2015/16 Winner Announced
“We are pleased to announce that the 2015/16 award has been made to Charlotte Eley, a Year 6 Architecture student completing her MArch at the University of Sheffield.
We were impressed by the maturity and sensitivity of Charlotte’s application, which conveyed her passion for the potential for light and architecture to tackle large social issues such as inclusivity, crime prevention and community cohesion.
As Charlotte explains: “I believe good lighting design should be accessible to all, being designed and provided for all members of society, from school children to the homeless. Each of my architecture projects at university has tackled different issues of lighting, including crime prevention and inclusion, the tyranny of commercial supermarket lighting and the role of lighting in creating spiritual environments at the end of life.”
Each year we are impressed by the diversity and quality of the submissions, however we all agreed that Charlotte’s work is really special in being representative of a growing movement in the fields of architecture and lighting design, where priority is given to considering ways in which designers can help dramatically improve the lives of those who often do not have immediate access to well thought-through, practical and sustainable solutions. It was her social responsibility which shone through which we thought made her deserving of support and encouragement.
Once again, this award is only possible thanks to the incredible generosity of a number of companies and individuals. Our pledge was that we would make a minimum of one award each year until 2023. We would therefore once again like to appeal to companies, professional practices and individuals who knew Jonathan Speirs, or benefitted from his incredible insight into light and architecture, to support us further.”
As we get closer to announcing the winner of the 2015/16 Scholarship, we take a look back at our two previous scholars and what they have been up to since they were awarded the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship.
Our first Scholar, Alex Stewart, has graduated with honours from Parsons School of Design and has begun working with the award-winning Brooklyn-based firm Bernheimer Architecture. At Bernheimer, he has assisted on the design and development of two affordable housing projects within the five boroughs of New York, and is currently overseeing the construction of a high-end residential building in the West Village district. This past fall he took a position as adjunct faculty at Parsons, teaching in the Masters of Architecture program, while in December, his studio project from the previous fall with his colleague, Kristen Garibaldi, was selected by the Architect’s Newspaper as the Student Project of the Year.
Alex comments: “Working with light is paramount to the designs I’m developing with Bernheimer, and in my own, personal projects. Though we are an architecture firm in practice, we consider light to be a free building material, one that through formal manipulation produces more intimate and democratic space, no matter the client and budget.”
Last year’s Scholar, Cashel Brown, graduated in October 2015 from Edinburgh Napier University last year after completing his dissertation on the topic of lighting festivals and their role in urban design. He has since moved to London and is now working as a lighting designer at Nulty+. Cashel is currently working on his submission for SLL’s Young Lighter of the Year and will be speaking at their annual Jonathan Speirs Memorial Lecture later in the year. He has also been included on Lighting Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list of emerging talent within the lighting design profession.
He comments: “Working with Nulty+ has been a steep learning curve, as I take what I learned during the course of the MA Lighting Design programme and apply it to real projects with real budgets. The diverse range of projects within the office has taught me a lot about the multi-faceted nature of the lighting design profession. Much of this is with thanks to the Scholarship, as it provided me with a platform to develop these skills, alongside creating conversation with those in the profession.”
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Gilbert and Suzanne Mathews of Lucifer Lighting, who have just donated an additional $10,000 towards the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund. This donation is on top of their already generous Benefactor contribution. Thank you very much!