On a very cold December 13 in Austria, a group of young architects and lighting students, along with other lighting industry professionals from the region, gathered at the University of Innsbruck’s School of Architecture to hear one of the lighting industry’s top designers.

Canadian Luc La Fortune, LD for Cirque du Soleil, among other projects, was on hand to share inspiration as well as his knowledge of lighting design. With an audience of young architects and lighting students before him, La Fortune’s premise was to convey to students the power of lighting. Many of those students came to the seminar with their own lighting design projects, which he had the opportunity to comment on.

"This was not a teaching opportunity per se," commented La Fortune, "but a chance to share my experiences and thoughts, to engage the audience in a discussion of lighting. I find that many young lighting students know the fixtures quite well but have missed out on the inspirational aspects of lighting. Many of them have been taught outdated theories that have more to do with illumination and little to do with design. I want to present the possibility of more abstract concepts and designs in lighting. We need to create inspired designers and not just lighting technicians."

Meanwhile, outside the University, attendees could witness firsthand the power of light as some 25 Martin Exterior 600 fixtures illuminated the building's facade.