2023 IESNYC Student Lighting Competition – Winners Announced!

by | Mar 13, 2023 | News

2023 IESNYC Student Lighting Competition

The IESNYC is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Student Lighting Competition, marking the 21st year of the event. Over 100 students from design colleges and universities across New York City participated, displaying their innovative lighting projects based on the theme “Circle of Light” at the LEDucation Trade Show & Conference on March 7th.

Anirudh Anand, Priyanka Shah, and Aarohi Mittal from Parsons New School secured the 1st prize of $5,000 for their project “Beyond the Veil,” which explores the transient beauty of fleeting interactions in the city through the interplay of light and shadow.

Qianhui Lin from Pratt Institute claimed the 2nd prize of $2,500 for her project “Dimple,” while Fia Huston from Pratt Institute won the 3rd prize of $1,000 for “Infinite Reality Box.”

The competition has challenged students to create a three-dimensional study, showcasing the role of light in the cyclical nature of life. Light has a critical function in many of life’s cycles like the human circadian rhythm, the lunar phases and the changing of seasons. The cycle of light can be considered with regards to a product life cycle and sustainability, or how light engages in the circularity of life itself.

“The Student Lighting Competition had a successful return to a live format,” says Shaun Fillion, LC, Educator IALD CLCP and co-chair of the Student Lighting Competition. “Over 100 students displayed individual and team projects at LEDucation. One of our committee’s goals was to increase the number of professionals who attend the competition. The crowd of visitors exceeded our expectations, with approximately 800 professionals meeting the students and providing feedback on their work. Our committee is grateful to LEDucation for welcoming the Student Lighting Competition, the students benefitted both from the professionals viewing their projects, and from exploring the LEDucation show and seeing the size and energy of the lighting industry. We hope to return to LEDucation in 2024!”

Grand Prize Winners
Anirudh Anand, Priyanka Shah, and Aarohi Mittal (Parsons New School)

Grand Prize Winners Anirudh Anand, Priyanka Shah, and Aarohi Mittal (Parsons New School)

Project Title: Beyond the Veil

Beyond the Veil celebrates and laments the fleeting moments of interaction that we all share with millions of other city dwellers each day. Figures that are obscured from view are revealed through shadow and reflection upon a veil. They swirl and mingle, changing with every moment, offering glimpses of silhouettes as they move. These moments of revelation mirror the way in which our only interaction with most of the people we see each day is fleeting and superficial. Our understanding of the totality of the city is limited to the glimpses we get as we go about our days. Through its play of shadow and movement, the installation celebrates the transient beauty of the precious moments we share with strangers – the rare, unique moment when diverse, complex individuals interact for the first and only time. Beyond the Veil prompts us to appreciate the beauty and complexity in everyday moments, and to question the nature of our existence within the larger circle of life.

2nd Prize Winner
Qianhui Lin (Pratt Institute)

2nd Prize WinnerQianhui Lin (Pratt Institute)

Project Title: Dimple

3rd Prize Winner
Fia Huston (Pratt Institute)

3rd Prize WinnerFia Huston (Pratt Institute)

Project Title: Infinite Reality Box

Honorable mentions:

‘New York City New Aquarium’, by Yinuo Liu (Pratt Institute)

‘New York City New Aquarium’, by Yinuo Liu (Pratt Institute)


‘Dazzling Shadow‘, by Chanbin Im (Pratt Institute)

‘Dazzling Shadow‘, by Chanbin Im (Pratt Institute)


‘Halo’, by Jiayan Li (Pratt Institute)

‘Halo’, by Jiayan Li (Pratt Institute)


‘Bio-Shimmer’, by Wan-Chien Lin (Parsons New School)

‘Bio-Shimmer’, by Wan-Chien Lin (Parsons New School)

The judges
for the 2023 competition were Leela Shanker (Borealis Lighting Design & Founder of Flint Collective and former SLC winner), Gustavo Sanchez (IALD, Associate, Atelier Ten) and Noele de Leon (Head of Design & Brand Strategy, The Cosine).

The competition committee was co-chaired by John Delfino (Available Light) and Shaun Fillion (NYSID and RAB Lighting)

The IESNYC Student Lighting Competition is dedicated to the society’s founder, Patricia DiMaggio. The competition, which has grown from 8 students in 2000 to over 100 students today, upholds Patricia’s goals of education, community, and friendly competition. The competition aims to promote education and raise awareness about the importance of lighting and is open to students from lighting, architecture, interior design, art, product design, photography, and electrical engineering programs.

For any inquiries, please email studentcompetition@iesnyc.org or visit the website iesnyc.org.

About the IESNYC

IESNYC (www.iesnyc.org) is the New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society.  The IESNYC is a volunteer professional membership organization whose members share a mutual appreciation for and fascination with all things lighting. They are lighting designers, architects, engineers, consultants, lighting manufacturers, lighting representatives, electrical distributors, and allied professionals. IESNYC members are dedicated to promoting the art and science of illumination engineering to their members, professionals, the lighting industry, and the public through inspiring events, informative programs and educational series, social outreach, and networking opportunities.