The Illuminating Engineering Society of New York (IESNY) has announced the winners of its sixth annual Student Design Competition. This year produced the largest turn out so far, with more than 90 students from seven New York City institutions entering the contest. Ernesto Klar, an MFA candidate in design and technology at Parsons the New School for Design, took home first prize for an audiovisual installation in which airborne dust particles passing through a beam of light are tracked using custom software.

'When we started this competition, we had eight entries and the judging was held in a classroom,' said Randy Sabedra, president of the IESNY, in a prepared statement. 'This year, the entire Center for Architecture [the location where the projects were displayed and where judging took place on March 8, 2006] was transformed into a wonderland of light from so many examples of the creativity displayed by the next generation of lighting designers.'

The IESNY asked students of lighting, architecture, interior design, art, product design, photography, and electrical engineering to construct a three-dimensional study on how light can reveal, create, or transform the unseen.

The jury was made up of six judges: Alison Ritter, European Lighting Design Association (ELDA); Conor Sampson, McGill University; Frank Conti, Enterprise Lighting Sales; Joachim Ritter, editor of Professional Lighting Design magazine; Peter Jacobson, Con Edison; and Ing Heinrich Kramer, Lichtdesign.

The panel gave first prize to Klar's Convergenze parallele, in which the movement of dust particles are shown and heard in real time. Blowing air toward the light created a digital painting of random traces of otherwise invisible motion. Klar was awarded $3,000, plus airfare, accommodations, and registration fee to attend the fall 2006 ELDA Workshop in Sweden. View a video taken of the winning installation.

Emil Klein, a sculpture major at Pratt Institute, received second place with Light Creates Time, which demonstrated how light can influence the watcher's perception of time and motion by showing a water droplet falling, suspended in air, and rising up. He received $1,000.

Third place went to Chen Lin He, an interior design major at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), for The Face (shown above right), which produced the appearance of a three-dimensional face using 2,400 square pieces of paper, which were rotated to various degrees to receive lesser or greater amounts of light. Lin He was awarded $500.

Honorable mentions were given to Kimberly Acosta, also an interior design major at FIT, for The Transformation of Yellow, which used different colored lights and strips of yellow gel filters to create new colors, and Ji-Hoon Chung, an industrial design major from Pratt Institute, for his installation of a suspended triangle sculpture demonstrating how two different color light sources mix in a medium.