Blog - Lights in Alingsås

Lights in Alingsås Scholarship

By: Gabriela Prochazka, Scholarship receiver and lighting student 2015 2015-09-03

Gabriela Prochazka *1990

Have bachelor diploma in graphic design. Currently enrolled in Master Programme of Digital Media in Czech Republic. Seems like my career path have changed since I have had the opportunity to live and study in Paris last year. Since then started my ongoing fascination with light & darkness. How when the nights comes, we all need our own guiding light.

Im also very curious about merging seemingly unmatchable phenomenons such as water & light, technology & analog, recreating live creatures = electronic tamagotchis & their interaction with real creatures.

Im very excited to come to Alingsas, and generally to Sweden. There is always space for more knowledge, and Im excited to meet other light designers and learn about their visions and perspectives on how to work with light and how we can all enlighten the nights on our planet. I believe that meetings like this create extraordinary conditions for brainstorming and hopefully to some more fruitfull collaborations and least but not last meaningfull friendships.

Music for LIA

By: Sebastian Studnitzky, Composer Lights in Alingsås 2015 2015-09-01

It’s a pleasure to work for LIA for the third time now. In 2013 I mainly wrote the music for the opening ceremony at esterade, last year when the music of Edward Grieg / Peer Gynth was the subject, LIA invested in a superb sound systems and made the combination of light & sound become an impressive experience. It’s fantastic to see how music became more and more a bigger part at LIA. 

Let me tell you a bit about my approach for the music/sound for LIA. Generally I don’t want to tell a whole story with the music/sound but set a scene for the phantasy of the spectators. It’s actually quite different to write music for such a light installation then writing a song or piece for a concert situation. A concert has a defined start, development and ending. At an open air sound&light installation each spectator enters the scene at a different time, and moves and stays there with an own tempo and rhythm. So the challenge is to make the music infinite in a way that it fits to the different approaches of the spectators and can be entered and exited any time. 

Another challenge is finding the right balance, so the music is effectful for the spectators but doesn’t annoy the neighbors who are living next to the sites. But as an educated jazz musicians i like challenges, and i like to move creative in a set frame and find a way to stretch it as much as possible.

I prepare the ideas in my studio upfront. In September I will arrive and start working on the sites 1 week before the light designers arrive. The music will be finally mixed on the actual sites, since the acoustic situation is very unique + often we use multichannel surround sound situations (like in a cinema). These are magic moments for me, when I sit outside in the dark and work on the sound which comes out of the woods….

And this will also be the situation for the light design students when they visit the sites the very first time. The music will already be playing in the dark and trigger their phantasy to come up with a concept.

greetings from Berlin & see you in autumn



By: Andrea Hartranft, Workshop Head Lights in Alingsås 2015 2015-08-26

Transformation.  What a fabulous exploration for students, educators and ultimately visitors this will be.  The concept of starting with a blank canvas and the fresh perspective of young minds is thrilling and energizing.  I have been a lighting designer for almost 30 years, and a lighting educator for 15 years, and there has never been a  teaching exercise where I have not learned from the visions and questions of my students.  It is a symbiotic relationship - one that I am so honored to have been a part of n the past, and one that I am specifically thrilled to be part of in Alingsas.

The site we will be working with will leave its present day semblance and travel back in time to the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution.  We will explore together the impact of that era, not only on industry but also on society.   And we will have the added dimension of sound and music. Architectural lighting designers do not always have the opportunity to address multiple senses  - this will be an exceptional experience for the students as they contemplate how to make the most of this additional component.

What a fabulous opportunity for the students to consider all of the questions we ask as designers – not only the use of the site, but the impact on the users – the emotions evoked by the application of static and dynamic light – and then the practical considerations and limitations of the physical site itself. 

And, unlike a typical design situation, this entire process will come to fruition for the students over a ten day period.  I am looking forward to working with them to achieve this transformation – from conceptualization, to implementation, to realization, and then confirmation and appreciation.  Quite a lot in ten days – and so very worth it!


