World-renowned architectural lighting designer Rogier van der Heide will headline the May 7 - 9, 2006 "Festival of Lights" program sponsored by Acuity Brands Lighting (ABL). Van der Heide is an associate director and global leader with Arup Lighting, a worldwide architectural and natural lighting design service studio.

"We are pleased and excited that Rogier van der Heide accepted our invitation to be the Keynote Speaker during our Festival of Lights," says ABL's Jimalee Dakin, Festival director. "I had the opportunity to hear him present his Radiance Award winning design at the IALD conference in Alexandria, Va., and I was instantly struck by his brilliance in art, design, and technology. His experience and expertise will inspire all who attend the Festival of Lights."

The upcoming "Festival of Lights" is the fourth such event hosted by Acuity Brands Lighting and its Atlanta-area headquarters' campus. The program provides two days of intensive training and field work for selected specifiers interested in expanding their knowledge of light and color in outdoor environments. Fashioned after the annual "Festival of Lights" celebration in Lyon, France, the Acuity Brands Lighting workshop culminates with a spectacular nighttime lighting display as teams of participants unveil their final projects during the last night of the program.

Van der Heide is widely recognized as a leader in the field of creative and independent lighting design. He has been a recipient of the Lighting Designer of the Year Award, an Edison Award of Excellence, two Edison Awards of Merit, three International Illumination Design Awards, the Royal Institute of British Architecture Award and a British Lighting Design Award. Among his clients are museums, theme parks, retail companies, and multinationals.

Most recently, van der Heide worked closely with the architect, Renzo Piano, on the 177,000-square foot expansion of the High Museum in Atlanta. The project's most striking design feature is a special roof system with 1,000 skylights or "light scoops" designed to capture northern light and filter it into the galleries below. The skylights consist of curved aluminum sails that provide sun shading, a sloped glass layer and a five-foot-deep shaped tube integrated into the gallery ceiling.

Contact local Acuity Brands Lighting sales representatives for more information and to register for the program.