Daniel Libeskind will deliver the keynote at the 41st Lighting Design Awards. (Picture: Stefan Ruiz)

At the Holocaust Tower at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, daylight leaks in like lost hope through a slit.
(Picture: Bitter Bredt)

Daniel Libeskind, the leading international figure in architecture and urban design, has been named as the keynote speaker for the Lighting Design Awards 2017.

The architect – whose notable projects include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester and the masterplanning of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in New York – will open the 41st presentations evening of the awards ceremony on Thursday 4 May 2017.

‘Light is the most important building material,’ says Libeskind. ‘Even though it is not a concrete wall or a column or a physical object, its impact on architecture is much greater. Great architecture is really a showcase of light and shadow.’

‘In our profession we deal with the quantification of light. Light can be easily quantified and we know how many lumens we need to illuminate a space. The qualitative aspect of light is much more complex. In reality, light is what I would call the spirit of a building, it is like the mind of a person – it’s not visible, but it’s a guiding element.’

Libeskind’s buildings have exploited light in a surprisingly different number of ways. The Holocaust Tower at the Jewish Museum in Berlin features a claustrophobic soaring void that both excludes light to visceral effect, but lets daylight leak in like lost hope through a slit high above.

The shape of his buildings is often dictated by light, he says. ‘The form of many of my buildings might look expressive from the outside but is actually created for taking advantage of the light.

‘For the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, for example, I brought in light through the vitrines of the windows that are cut into this crystal form in a very calculated way, which illuminates the great dinosaurs in the gallery and makes them visible from the street because of the angle of the building.’

At the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Libeskind brings light in through the vitrines of the windows that are cut into the crystalline form.
(Picture: Royal Ontario Museum)

The organisers have also named TV comic Mark Watson as host  of the presentations evening. Watson – winner of the Time Out Critic’s Choice Award – appears regularly on TV and radio, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Internet sensation Afishal will open the ceremony. The visual DJ – whose latest video has been viewed an astonishing 20 million times – will kick off the 2017 event with the unique blend of visual and audio performance that has filled stadiums and festivals all over the world.

Afishal will use his spectacular interactive drum kit to ‘play’ a section of his complex multi-media show at the London Hilton Park Lane on Thursday 4 May.

‘The overall effect of the music, graphics and lighting makes this show unique and has helped create a viral internet sensation,’ said the DJ. ‘It’s highly visual and exciting, but it also plays upon the emotional response of the audience.’

The 40under40 list of talented lighting designers will also be revealed during the evening.

The official after-show party – complete with top bands – follows the presentation evening and continues to the early hours.

The shortlist of projects and products vying for the top honours has been unveiled and can be viewed at http://awards.lighting.co.uk/book-a-table/

To ensure your place – and reward clients, employees and suppliers with an unforgettable evening ​ – book your place now at http://awards.lighting.co.uk/shortlist-2017/

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