THE LIT DESIGN AWARDS 2022 IS OPEN!

The LIT Lighting Design Awards is honored to announce the entertainment lighting industry leading designers who will join the Jury board members. Highly respected by their peers in the industry, the judges are tasked with recognizing creativity and innovation in the fields of “stage and concert lighting”, Live Art and Theater lighting.

For the 6th consecutive year, the program is honoring the efforts of the talented international lighting product designers and lighting implementers. With a fast-growing interest, and increase of projects submitted from the “Entertainment lighting” industry, LIT has invited new jury members to join the LIT Lighting Design Awards. Their technical knowledge, extensive experience, eye for detail and creative minds will be key to recognizing the professional designers pushing boundaries and identifying emerging talents, who are bringing new ideas to the entertainment lighting industry.

The LIT Awards is honored to welcome our four new judges, each and everyone is an international respected Lighting and Production designer; some of the most accomplished leaders in the Entertainment Lighting industry: LeRoy Bennett, Roland Greil, Peter Morse, Charles B “Cosmo” Wilson.

With decades of experience creating some of the biggest concert productions, LeRoy Bennett is a lighting and stage director who began his career designing stage productions for Prince. The success of Prince’s “Dirty Mind” tour led to a 14-year collaborative relationship and established LeRoy as the vanguard of his field. Living in Los Angeles, LeRoy Bennett is recognized worldwide as one of the most iconic innovators in cutting-edge production, lighting, and stage design. His resume boasts superstars from every music genre including Ariana Grande, The Who, The Game Awards, Queen, Madonna, David Bowie, Maroon 5, Lenny Kravitz, and Faith Hill/Tim McGraw.

Roland Greil has worked with a number of the most significant artists in the entertainment industry, including; Adele, Phil Collins and the Rolling Stones, for whom he has collaborated with Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD). Most recently Roland has been responsible for the co-lighting design of the current Rammstein stadium tour and Genesis’s “Last Domino” tour, also with WBD. Roland’s work is characterized by a professional, radically creative and innovative way of thinking. His experiences will be a tremendous asset to the jury panel.

Peter Morse’s career spans more than 45 years in the entertainment industry, Peter is an Emmy Award-winning lighting designer that has worked with many of the world’s top artists, including; Michael Jackson, Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Andrea Bocelli, The Eagles, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Bette Midler, and many others. Peter has lent his illuminating talents to numerous productions and has always appreciated the expression of design as a sampling of art and culture.

Cosmo Wilson is a concert lighting designer and director. His illustrious career has found him having worked with more than 40 bands from; AC/DC, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Blondie, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath to Judas Priest and the Scorpions. Cosmo received a Parnelli Award for “Lighting Director of the Year 2015”, a Tour Link Top Dog Award for “Lighting Director of the Year” for AC/DC in 2016 and Aerosmith in 2017, and the Live Production Summit Pinnacle Awards for both “Lighting Director of the Year” and “Lighting Designer of the Year” in 2020.

“In the entertainment industry, lighting is a powerful storyteller; it helps people to connect to their emotions and bring life to a performance.” said Astrid Hébert, Program Director of the LIT Lighting Design Awards. “We are very honored to welcome Peter Morse, Charles B. “Cosmo” Wilson, LeRoy Bennett and Roland Greil to the panel, having all inspirational careers and unique expertise.”

With over 40 jury members, the LIT Lighting Design Awards Judges are all leading professionals and specialists in their fields. The evaluation process is based on various judging criteria that are constantly adapted to new technical, social, economic and environmental requirements.

Sophya Acosta, a Light Art Director originally from Argentina and founder of the “Sophya Acosta Lighting Design Studio” is also joining the jury panel bringing her knowledge in Light Art Installations. Already judge for a couple of years, Katia Kolovea – founder of “Archifos” and Art Lighting Director as well as Bradley King – Lighting Designer in Broadway will also be reviewing the submissions in entertainment lighting categories.

The award welcomes submissions from professional, emerging designers and students and it will close on October 22nd, 2022 – to enter the LIT Lighting Design Awards please register here.

LIT Design Awards jury member Xiaodong Wang has over two decades of experience in lighting design. Her passion and expertise in creating atmosphere and experience of space through light led to the extensive outcomes of the projects. Her work is wide-ranging in type and scale encompassing lighting for architecture and urban design. She shares with us more about her passion for lighting design.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how did your passion for lighting emerge?