Lights in Alingsås 2015, about my feelings, expectations and other thoughts

By: Vivi Katarina Henning, Workshop Head Lights in Alingsås 2015 2015-08-20

The little town of Alingsås is well known in the world’s lighting community for its educational workshops. Every year skilful international and renowned designers head workshops to foster the new generations of lighting designers. To be part of Lights in Alingsås as a workshop head is an honour and in a sense a milestone for every lighting designer.

Whether as a student or a workshop head Lights in Alingsås represents a possibility for mutual learning.

The process of developing concepts, testing ideas in full scale with the ability for trial and error, is both educational and highly inspirational. It will be energizing hard work that surely will pay off in the end of the week.

This year’s group of workshop head is a very nice gang. It was a very joyful experience when we had the conceptual meeting in early spring. The overall theme the evolution of light gives a fantastic opportunity to examine the history, culture and philosophy of light and lighting techniques, no matter how you choose to interpret it. The different sites will be captivating for sure.

Lights in Alingsås 2015 will irrefutably be a memorable and truly stimulating experience for everyone who takes part.

I am truly happy and excited! Looking forward to see you there!

Kind regards

Vivi Katarina Hennig, Lighting Designer IALD

What is the secret of light?

By: Marco Palandella & Roberto Corradini, Workshop Head 2015 2015-08-12

On the way to Venice, in a grey early morning before the summer solstice

The train is reaching the city on the water. Grey clouds are promising a big rain to welcome us. The light is light grey, no shadows. Everything seems flat and colours are unsaturated.

It is low tide, the water reflects a white sky but shows the depht contour. The lagoon show itself in a wonderful leaden dark green with little waves made by slow boats. Rain is falling and the play of reflections is doubling the perceived space. Water and sky are only one thing. A plane takes off from Marco Polo’s airport pointing North. To where? North Europe, maybe?

It seems so easy to describe the sensations you have when travelling, but the memories of your past journeys are sometimes soft and details are disappearing.  A colour, a scent, a song can remind you a place or a particular moment in your life.

In the other side in North Italy…

Somewhere on the Monferrato hills

The sun is going down, for the sunset, caressing little towns and villages, all of them rich of Castles and Churches. The dance of the different seasons with fog, rain and sun make this area special for produce good wines and truffles.

Far from the noise of a big city, the silence helps you to appreciate the nature and the human behavior on it.

Light is doing the same with us. 

How we can design a good lighting that let the people feel a connection with that place and that time? What happens to us when light gives us an emotion?

What is the secret of light?

Have you done Lights in Alingsås?

By: Anna Sbokou, Workshop Head Lights in Alingsås 2015 2015-08-03
Lights in Alingsas is an important and dynamic urban event, with a great impact on both the young lighting professionals that participate and the greater lighting industry. It has become somewhat of a reference point when colleagues ask you 'have you done Lights in Alingsas?'.
It's also an offering to the community at large, the people of Alingsas and the visitors that join in from various parts of the world and i'm very proud to be part of the structure for this year. The route is very exciting, full of great opportunities to be creative, inventive, educative and very playful! We are very lucky to have a great group of organisers that care for us, the students, the visitors and the city and every year go to great lengths to plan the event and the workshops.
Lights in Alingsas is a good reminder that light does not stand alone, it requires surfaces and forms and material to be able to present itself, it needs a context, a recipient and of course an audience. And when its paired up with sound and music, the experience is a multi-sensory 'feast'. Transforming the city in such a way can give a new narrative to the life of the community and a whole new perspective on how urban environments can look and feel.
It's an important year for us lighting designers, artists and scientist, as we go through the UNESCO International Year of Light. it's an important year for everyone, as we reflect on the importance of light and it's role in our lives, our environmental awareness, as well as our need for visual interest and comfort.
It's our desire, as well as our responsibility to keep asking for more and for better from our public spaces and this workshop is providing the canvas.
With all that in mind, the team this year has a challenging task to provoke and evoke thoughts and feelings. To provide a platform for young professional to evolve and for people to explore. I am very excited and I look forward to start the process with our participant and visitors It will be intense, it will be creative, it will be an experience!
Thank you Alingsas,


