Prior to their participation in the Lights in Alingsås festival this autumn, this year’s lighting workshop leaders have visited the town of Alingsås in Sweden for the first time. Seven expectant designers, divided into six teams, are looking forward to getting started.
“It feels great to be here and to get an idea of what things look like,” says Mieke van der Velden, who with colleague Juliette Nielsen is responsible for one of this year’s installations.
But it’s not the first time the Dutch leader has been to Alingsås. Both she and Brazilian Diana Joels, one of the other workshop leaders, has been here before – but as students.
“We were actually here the same year, although we weren’t on the same team,” comments Diana Joels. Diplomatically, neither of them will say which of the workshops was best. And to be fair, 2005 was thirteen years ago now, and both lighting designers have done a lot since then. Together, the leadership team this year is made up of very experienced and very well-known members.
The American Steven Rosen, for example, has been an established lighting designer for over three decades.
“I was around when there was only black and white,” he jokes.
But despite their numerous lighting installations, events and prizes, the role of workshop leader at the Lights in Alingsås festival is new for all of them. They can scarcely wait to get started!
“There’s a really good feel. Now we can begin to make sense of our impressions and think about what we’re going to do,” comments Mexican Dario Nunez Salazar before he and the rest of the group are taken on a guided tour of the town.
Exactly where the lighting trail will go and what the theme of this year’s Lights in Alingsås festival is to be, will be announced later this spring.
This year’s lighting designers:
Dario Nunez Salazar
Originally from Mexico but working now as Lighting Design Leader for Verkis Consulting Engineers, Iceland. He won a prestigious award, 40 under 40, at the Lighting Design Awards in London last autumn.
The only Swede in this year’s strong group of leaders. Studied lighting design at Jönköping University Sweden and since then worked as lighting designer for Jonköping municipality and the WSP group before starting his current position on the Sweco architect team.
President and Creative Director at Available Light, an award-winning firm he established himself and specializing in lighting in museums and larger buildings. Steven is one of the year’s most experienced workshop leaders, with a career spanning over three decades.
Juliette Nielsen and Mieke van der Velden
The year’s only duo. Juliette and Mieke know each other well, working as they do for Beersnielsen lighting designers in Rotterdam (Holland), a firm owned partly by Juliette. Mieke has been to Lights in Alingsås previously, but as a student. Now she’s back, along with her design partner, and is hoping to surpass herself.
Nikoletta Theodoridi is originally from Athens but after a couple of years in London is now based in Barcelona, from where she travels the world in her capacity as senior freelance lighting designer. This autumn her focus will be on Alingsås.
Another Lights in Alingsås ex-student - but she has done a lot since then. Among other things she has taught at KTH in Stockholm and worked on lighting design projects of all sizes. A well-known designer at home in Brazil and internationally.
Maria Björsson, Project leader
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Angelica Larsson, Event manager
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Om Lights in Alingsås
Varje oktober sedan år 2000 kommer världsledande ljusdesigners till Alingsås för att ljussätta centrala delar av staden. Kalla och anonyma fasader blir till varma och färgsprakande platser, sjöar kan bli futuristiska landningsbanor och i dessa oaser av ljus uppstår nya och inbjudande mötesplatser i staden.
Under evenemanget råder det full aktivitet i Alingsås och under de senaste åren har Lights in Alingsås resulterat i över 85 000 besök under oktober månad. Lights in Alingsås är en viktig internationell mötesplats för ljusdesigners, studenter och företag. Ägare och initiativtagare till projektet är Alingsås Kommun som tillsammans med Sparbanken Alingsås, Alingsås Energi, FABS och Alingsåshem gör Lights in Alingsås möjligt. Exklusiva mediasamarbetspartners är Mondo Arc samt Alingsås Tidning.