07.11. – 11.11.22
17:00 – 21:00 h
Essen GER, CET
07.11. – 11.11.22
11:00 – 15:00 h
Rochester USA, EST
Vignelli Center for Design Studies • RIT, Rochester USA

Embassy Room
and via Zoom (request link for participation)

Things you will need
  • bring a lamp that can be taken apart for experimenting
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Cutting Knive
  • Cutting Mat
  • Selection of Glues
  • Rulers
  • Cutting Rulers
  • Voltage Tester

Light is an elementary basic need, not only for humans. In this workshop, each student will investigate how these needs can be met, designing a lighting device, considering the ecological dilemma of the 21st century and how the Vignellis or Ingo Maurer possibly would have dealt with these challenges.

“How would the Vignellis and Ingo Maurer have tackled these challenges with design today?”

Workshop participants are asked to exemplify through their design of a lighting device, if and how ideas of the great designers of the 20th century are still useful today. »If you can’t find it, design it.« – Is this quote of Lella and Massimo Vignelli still applicable today? How can it be interpreted, regarding the questions of sustainability in a world of surplus of goods with diminishing resources? The german light designer Ingo Maurer said »It's important to me to work in a way that I don't one day stand beside myself, looking over my shoulder and wondering: What am I actually doing here?«

The very clear Vignelli ethos and the experimental creative spirit of Ingo Maurer are compared and internalized in this workshop. If Lella, Massimo and Ingo were here today, how would they face the design challenges of the 21st century? It will be the task to design a light object either in the “Vignelli- or the Maurer- way” and translate their and the students own approach to sustainable thinking into an idea for a lighting concept.

Comparable to a commissioned work, the students will receive a design brief to define the given conditions for their design tasks. For comparative results within a limited time, students will have to choose from a few proposed fields of lighting applications "in liminality" for their design developments. They will be offered a set of materials to work with experimentally to examine the possibilities, to filter and sift through their ideas and thoughts as in a light design laboratory.

The gained knowledge will be implemented in the design of a light- or a lighting concept. For this the students will communicate first drafts using design strategic techniques and visualization skills. The ideas and drafts are discussed in dialogue with the teachers and all workshop participants and in the next step, transformed into three-dimensional lighting objects. They will use such techniques as “dirty prototyping”, “mock-ups” and other forms of design models.

The workshop and its results will be disseminated within the research project “Future Design Perspectives – International Ambassadors” and published for access by the International Design community. There will be presentations in exhibitions or at congresses.

A reciprocal Design Workshop will be held by Future Design Ambassadors of RIT in May 2023 at Folkwang University of the Arts.

The design workshop under the moderation of International Student Ambassadors Celina Kroder and Alina Rogge deals with the question of the relevance of the ideas of modernism for the challenges of the 21st century reflecting the ethos of Massimo and Lella Vignelli as American/Italian Designers and Ingo Maurer as a German Designer and their ideas about good design.
The design topic being LIGHT AND LIMINALITY centers the design work around transitions from dark into light, around sustainable and renewable forms of energy and long-lasting solutions for light and its use in areas of liminality.

© Ingo Maurer
© Lella and Massimo Vignelli
© Celina Kroder, Alina Rogge
© Celina Kroder, Alina Rogge
© Celina Kroder, Alina Rogge
© Celina Kroder, Alina Rogge


Project management
Sebastian Goldschmidtböing
Josh Owen
Ambassadors Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, GER
Ambassadors Vignelli Center for Design Studies RIT, Rochester, USA
Zaheer Shujayee