IALD Enlighten Americas 2020 Online Gathered Lighting Professionals From Around the World

by | Oct 26, 2020 | News

CHICAGO, IL USA, 23 OCTOBER 2020 | The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) hosted its first ever Enlighten Americas online event on 21 – 22 October 2020. A premier boutique conference for the international lighting design community, Enlighten Americas was offered online this year and drew over 600 leading lighting professions—including designers, architects, students, educators, manufacturers and suppliers—from all over the world.

“While we all wish we could be together in person, our online Enlighten conferences still give us the opportunity to gather together as one strong community,” stated IALD president, Douglas Leonard, IALD. “This year’s Enlighten Americas showcased a strong line up of lighting luminaries. The topics covered the challenges at hand, putting them front and center for all of us to address and learn how to navigate. We continue to explore what inspires us, why we love lighting design and how we can support our profession’s continued growth.”

“2020 has been a year of many ‘firsts’ for the IALD. And bringing IALD’s Enlighten conferences online this year has been another first for us,” said IALD Chief Executive Officer, Marsha L. Turner, CAE. “In addition to the strong content, our Enlighten events are typically a time to connect and reconnect—to catch up with long-time friends, meet new colleagues, be inspired and have a bit of fun—so we created events throughout the program that focused on connecting and networking virtually.”

Enlighten Americas kicked off with a leading international panel on What Inspires You and How is it Different Now Than When You First Started Lighting Design where Keith Bradshaw, IALD, Susanna Antico, IALD and Steven Rosen, FIALD shared their different paths to lighting design and inspirations along the way. From being an architect, to art student to lighting designer; being inspired by the colors, water and reflections of her home on a Mediterranean island; from being fascinated by the interplay between color and light in the theater to being inspired by his own team—each of them found their own lighting muse.

This year, we have seen the importance of diversity and inclusion discussions. Edward Bartholomew, IALD, Lisa Reed, IALD, and Nelson Jenkins shared the impact of racism and colonialism in our industry in their session on Multicultural Inclusion: Reflecting the Communities We Illuminate. They showed how firms can thrive through diversity and inclusion by suggesting ways to expand the talent pool.

Enlighten Americas offered more thought-provoking content on What Values Should the Lighting Design Profession Embrace to Remain Relevant in the Future from panel of seasoned professional lighting designers—Randy Burkett, FIALD, Carrie Hawley, IALD, Andrew Mackinnon, Associate IALD and Victor Palacio, IALD, CLD. Other leading lighting design speakers over the two-day event included Charles G. Stone II, FIALD who spoke on Outside Light: Vast and Intimate; and Colin Ball, IALD, Mônica Luz Lobo, IALD, CLD, and Gerd Pfarré, FIALD, who closed the event.

The IALD Education Trust raises funds to support students to inspire their passion for lighting design.  This year, the Trust made giving light-hearted and fun and created the #IALDTrustChallenge to see what great lengths donors would go to support the Trust. To participate please make a gift at iald.me/donate.

The LIRC Emerging Lighting Design Professional Initiative, which focuses on supporting early career lighting designers, generously provided 37 emerging professionals full access to Enlighten Americas or the upcoming Enlighten Europe 2020 online.


The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), established in 1969, is an international organization supporting a network of 1,500 lighting design professionals who satisfy its rigorous qualification process. IALD strives to set the global standard for lighting design excellence by promoting the advancement and recognition of professional lighting designers, cultivating the universal acknowledgement and appreciation of the Power of Light in human life. For more information, please visit iald.org.


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