Emerging Lighting Design Professionals are facing Extinction…. A CALL TO ACTION By Lee Waldron, Ann Reo
Emerging Lighting Design Professionals are facing Extinction…. A CALL TO ACTION
By Lee Waldron, Ann Reo
The Lighting Industry is facing a major shortage of qualified graduates entering the architectural Lighting Design field. The reason is clear…. there are a limited number of academic programs which have comprehensive curricula in lighting design. Today’s technical skill sets required from graduates include: AutoCAD, Revit file management, 3-D rendering and computer-generated lighting calculations (i.e. AGI). Employers are also looking for a strong understanding of the theories behind good architectural lighting design, sustainable solutions, human-centric lighting solutions, and lighting system control.
Nationwide, there are countless job openings available with Lighting Design Firms, Lighting Manufacturers, Distributors, and Lighting Representatives seeking trained entry level professionals. Compounding this issue is that The Lighting Industry continues to grow in complexity. Solid State technology (LEDs) has completely eclipsed conventional light bulbs and is now providing a gateway into The Internet of Things (IoT). The Lighting Industry is perfectly poised to become the communication network between people, buildings and assets to the “CLOUDS” that manage all data. Yet our industry is sorely lacking the conduit of trained professionals that will be required to propel it forward.
The Call to Action is simple…Universities need to hear about employment opportunities in the Lighting Industry. All stakeholders (Lighting Design Practitioners, Lighting Manufacturers, Lighting Reps, and Distributors etc.) must unite to begin the dialogue required for the growth of lighting design programs and curricula.
The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education is the only non-profit endowment fund that supports new and expanded college-level lighting programs. This fund, established in 1988, has provided $1,140,000 for lighting education. Of that total, $790,000 has been given to develop and expand lighting design coursework for 46 programs at colleges and universities, $175,000 has provided fellowship grants to faculty who teach lighting; and, $175,000 has been given to 36 deserving students who excel in their lighting studies.
The Nuckolls Fund and its Board of Directors can help to bridge the gap between Industry Stakeholders and Universities. But we, in the Lighting Industry, must realize the sense of urgency behind this matter. We must act now if we are going to impact the future of our profession.
Lee Waldron is a practicing architectural lighting designer with Grenald Waldron Associates since 1976 and is the Director of Lighting Knowledge for Francis Cauffman, an architectural design firm with offices in Philadelphia and New York. He is a past president of the International Association of Lighting Designers and serves on the Board of the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education and the Advisory Board for the Interior Design Department of Moore College of Art and Design.
Ann Reo, while starting out in lighting design, has been in manufacturing since 1996, first in Product Development with Focal Point Lighting; then in 2002 as President and Founder of IO Lighting until its purchase by Cooper Lighting in 2007; and with both Soraa Lighting as its Senior VP of Product Development and Zumtobel as its Chief Development Officer. She currently is an independent consultant serving as a Champion for SSL Product Development and a Visionary in IoT as it relates to the lighting. Ann recently joined the Board of the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education.
The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education https://nuckollsfund.org was established in 1988 to support college-level lighting programs that enable students to learn, appreciate, and apply the fundamentals of lighting design. This year, 2018, the Fund will disperse $90,000 in grants and awards. In its thirty year history, the Fund has provided a total of $1,140,000 for lighting education. Of that total, $790,000 has been given to develop and expand lighting design coursework, $175,000 has provided fellowship grants to faculty who teach lighting; and, $175,000 has been given to deserving students who excel in the lighting studies. This is how the Fund supports Lighting Education which is, after all, the future of the lighting industry.
For further information please contact Jeanne Clemente, Fund Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org