My first master’s degree is in Comparative Literature as I didn’t major in lighting design at the outset. My liberal arts background is a great asset to perceive beauty, art and design from a more sensitive and spiritual perspective, and to gain deeper insights into lighting design beyond light, shadows and technology.

For me, working with light and shadow seemed to be predetermined. I wrote about light worship and fire worship in my thesis for the M.A.. After graduation, I worked in a world-famous German glass enterprise and was lucky to participate in an art project collaboratively launched with Swarovski in Milan International Fair. The project invited artists and architects, including Kengo Kuma, Jasper Morrison, etc., to make art installations from crystal. Later on, I entered in the lighting industry in 2001 by chance and have been working on ever since. During this period, I also gained a Master degree in Lighting Design. As time goes on, I have been increasingly obsessed with light and shadows, and gradually gained my own understanding of lighting design.

Project name: Xu Wei Art Museum Location: Shaoxing, China

Project name: Xu Wei Art Museum, Location: Shaoxing, China

What are your guiding design principles and can you tell us more about your role and responsibilities at Lighting Design & Research Institute of UAD?

“Darken elegantly, and lighten poetically”. This is my basic guiding design principle.

I’m currently the principal of the Lighting Design & Research Institute (LDI) under the Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University (UAD). Belonging to UAD, LDI is a design & research institute as well as an industry-academia-research platform wholly owned by Zhejiang University.

With a young, diligent and professional team, LDI mainly works on lighting design practices and research. Our design practices cover urban lighting planning, landscape and architectural lighting design and more, and our research is mainly on lighting education, issues and application, and on the compilation of industry specifications and standards.

Are there any specific processes or elements you make sure to include when working on large-scale Lighting project?

Apart from preliminary site investigation, schematic design, design development and drawing design, we also pay great attention to final realization, which normally includes on-site testing, solution debating and final commissioning.

There are plenty of factors that influence the lighting effects of a project. In addition to design scheme optimization, parameters calculations and luminere layouts, it is also vital to study various materials, find proper expressions and accurately control lighting. We attach great importance to each project’s lighting quality, so we put an emphasis on debating, testing and commissioning to ensure a desirable effect.

Project name: Shooting, Archery & Modern Pentathlon Venue for Asian Games 2022 Location: Hangzhou, China

Project name: Shooting, Archery & Modern Pentathlon Venue for Asian Games 2022, Location: Hangzhou, China

What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in the Lighting Industry in China now?

The biggest challenge faced by China’s lighting industry is rapid urbanization and its impact on human settlements, environment, resources, etc. But challenges are also opportunities. Currently, the lighting sector in China is developing in the direction of being more intelligent and energy-saving, and more concerned about the relationship between human and environment, human and cities, human and ecology.

What are you focused on right now? Is there a new project or collaboration you can share with us?

In the past few years, we have purposely undertaken lots of lighting design projects for urban renewal. As urban regeneration is a long-term, growing sociological topic, it constantly brings new challenges from different aspects including planning, design, operation, management and so on. I think this kind of project is quite meaningful and also valuable.

Besides, our team has also taken on several projects for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, including improving some stadiums and the local urban environment. Those projects are now being carried out and are expected to be completed from the end of this year to next year.

Project name: Lighting for Core Section of Zhoushan New Area Location: Zhoushan, China

Project name: Lighting for Core Section of Zhoushan New Area, Location: Zhoushan, China

Last, what is the main message you would like to send to young, emerging Lighting designers?

Firstly, never stop learning. Try to visit more, see more and learn more, and be humble as well. A wide range of knowledge is essential to excellence.

Secondly, pay attention to the execution. Every project is unique, which requires us to treat construction drawings and on-site services as prudently as devising design schemes. In addition, attach importance to details and quality. Let the project speak for yourself.
Thirdly, focus on introspection. Review is for improvement, and introspection is for better practice. Accumulate richly and break forth effectively.

Project name: Floodlighting Design for Damiao Temple, Fengqiao, Location: Zhuji City, China

Read more interviews with lighting design professionals here.

Stage and lighting design are essential elements of any theatrical or live event. The lighting production can have a significant impact on the experience and is used to invoke a certain mood or contribute to the overall feel of the performance.

The Lighting Design of the Year Award and Emerging Lighting  Design of the Year awarded by the LIT Design Awards recognize the efforts of talented lighting designers who improve and perfect the quality of design and quality of light emitted by their designs. We collected some of the best stage and theater lighting designs recently awarded by the LIT Design Awards below.

