My PLDC 2019 in Rotterdam

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Grateful. Enlighted. Supported. Inspired. My experience “It’s all about the people.”

A week after PLDC 2019 in Rotterdam and it is time to reflect and put some thoughts and emotions together. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to every single person who influenced these three days. What an AMAZING experience this has been! 

Personal highlights///

Unforgettable 1// WOMEN IN LIGHTING PECHA KUCHA sharing the stage with good friends and inspiring lighting colleagues around the world has been an uplifting experience. It was inspirational to listen to their personal lighting stories and challenges in a fully packed room with male and female WIL supporters.

Thank you Cristina Martinez, Claudia Paz, Paulina Villalobos, Sabine De Schutter, Alejandra Ulloa Leiton, Rayane Belkadi, Menekse Seyma Kaya, Veronika Mayerbock, Annemieke Casteelen and Juliette Nielsen.

PechaKucha @pldc2019
KatiaKolovea at wil PechaKucha

You can listen to my 6.20′ first-ever Pecha Kucha experience on the minute: 1:22:47 (Yes, I was the very very last one :-P) Also, if you don’t have a 1h30 minutes to see the whole event, and just want to laugh and get a quick overview of WIL project, make sure you check the first five minutes for the most unconventional Pecha Kucha session by Light Collective.

Unforgettable 2// Being on stage in front of hundreds of people sharing my insights on CPD and mentorship. Thank you, Louise Ritter, for the invitation to represent the young generation of LDs at the plenary session PLDC 2019. 

Unforgettable 3// ‘The Challenge’ presentation PLDC 2019 – EMOTIONAL (Yes, I almost cried on stage when I experienced the moment below>>/ EMPOWERING/ and very promising for the future. STAY TUNED. An open call for the next step of this project will be released in the following months and we will do it TOGETHER. Thank you Spacecannon and Riccardo Croce for believing in my research and be on board for the next step. 

The Challenge PLDC 2019 Katia Kolovea
SpaceCannon_supporter _Katia Kolovea

Huge thanks to all my friends and colleagues who attended the talk, it was a pleasure to be standing in front of all of you. Special thanks to my amazing coach Rune Nielsen for his trust and guidance this year and my KTH Thesis mentor Thomas Schielke for being always on my side giving me valuable feedback on every step. 

Unforgettable 4// A genuine and enlightened discussion with one of my role models from the lighting community, Tapio Rosenius for the Linus Lopez upcoming project -Spread the Light- talking about light and communication. Thank you, Linus, Tapio, and Alejandra for sharing this moment together. Looking forward to see our video at

Tapio Rosenius and Katia Kolovea for Spread the Light

>WOMEN IN LIGHTING// Feeling honored and proud, listening to Sharon Stammers giving an honest and beautiful talk for the Women in Lighting Project, sitting next to Sharon Maghnagi and Martin Lupton in a room full of WIL ambassadors and fe/male supporters. Go team! This project has no glass ceiling and no sky limit either! We are just at the beginning 🙌🏻 

Sharon Stammers PLDC 2019

A lot of fun on the WIL stand. My contribution to #inspirationisgenderblind online challenge will be up soon. What a great support from FORMA LIGHTING team! Sharon Maghnagi, Pietro Filippo Ferrara, Christine Kuhne, Karen Owens, Lyudmila Livitskaya. You guys are AWESOME! It has been a pleasure working with you all. 

Katia with Pietro and Karen at WIL STAND
WIL supporters

>Greta Smetoniute – What a wonderful person. Her research together with Matt Waugh’s about applying circular economy to lighting equipment is a great example of what we can do by merging our knowledge and expertise as lighting designers and work together with the manufacturers with a common goal to protect our environment. There is no planet B and we all must realize the consequences of our profession. Let’s take action together.

Greta Smetoniute pldc 2019

>The Challenge PLDC 2019 // congratulations to every single one of the participants, Ece Ozerdem, Jennifer Tomkins, Jessica Collier, Valeria Bencardino and Svetlana Degtiareva. I learned so much from all of you and it has been a pleasure sharing this competition together. A big applause for Jessica Collier for her valuable research on metrics! GO GIRL 💪🏻

The Challenge PLDC 2019 speaking competition participants

>GALADINNER PLDC 2019 // What is immersive for you? I am immersed when I forget where I am…when I feel transported to a parallel world. This is what happened to me in the gala dinner and I am sure that all of the LDs who attended completely agree with me :-). Many congratulations to ACTLD team for an excellent show. Thank you Koert, Lucía, Luc, Jordi, Julie, Christopher, Joeri, Wauter for making this happen ✨👏🏻

Lighting Design by ACTLD AT PLDC 2019

>Kerem Asfuroglu. Kerem has been a huge inspiration for me as a designer (I am sure you have also been amazed by his lighting sketches!). His contribution to the profession with “The Vessel” charity project in Gambia is invaluable and I am a proud supporter of this project. Congratulations Kerem for receiving the PLDR Award at Large. 

Kerem Asforuglou receives award at large PLDC 2019

>PARTY time// Partying in UV light together with beloved worldwide friends and colleagues. Thank you Cristina for the “masterpiece on my face 😂❤️”

Cristina Martinez in UV party pldc 2019

Overall… If I can save my whole experience in 6 words I will say that;

it’s all about the people

UV gala dinner PLDC 2019

This Positive and welcoming energy from the people I know well and from the people I just met will be unforgettable. Together we can all go far 🙂

Thank you all! Till next time 

PS. Kudos to all great photographers who shared these wonderful moments with me. You know who you are – thank you all for sharing!!

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