Ringling ID Students Win 3 of 5 Robert Bruce Thompson Light Fixture Design Awards

    Ringling ID Students Win 3 of 5 Robert Bruce Thompson Light Fixture Design Awards

    September 18, 2008 - Every year that Ringling College interior design students have participated in the Robert Bruce Thompson Annual Student Light Fixture Design Competition, they have had at least one winner, and this year is no exception.  However, this year Ringling students not only won one of the esteemed awards, but three!

    This year’s competition design problem was designing an elegant, ADA compliant sconce to light guest room corridors for a luxury hotel chain.  The entries also had to comply with multiple size and energy restrictions, as well as consider the aesthetics of the design. 


    Second Place - Award of Distinction – Rachel Prager, Junior, ID
    The competition’s second prize, the Award of Distinction (plus $3,000 cash and a plaque), was awarded to Rachel Prager for her “Eternal Flame” wall sconce design.  Her design used LED lighting and motion sensor technology to make the sconce brighten as people approach and auto-dim when no one is near, to save energy.  She also used quartz in her design to help control the glow of the light source at eye level as well as designed the piece for easy maintenance.  The judges praised her work, saying it was “innovative, functional, elegant, and energy efficient” and gave her high marks for her design’s sustainability. 

    Rachel had many great things to say about the competition: “I found the Robert Bruce Thompson Light Fixture Design Competition to be challenging yet very rewarding. The actual design process was much more difficult than expected because you sometimes have to interpret what the judges might be expecting. It does help you to strive to do even better and design something more unique and innovative, to think outside of the box. In the end, it is very exciting to be able to represent Ringling College and our Interior Design department in such a prestigious competition. I am very thankful for the recognition and overall experience." 

    Rachel's lighting project, "Eternal Flame."


    Citation Award for Technical Achievement – Elizabeth Langford, Junior, ID
    The competition’s Technical Achievement Award (plus $500 cash and a plaque) was awarded to Elizabeth Langford for her “OverSEA” wall sconce design.  Elizabeth’s design addressed her concerns about safety by guiding guests to their rooms, offering protection from dark corridors, and secure access by featuring a fingerprint scanner on the guests’ key card that links to the sconce beside their room, which then rotates and illuminates the room door handle when a correct fingerprint scan for the room is read.

    When asked about the competition, Elizabeth replied that she had to do a lot of research to come up with the technology to accompany her design.  The fingerprint scanning feature was important to her for safety reasons and since it is something that is used more and more in everyday life, it is something that could easily be incorporated in applications such as this.

    Elizabeth's lighting project, "OverSEA."


    Citation Award for Innovative Concept – Monica White, Junior, ID
    The competition’s Innovative Concept Award (plus $500 cash and a plaque) was awarded to Monica White for her “Skyline” wall sconce design.  So named for it’s resemblance to a city skyline, this sconce’s design offers sleek elegance with a versatile mounting which can be positioned horizontal or vertical to meet the needs of the atmosphere. 

    Monica’s greatest challenge for this project was not the design itself, but figuring out how to make the piece operable with the moving pieces.  She opted to use a magnet system to carry the electrical current to the design’s nickel and copper pieces, allowing it to be used in a variety of different positions.  To Monica, this piece is truly universal and very functional – a quality she tries to convey in all of her designs.

    Monica's lighting project, "Skyline."



    Congratulations to Rachel, Elizabeth, and Monica!  All winners’ work will be published in Architectural Lighting magazine.

    This competition is administered by The Robert Bruce Thompson Trust, which was formed solely for the purpose of conducting the competition.

    Bruce Thompson was a twenty-five year veteran of the lighting industry. He had a broad background in the profession having worked in theatre, retail, as a factory representative, and concluding his career in manufacturing as vice president of sales and marketing. Throughout his career Bruce emphasized design and innovation. He was also an accomplished light fixture designer. He established this independent competition to encourage creativity and education in light fixture design and manufacturing.

    For more information about the competition, visit http://www.rbtcompetition.org/.