VIENNA – Students, teachers, and professionals gathered in Vienna Thursday evening to celebrate the International VELUX Award for students of architecture, a biannual design competition exploring sunlight. The competition’s prompt, ‘Light of Tomorrow’, is almost entirely open-ended. It requests that students ‘challenge the future of daylight in the built environment with an open-minded and experimental approach’.
The jury, chaired by Snøhetta founder Craig Dykers, reviewed 802 entries from students in 54 different countries. The proposals were diverse and interdisciplinary, among them a social network that produces time-specific color maps of cities based on user-submitted photos and a design for enormous, conical spotlights that float above submerged architectural ruins, illuminating them for archaeological research and exploration.
Before announcing the competition results, Dykers mentioned that the three prize winners were selected in part because of the social or political concerns addressed in their proposals. The second prize entry, a strand of solar modules floating in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, and the third prize entry, a photoluminescent mesh lighting pedestrian routes in refugee camps, could even be considered activist.
First prize went to a group of students from Tsinghua University who designed a light filtering device for Hutong neighborhoods in Beijing. The project shapes the light entering these neighborhoods in a way that reconnects inhabitants with the grain cycle and the Chinese calendar’s twenty-four solar terms. ‘It is a very mature project,’ said the jury, ‘and the students have managed to create something entirely plausible and feasible, tying together old Chinese traditions and new ways of looking at those traditions. The scheme demonstrates a deep understanding of the role of daylight on a city scale, on a social scale, and on a cultural scale.’ Take a look at the IVA website for a complete list of winners and more information about the competition.
First prize was awarded by jury chair Craig Dykers to a student group from Tsinghua University.
A rendering from ‘Light, Revitalization’, the first prize entry by Du Dikang, Li Le, Zhou Yujing, and Ma Yao.
A rendering from ‘Morning Glory Cloud’, the second prize entry by Jaebong Jeon and Keunyoung Lim.
A rendering from ‘Light of Hope’, the third prize entry by Snezhina Aleksieva, Zhenya Atanasova, Tsvetomira Ivanova, and Pavel Tso-chev.
Images courtesy of VELUX
The projects mentioned in this article are:
‘Light, Revitalization’ by Du Dikang, Li Le, Zhou Yujing, and Ma Yao – First prize
‘Morning Glory Cloud’ by Jaebong Jeon and Keunyoung Lim – Second prize
‘Light of Hope’ by Snezhina Aleksieva, Zhenya Atanasova, Tsvetomira Ivanova, and Pavel Tso-chev – Third prize
‘Socialight’ by Cristiana Brindisi – Honourable mention
‘Diving Lights’ by Vladimir Krastev, Stoytcho Stoev – Honourable mention