tucson-based manufacturer ultralights architectural lighting has created a unique program to bring the disciplines of architecture and lighting design closer together-the UltraLights Design Competition. Partnering with the University of Arizona's College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and the School of Architecture in Tucson, the inaugural competition was open to fourth-year students. Fifteen entries were received that smartly bridged the gap between architecture and lighting design.
Conceived by UltraLights company president Jim Restin as a means of working with and giving back to the local community, the competition also served to introduce students to the importance of lighting, the manufacturing process, and perhaps inspire students to consider lighting as a career choice. The competition program was described during the students' visit to the UltraLights facility, where they viewed the manufacturing process firsthand.
Program requirements asked students to design an ADA-compliant wall sconce or wall bracket using a compact fluorescent lamp and electronic ballast for corridors, measuring 10-feet wide by 8-feet high, of a high-end contemporary hotel in Los Angeles. Fixtures would be located alternating side to side, 15-feet on center. Budget per fixture had to fall within a range of $150 to $250.
A panel of five design, architecture, and lighting professionals judged the qualifying entries and awarded two prizes. Laren Sakota's rectangular-shaped sconce received $1,500 for first prize. Borja Gomez Martin received $500 as runner-up. Going forward, there are no final decisions regarding whether or not the two winning entries will be put into production. Chris Bedwell, in business development at UltraLights, explains: 'It was our intent to educate and encourage students about the possibility of lighting design, not to solicit designs to manufacturer.' A|L