By: Katja Winkelmann, Workshop Head Lights in Alingsås workshop 2015 2015-07-09

The Big Bang – that is where all started. 14 Billion years ago the BIG BANG was the starting point of our universe. 8 Billion years after the big bang the sun was born and with this the basis for all live on earth. Every day the sun provides us with light and energy and influences our lives and our body.  All live on earth, the seasons, the different cultures and also our daily life, our circadian rhythm is affected by the daylight. Living under the sunlight human being have developed and adapted to spectrum of the sun.  The sunlight is the reference for us as human beings and for all other organism.


In the deep sea – where no natural daylight reaches the live under water – there is another natural lighting effect. Some fishes, jellyfishes and other organisms produce their own light. Bioluminescence is the term for light being produced by a living organism.  Algae, bugs, mushrooms and various kinds of other organisms use this effect to scare or warn enemies, or to hide and camouflage themselves in their environment. The effects and the perception of light, from bioluminescence light, via artificial and colored light to sunlight is issue of the Big Bang Sun installation. 


Light with its particular characteristic and phenomenon, effects when refracted by lenses, colored glasses, crystals and other kinds of reflective materials will be shown. Glimmering, flickering, iridescent and sparkling effects in the installation will also show up during the day, while the shimmering presence of bioluminescence will only be visible during the darkness. The future of light is also a small aspect of this installation – how can light be used in a sustainable way – how can sunlight and daylight be transported , collected or how can light be produced – maybe by plants and trees which produce their on light by something like bioluminescence?


I am really looking forward to work with students from all over the world with these very interesting, and at the same time basic and innovative issues. I hope that we can tell a story not only about lighting physics but also about perception of light and emotions – and that we can create and show an interesting installation about the birth of the universe and the sun.

The Evolution of Light

By: Jan Ejhed, Curator of Lights in Alingsås. Prof em Lnu, KTH Lighting Laboratory 2015-06-29

Lights in Alingsås 2015 has a big theme: ‘The Evolution of Light’, from the big bang which was the birth of our solar system ‘The Milky way’ for about 4,5 billion years ago up to our modern high tech age. However an outlook to the future and a reflection of consequences of our modern lifestyle  is perhaps the most essential content of the lighting installations in Alingsås 2015.

It is also one of the reasons why UN / UNESCO worldwide has proclaimed 2015 to the Year of Light, which the Alingsås event is a part of. The UNESCO proclamation is made by the intent to show possibilities, create alternatives, which can contribute to a better future for us and our next generations.

The main question the Lights in Alingsås will make the visitors aware of is how we can use the lighting technology in a smarter way in the future without harmful components, energy waste and reducing the CO2 release.

The new lighting technology by LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and smart control system offers these possibilities and the Alingsås installations will mainly be constructed by this technology.

An example of the assumed capacity of this new technology is that in a near future it will be possible for the I,5 billion people at the earth, who still use fire, oil lamps and candles for lighting can instead get  LED- light, driven by wind and solar energy power.  It should change their life quality dramatically and concurrently reduce the CO2 release considerably in the atmosphere.

The ambition is that the sites in Alingsås 2015 will represent a sequence of short historical fragments considering the development of lighting phenomena and devices, illustrating the humanistic, cultural and social effects of the society from time to time.

And beside the main intention to create an amusing, inspiring and exciting visit at the lit up areas also make us reflecting and take in consideration lighting quality, energy consumption and environmental effects.  Our future and especially the society we will hand over to our children.  