HAMMAM

Prize(s) Winners in Theater Performance Design
Company Antonia Peón-Veiga Iluminación Arquitectónica
Lead Designers Antonia Peón-Veiga
Photo Credits Cristóbal Palma

Hammam

Award-winning HAMMAM proposes the experience of a collective purge inspired by the traditional practices of sweat or heat baths present in different geographies and cultures throughout history. In an immersive environment, the work explores water vapor and sound as environmental bodies, tactile media, and the bathroom as a social healing practice between the intimate and the public. This project by Antonia Peón-Veiga Iluminación Arquitectónica is a transdisciplinary research and creation project that generates intersections between dance, sound art, performance, and writing, developing pieces in various formats, such as sound capsules, an editorial publication, a dance performance, body practices, and vaporous concerts.

HAMMAM invites us to live a multisensory experience where each element is worked from neuroscience. Vapor, light, and sound were designed on the scientific basis of the effects on the nervous system. The different electromagnetic frequencies of light and their effects on the body were investigated, as well as environmental inspirations around light, steam, sky, clouds and water.

DISOLVER

Prize(s) Winners in Stage Lighting
Company EO project / Jésica Elizondo
Client CUATRO X CUATRO
Photo Credits Paulina Cervantes
Other Credits Directed by Shantí Vera

Talented Jésica Elizondo is a stage lighting artist, born in Mexico City. She likes to think of her work as part of an investigation of the processes of transformation and enabling space-time in the living arts. Her work focuses on space conceptualization and light creation and her talents came to the light in the design project she worked on for DISOLVER, an interdisciplinary work by Shantí Vera.

Immersive Gestures

Prize(s) Winners in Interior Architectural Illumination / Theater Performance Design
University California College of The Arts
Lead Designers Congrui Gao
Other Credits Instructors: Margo Majewska

This project focuses on developing a lighting design for the Studio 2 project, that converts an existing theater into a performing space that includes fashion shows. The concept for the project by California College of The Arts student Congrui Gao was inspired by Balenciaga’s 2020 fashion show. Each environment is connected through layers of immersive experience. The interior of the performance space is composed of a single strip-shaped LED screen, and the audience will stand along the edges of the arc to experience a 360-degree immersive experience and the videos on the screen will actively respond to the fashion clothing, creating a sense of mystery, structuralism, and powerful visual impact.

The entire experience of the fashion show is not a static vision, it is an Immersive experience of moving Gestures between the audience and performer. Illuminating public space needs to fulfill a wide range of needs. The design process for this project was structured around 5 layers of light that address these needs and uses these layers as a guide for making lighting design decisions.

A Chorus Line

Prize(s) Winners in Stage Lighting

Lead Designers Adam Honoré

Project Location Signature Theater, Arlington VA

Signature Theatre continues its tradition of big musicals in intimate spaces with one of the most iconic musicals ever written. Up close in the audition room, feel every heartbeat and heartbreak as hopeful dancers pour out their dreams, memories, loves, and why they dance in a breathtaking display of the tremendous talent it takes to be in a chorus line.

The design of this production reimagined a classic utilizing modern technology while maintaining a period aesthetic. The mastermind behind the lighting design, Adam Honoré is a Harlem-based lighting designer for plays, musicals, and live events. Off-Broadway highlights feature Carmen Jones (Classic Stage), Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public), Behind the Sheet (Ensemble Studio Theatre), and Faux-bia! (Carnegie Hall). Regional collaborations include Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Huntington Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Signature Theatre among others. International designs feature Haydn’s The Seasons (Austria), The Band’s Visit (Manila), Kinky Boots (Manila), and Fun Home (Int’l Premiere, ft. Lea Salonga).

The Amen Corner

Prize(s) Winners in Theater Performance Design
Company Honoré Lighting
Lead Designers Adam Honoré
Project Location Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington D.C.

James Baldwin’s ‘The Amen Corner’ tackles the role of the church in the Black community. Set within a storefront church, an apartment, and the streets of Harlem, the design of this play brings an operatic quality to its words of Baldwin. Transcending expectations, the lighting of this production supports the emotion deep within the text which in turn created the world for each of the characters to exist in.

“The production’s lighting designer deserves his own standing ovation. Honoré manages to separate the static set of the combined church and apartment with subtle shading and gives the effect of a long church service with early golden hour light that morphs into a bright, white afternoon”, said a review by Leigh Giangreco, The DCist.

View more award-winning designs here.