Congratulations to Nia Gibbs (Interior Design, ‘18) for winning the Most Outstanding Presentation award in this year’s Robert Bruce Thompson National Lighting Competition!
This competition, the largest Lighting Fixture Design competition in the United States, invites work from the best of the best in Interior Design, with its own committee recommending entrants be of undergraduate senior or graduate level. Students from myriad programs compete, including architectural engineering programs, architecture programs, interior design programs, theatre, and industrial design programs.
No stranger to this competition, Ringling College Interior Design has produced the most winners in the history of the Robert Bruce Thompson National Lighting Competition.
Nia’s Artist Statement
For this year’s RBT lighting competition, we were challenged with creating a floor lamp for a modern art museum located in Washington State. The main challenge was creating a light fixture that would not only be a statement piece and light the lobby of the museum, but would also be durable enough to move and lift for artwork changes. I believe this year’s challenge was more about making a sculptural statement piece that complemented the modern qualities of the museum, rather than only focusing on the specific lighting needs.
My design, INFINITY, symbolizes the joy of being alive, and the spirit of those lost that remain alive in our hearts. The fixture itself is an abstract version of the word ALIVE, with each fixture representing a letter. This fixture comes in separate parts that snap together, which allows for a greater use of flexibility within the museum. Each part can also be customized in different sizes for the user’s particular need, and to serve other functions in the museum. INFINITY is user-friendly can be seen as an art installation that people can walk through and touch, and is easily movable for changes. The material is a transparent metal that allows illumination changes based on daylight levels, making it energy efficient. Color-changing OLED panels are built into this fixture, allowing light to emit from 360°, creating a soft, mesmerizing glow that is able to change colors depending on the event taking place. The CRI value is 85+, in order to ensure quality lighting for the artwork as well as visual comfort.
My professor, Seongwoo Nam, was an instrumental part in this competition, and he did a wonderful job of preparing us and carefully helping each student along the way. Our class brainstormed and sketched numerous ideas before settling on the one we thought would work best for this modern museum, and Seongwoo spent so much time, care, and effort with each one of us, making sure that we were proud of our final design. Without the help and care from my professor, we wouldn’t have had the outcome that we did, and I thank him for that.
I am so proud to have been apart of this RBT lighting competition and to have walked away with the Most Outstanding Presentation award. It means so much to me to be recognized in the midst of such high-quality work that was entered, and this is mainly a credit to Ringling students and instructors and all of our hard work.
View Nia’s presentation.