The history of light

By: By Margaretha Stenmark Workshop Manager Lights in Alingsås 2015-06-22

The history of light started about 4.5 billion years ago and the first light was the sun, which has had a huge role in the evolution of the life on earth.

It is still of big importance in our life, especially for us living in Scandinavian who has to live with the darkness for a long period during the winter. Now the summer is here and we are all running out in the sun like happy cows that just are let out of the barn out on green fields.


Soon enough the daytime changes and the nights are getting longer than the days again, but then Lights in Alingsås comes and lit up our evenings during October. But before we can walk around the tour and enjoy the final results of the sites, there is a lot of working hours spent on preparations to make it happen and that´s my part of Lights in Alingsås.


My name is Margaretha Stenmark and I am since this year the Workshop Manager of Lights in Alingsås. Daytime I work at Alingsås Energi as Lighting Designer and works mainly with street-lighting in Alingsås, but also with “Lights” as we use to say.

Last year was my first year and it was the kind of experience that you have to see with your own eyes to understand - it was chaos but still with some kind of structure.


As Workshop Manager, I´m very glad that I have the experience from last year and luckily I´m not alone preparing things for the workshop-week. By my side I have a qualified team who is doing a great work. 

At the moment we are working on getting all equipment that will be used to be here when it starts in September and it´s loads of equipment that we borrows or gets from our generous sponsors.

During the workshop-week there are about 120 people working to get the sites ready and it´s amazing to follow the process from beginning to final result.


Hopefully the sun is shining all workshop-week it makes everything so much easier.

Until then, I wish you all a wonderful summer and take care of the sun-light! 

And it all started with a big bang...

By: Angelica Larsson Event Manager Lights in Alingsås 2015-06-08

..It's kind of the same feeling when the workshop of Lights in Alingsås starts. Lighting designers, students from all over the world, organization team, technicians, partners, student electricians from the local school, teachers, professors, composer, sound technicians... we're going from zero to hundred in just some seconds.

So, who am I in all this? My name is Angelica and I'm the event manager of Lights in Alingsås. This will be my fifth year working with Lights in Alingsås and I still love it. Before the workshop starts, I feel like a child before Christmas. What surprises will we get this year? Lights in Alingsås is different in that way compared to other light festivals. We don't know how the installations will look until the same day as the grand opening. Just like Christmas, we get this lovely gift from the students and their workshop heads and we get the opportunity to display the results during the event in October. So, a big thank you for that to all the workshop participants throughout the past 15 years of Lights in Alingsås.

Everything comes out of light, right? No light, no life. So this year we will celebrate light and The Year of Light by working with the theme "Evolution of Light". We have this lovely professor from KTH in Stockholm, Jan Ejhed, helping us with the massive work of collecting facts throughout the history, discoveries and science about light. So this year's route will take the visitors on a time travel through light and it may end up all the way into the future. So what's in the future? We don't know, but perhaps the children do. Come and have a look in October - maybe you'll get some ideas.

Another nice project that we're happy to be a part of this year is The Little Sun. Artist Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen have developed the Little Sun solar LED lamp to get clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.2 billion people worldwide without access to electricity. Every Little Sun sold delivers one Little Sun to an African community without electricity at a local affordable price. So, this year we're selling Little Sun's here in Alingsås in order to put some additional light onto other places in the world. If you don't already have one you should definitely get one. They're perfect for camping, nighttime walks or you can even use it as a neckless as I do!

This blog will lift people involved in the project Lights in Alingsås to give you all an insight of the work behind the event of Lights in Alingsås. Next person to write is Margaretha Stenmark from Alingsås Energi who is the project manager of the workshop. During the summer you´ll meet this year’s lighting designers and some other key persons for this year. This blog will keep you updated and give you the latest about the workshop, the students and everything else happening here in Alingsås connected to light. It's an exciting year of light in front of us and we are all welcome to join the journey. See you in the end of September. I wish you all a great summer.