Lighting designers are regularly tasked with illuminating destinations and the routes used to get there—but what about the spaces in between? Philips’ 2014 Community Lighting for the Urban Environment (CLUE) competition tasked students and emerging practitioners to do just that. Last month, the competition announced three winners and one honorable mention, representing Germany, the Philippines, and Singapore, and that were selected from a total of 151 entries across 41 countries.

With the theme of “Interface,” the seventh iteration of the competition explored how lighting could be used to rethink the boundaries between urban spaces, using concepts such as transitions, transparency, and the balance between light and dark to create interstitial spaces that combine indoor and outdoor lighting solutions in a single system. 

The winners of the first, second, and third prizes received $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively. The competition will also reimburse winners for select costs incurred to attend this year’s Lightfair in New York.

The competition was judged by an international panel of lighting professionals comprising: Francois Roupinian, principal and design director at Lightemotion in Montréal; Fred Oberkircher, Illuminating Engineering Society past president; Louis-Xavier Gagnon, co-artistic director and designer at Atomic 3 in Montréal; Martin Houle, director and founder at Kollectif in Montréal; Nathanaël Meyer, creative director at gsmprjct* in Montréal; Randy Burkett, president and design principal at Randy Burkett Lighting Design in St. Louis; and Tom Russello, senior director and research and design director for indoor and outdoor lighting in North America at Philips. 

Read more about the winning projects below:

Philips Lighting

Photovascular System, 1st Prize
Designers: Michael Luigi I. Manzano, Riel L. Gutierrez, Roselane Leigh Jade T. To Chip
Country: Philippines
“Photovascular System” combines indoor and outdoor lighting systems in a symbiotic application that uses natural light during the day to illuminate the building’s interior. At night, electric light installed in the building takes over to highlight the architectural form while identifying public spaces. 

Philips Lighting

Dancing on the Clouds, 2nd Prize
Designers: Hyunje Joo
Country: Germany
In “Dancing on the Clouds,” a bed of Helium-inflated polyurethane balloons is suspended over a public space with 2mm-thick fiber-optic cords dangling within reach to encourage occupant interaction. The installation is designed to sway in the wind and changes in size and shape based on shifts in air pressure and temperature.

Philips Lighting

Interlace, 3rd Prize
Designers: Rahul Gujarathi
Country: Singapore
This integrated structural glazing system incorporates photovoltaics and OLEDs between transparent safety glass panels in order to generate energy by day and illuminate the space at night. Intended to literally exist on the edge of the built and unbuilt environments, “Interlace” serves as a transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Philips Lighting

The Styx, Honorable Mention
Designers: Jin Yung Bargon
Country: Germany
“The Styx” seeks to broach the often-impersonal approach to large-scale memorials with an installation designed to surround an urban cemetery. Taking the form of a half-enclosed passageway, weight sensors on the floor trigger soft light in fiber-optic fabric curtains and OLED wall panels. A large column within the space serves as a focal point and depicts sand through an hourglass as a visual of the cycle of life and death.

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