University of Michigan.
Apoorva was named joint winner of the sixth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2018/19.
She is in the process of completing her second Masters degree, in Architecture, Design and Health at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Having undertaken the lighting Masters program at Wismar, she further deepened her passion for lighting design with an internship at Office for Visual Interaction Inc. in New York City. Her interests lie in the psychological aspects of design, and her current research aims at a deeper understanding of proprioception (the perception of the position and movement of the human body in space), and the tacit knowledge of a space, by exploring how lighting design elements, visual aesthetics and kinesthesia affect our mental health, including mood and stress. An important aspect of her work considers how the perception of lighting might affect mental health conditions such as autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia and migraine. To culminate her thesis, Apoorva is assembling a kinetic experience space and the scholarship will be used to assist with the costs of creating this.
London Metropolitan University.
Merethe was named joint winner of the sixth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2018/19.
Merethe is studying for a Professional Diploma in Architecture RIBA Part II at the Sir John Cass School of Architecture, London Metropolitan University. Her passion for lighting was cultivated as an intern at 31/44 Architects, working on, amongst other projects, the lighting of the Barbican Frobisher Rooms. Merethe believes nuanced lighting is critical to enabling any built environment or habited space to function comfortably and enjoyably. However, her deepest passion lies with the transformative, immersive and interactive aspects of light that enable intuitive connection and communication with people. Her final thesis project is highly topical – an installation to light an exhibition of a sperm whale skeleton, designed to educate viewers on the detrimental effects of plastic in the ocean. For the project, animated light will be used to simulate the effects of the plastics through 3D scanned environments and artefacts, creating an immersive VR environment. Sensors will respond to visitor movements with floating projections designed to increase the emotional impact on visitors. The scholarship will be used to fund this thesis project.
Queen’s University, Belfast.
Katie was named joint winner of the fifth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2017/18.
Her passion lies in rediscovering the ‘alchemy of light’, a term she uses to describe a rich understanding of how light evokes mood and influences the experience of space – something she feels has been lost in our obsession over light levels and performance. Her exploration has involved modelling a scene from a seminal Ingmar Bergman film, in an effort to deconstruct the lighting composition, distilling the relationships that produce the mies-en-scene and give the film such character. She has studied the work of James Turrell and Luis Barragán and the way in which they carefully control light and use it to manage the effect of a space on people. Her final thesis concerns the design of a music school centred on light, landscape and views, sited on the north coast of Ireland where the light is grey and even.
Katie plans to use her scholarship to help with the costs of completing her Masters, and in particular to create the models necessary to portray her ideas of the project.
Azadeh Omidfar Sawyer
University of Michigan.
Azadeh was named joint winner of the fifth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2017/18.
She has a focus on architecture that is highly integrative in design and performance, and her studies focus on how we can improve our approach to daylighting design, to balance occupant comfort and interest with sustainability concerns. Her Masters thesis was completed at Harvard University, using advanced modelling technologies to create integrated ornamental façade designs that increase indoor daylighting. Her techniques showed a 35% reduction in energy use compared to ASHRAE standards, and her paper won the Daniel L. Shodek Award for Technology and Sustainability at the GSD. For her doctoral work, Azadeh’s perspective has shifted to people: exploring the relationship between the objective quantifiable characteristics of daylight and the occupant’s subjective visual impressions.
Azadeh plans to use the scholarship to travel to visit the buildings she has modelled as part of her work, to gain further perspective in comparing the simulated results with the actual physical environments.
Royal College of Art, London.
Eleanor was named joint winner of the fourth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2016/17.
Her passion for light stems from the belief that unique conditions of light are responsible for how we engage and experience our surroundings. Her post-graduate work explores the idea of colour perception as a consequence of light reacting to surface formation and shifts in observation. Most recently she has designed a theoretical museum in which Exhibition Road, South Kensington becomes itself the exhibit. Visitors following the trajectory of the street dwell in zones of curated light – both natural and artificial – that create a ‘flow experience’, revealing colour through architectural structure, façade materiality and lighting design.
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
Martyna was named joint winner of the fourth annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2016/17.
She believes that light is both a generator of atmosphere, and highly influential to the human condition. During the course of her studies to date she has focused on the contribution of light to wellbeing and health, including a competition winning entry for the Hospital Extension in Poznan, Poland. This project maximised the use of natural light in order to improve both healing and mood, achieved by the use of light wells and a customisable light filtration system of metal shutters. Her designs also focus on unique narrative and experiential spaces. Her latest work uses light as a vector in design, via time based self-regulating light sequences that interact with form and materiality to create atmospheric moments.
University of Sheffield.
Charlotte was named the third winner of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2015/16.
The judges were impressed by the maturity and sensitivity of Charlotte’s application, which conveyed her passion for the potential within architecture and lighting to tackle large social issues such as inclusivity, crime prevention and community cohesion. As Charlotte explains: “I believe good lighting design should be accessible to all, being designed and provided for all members of society, from school children to the homeless. Each of my architecture projects at university has tackled different issues of lighting, including crime prevention and inclusion, the tyranny of commercial supermarket lighting and the role of lighting in creating spiritual environments at the end of life.”
John Roake, Chairman of the JSSF commented:
We are delighted to present the third JSSF scholarship to Charlotte Eley. We all agreed that Charlotte’s work is representative of a growing movement in the fields of architecture and lighting design, where priority is given to considering ways in which designers can help dramatically improve the lives of those who often do not have immediate access to well thought-through, practical and sustainable solutions. It was her social responsibility which shone through which we thought made her deserving of support and encouragement.
Cashel F. L. Brown
Edinburgh Napier University.
Cashel was named the second winner of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2014/15.
Chairman of the JSSF John Roake spoke on behalf of the Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund:
We are delighted to have made this second award. Whilst the selection process was every bit as demanding as our inaugural award in 2013, it was a unanimous decision to offer a scholarship to Cashel Brown. As a graduate architect who is now engaged in a postgraduate course in lighting design, Cashel absolutely represents the quality and type of student this award was originally aimed at. We have no doubt that the financial support will help him immensely as he makes his way in his chosen profession as a Lighting Designer.
Cashel Brown commented:
“I feel extremely privileged to have received the second Jonathan Speirs Scholarship, and intend to use the opportunity to fuel my passion for lighting design.”
Parsons The New School For Design.
Alex Stewart was announced the winner of the inaugural Jonathan Speirs Scholarship in 2013/14.
He comments: “The benefits since I received the scholarship have been numerous and varied. The recognition through assorted publications has provided a platform for conversation with lighting professionals, and an opportunity to engage with the profession in very unique way. The scholarship money has provided an incredible boost, not just in terms of financial loan mitigation, but also in assisting with material and model exploration. Because of this, I have been able to take on a prestigious internship without the burden of financial concern.”