultant: Gulf Line International Trading Co  Multiple custom lighting fixtures were designed including the “Water Wave” and the “Flying Carpet.” The “Water Wave” decorative light fixture in Burjuman Station consists of a wave-like dynamic effect created via LED edge-lit clear glass and is controlled via DMX. The custom-made fixture is made up of 21 pieces of 1-inch thick glass and each piece is made up of three segments. The wave is 40 meters long and 10 meters wide.

Designer Dave Kavanagh shared with us some thoughts on design philosophy, practice and the context of his career with Planet Lighting:

“Joining Planet Lighting in Bellingen New South Wales Australia in April 1977 as the sole Staff Industrial Designer for an agreed tenure of 9 months to design and develop an extended-reach task lamp, I was not too worried about being without experienced designers to mentor and assist me, as it was for such a short duration. Forty-five and a half years later I find myself still in the same job but having experienced massive changes to my work tools and the type of work I have undertaken, including running a small design/manufacturing business in my spare time.

Many designers have experienced the leap from the drawing board to the CAD monitor and I can assure you it can be quite intimidating at first. CAD arrived in my professional life at the age of forty-five, just four years after I first began working on large custom light fittings.

The first large custom fitting was feature-lighting in the Australian Darwin Parliament House. This quickly developed into an explosion of work including feature lighting in the main hall of The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre for the Hong Kong handover in 1997 and the (then) world’s largest building/s the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, the head office of the Bank of China in Beijing in 2000 and some very large glass fittings in the Dubai Metro UAE. Some of these projects weighed many tonnes and called for engineering certification, including taking a Bellingen crew for installation on-site. We even employed a London-based crew of riggers for one of our higher/heavier fittings. These are just some of the highlights, there being many smaller, less prestigious, jobs along the way and since.

The CEO of Planet Lighting throughout this time was Brett Iggulden OAM who was solely responsible for securing and managing these jobs for our company, a very small business in a very small town in coastal New South Wales Australia. Even though I was integral to the process, it never ceased to delight me that, for instance, for a few years any Starbucks Café anywhere in the world included light fittings using hand-blown glass blown in Bellingen in our own glassworks. This engenders a level of pride in our company workforce that is second to none.

I have always held high moral standards as an important baseline for design work of all kinds and often struggle internally with issues surrounding my work, if not directly impacted by it.

The design process I find most effective uses a recursive progression: two steps forward, one step back and so on until after a few iterations I take many steps back to review the design progression and evaluate the results to ensure the project is heading in a healthy direction before proceeding any further, avoiding “vertical” thinking in the design. This re-evaluation applies to all aspects of a project or product and includes all stakeholders and has worked well for me over many years.

Perhaps the most important mindset to nurture for me as a designer has been that there is no such thing as a stupid question … ever. Question everything and everyone, and always have a reason for your choices and decisions.

Once a brief or work order is accepted, it becomes a personal responsibility for eternity. At no time is a job handed over with no further responsibility or “ownership” by the industrial designer, production designer or engineer. This demands a passionate embrace of the work and its consequences.

Finally, this award was an unexpected bonus in a long and as-yet incomplete journey which has been an enormous amount of fun and I unreservedly thank all those who have contributed to my success in this career.” Dave Kavanagh

Dave Kavanagh/ Courtesy of Planet Lighting

Dave Kavanagh/ Courtesy of Planet Lighting

The “Flying Carpet” lighting fixture, one of six, was installed in different stations of Dubai Metro. The fixture is 27 metres in length, 2.5 metres wide and comprises 140 individual glass assemblies. Each glass piece weighs 70 kilograms and the total fixture weighs 11.5 tons.

About Planet Lighting: The Planet Lighting design tradition heralds back to the early 1900s when founder WA Iggulden set up Bentley Mfg Co in Melbourne to produce building tools for patented designs. Since the 1930s Planet has been manufacturing lights, including the iconic Australian classic, the Studio K desk lamp. Over the years, our facilities have expanded to include handblown artisan glassblowing facilities, a high-tech LED laboratory and state-of-the-art CNC equipment to ensure high-quality in-house capability and a comprehensive approach to lighting manufacturing.

Today, we are one of the leading Australian suppliers of Medical & Surgical lights, LED and custom lighting solutions and are uniquely placed to provide the expertise and know-how required to work with lighting designers and specifiers to realize creative custom lighting ideas and concepts.

The LIT Lighting Design Awards held a winners ceremony at the LEDforum.22 in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 19th at the Tivoli Mofarrej Conference Hotel

LEDforum is known nationally and internationally for offering lectures and activities of high technology and knowledge level, conducted by great names in the Brazilian and international lighting universe. The event brought together an audience of lighting designers, architects, product designers, urban planners, landscape designers, academics, developers, and providers of lighting solutions, coming from different regions of Brazil and Latin America.

Introducing regional winning projects, Aline Martins dos Anjos from the LIT Lighting Design Awards invited the 2021 winners on stage.

Antonio Carlos Mingrone, Principal of Mingrone Iluminação shared a few words on his winning project the “Financial Institution”; while honorable mentioned recipients included: Carolina Ciola Fonseca from Studio: Studio ió Arquitetura, Marina Makowiecky from Allume,  Simone Turíbio from Choque Design,  Neide Senzi from Senzi Iluminação,  Marina Lodi and Nina Morelli from Auma Studio, received their LIT Awards 2021 certificates.

Photo: ledforum / leandro de carvalho

View all impressions from the LIT Awards Ceremony at the LEDforum.22