The future of urban lighting Ideas Competition

Submission: May 15, 2017
Registration: March 31, 2017
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: 1st Prize: €5000, 2nd Prize: €3000, 3rd Prize: €1500
Type: Open


Following a phase in which urban functions such as living, working, shopping and leisure were treated separately in our cities, the current trend is to return to a mix of all these activities, both in downtown areas as well as in the suburbs. This means the public realm will be used more consistently around the clock, which in turn will lead to an increased need for appropriate lighting solutions outside daylight hours.

Urban lighting in the form of master plans with illuminated landmarks and purposefully designed lighting for traffic and circulation areas is due to be complemented by light-related factors that relate to human scale and well being at night time. Besides the need for safety – shady characters shy away from light – these include the effort to design public spaces so they are more attractive and promote social life in the urban realm. The social component is a driving force in the process to make the public realm feel safe and good to use after dark, and therefore needs to be taken into consideration. Interactivity and smart lighting can be used to support this move. Human-oriented lighting design of the future in the urban context, taking the City of Paris as an example.


The competition is judged anonymously. The official language is English. All competition documents can be downloaded online, free-of-charge, from the following website: www.pld-c.com/competition. The fee to enter the Design Ideas competition is € 75 per submission (student fee € 35 + student ID).


The competition is global and open to everyone. Teams will be accepted. Participation is targeted to lighting designers, architects and engineers to lead the design groups. Should this requirement not be fulfilled, the team will be excluded from the competition. Interdisciplinary teams are welcome.

The Promoter of the design competition will only communicate with the group leader and bears no responsibility with regard to team set-up or distribution of roles within the group. In the course of the design competition, the group leader shall communicate the needs of all group members with the Promoter of the design competition.Competitors may not participate in more than one group, neither as a group leader nor as a group member, consultant or collaborator. Participation in more than one group will result in disqualification of all groups in which the participant is a member from the competition.

Permanent or temporary members of the judging panel may not participate in the design competition. Persons who have participated in the organisation of the competition in any way, their spouses and relatives to the third degree of kinship, plus all those who have an ongoing or other kind of relationship with them, are not permitted to participate.


Within 21 days after the submission deadline, VIA-Verlag will first check that all submissions conform to the competition criteria. The submissions will then be evaluated and points awarded to each project by the jury based on the following criteria:

  • creativity and feasability of the idea
  • alignment with the desired social and human benefits of the project
  • relevance for the City of Paris and potential transfer to other  cities
  • energy management and environmental sustainability, including Smart Management

The evaluation will be made along these criteria. The Panel ́s work is confidential. The Panel ́s verdict is final and incontestable.


The required material includes:

  • a report describing the idea, the effect and the proposed solution (not exceeding 500 words)
  • graphic material showing the concept and details Additional material may include:
    •   a video or other animated material
    •   a model (to be delivered by standard mail)

All documents shall be submitted digitally. For drawings and graphics: two A1 sheets maximum, in JPG format. For the report, sketches or images: A4 format PDFs in a compressed folder (.zip or .rar); the explanatory report shall comprise ten type-written files maximum plus cover page. Video clips or animations are optional. They shall not exceed a duration of three minutes and shall be included in the same compressed folder as the report.

All parts of the report shall initially remain anonymous. No indication of the authors should be placed directly on the documents. Other or different forms of reports will not be accepted and will result in disqualification from the competition.


The prizes to be awarded are:

First prize         5,000 euros

Second prize     3,000 euros

Third prize         1,500 euros

A Special Mention may be awarded.