Watch a Video of the Winners and Honorable Mentions


Browse All Submissions in the Event Gallery

Keynote Speaker

Sang has been a member of the Cline Bettridge Bernstein team since 2001. He became an Associate of the firm in 2007 and was promoted to the role of Senior Associate at the start of 2013. Sang brings to CBBLD’s project work a unique combination of strength in design leadership, artistic talent and technical excellence.

His work includes lighting design projects of almost every type – master plans, hotels, museums, churches, corporate towers, office interiors, science labs, university campuses and landscapes/exteriors. A number of these projects are winners of lighting awards, including a Lumen Citation for the Use of Light to Transform Architecture, an Architectural Lighting Magazine Citation for Best Use of Daylighting, two IES Illumination Awards and an IIDA Award of Merit.

He graduated from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture, then continued on to focus his studies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Lighting Design. Sang was also the grand prize winner of the first IESNYC Student Lighting Competition held in 2000 and served on a competition jury in 2012.

In his keynote address, “Light in My Memory,” he spoke of how he has watched the lighting industry evolve over the past 15 years since winning the competition, and reflected on the journey that got him where he is today.

2015 Competition Judges

This year’s jurors, all accomplished professionals working in the fields of lighting and architecture, are past winners of the competition

Amer Maleh
Winner 2005
Founder and Principal,
Global Account Director, Feelux Lighting

Giselle Mercado
Winner 2001

Lighting Designer and Associate, Cooley Monato Studio

Paul Stein
2nd Place Winner 2008
Project Designer, Goldstein Hill & West Architects

Kacie Stigliano
Honorable Mention 2009
Specification Sales Representative, Specification Lighting Sales
Member of the IESNYC Board of Managers and Coordinator of the IESNYC’s Emerging Professionals Initiative

Student Competition
Frequently Asked Questions

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2015 Committee

Erin Gussert, Kugler Ning Lighting Design
Board Advisor:
Shaun Fillion, RAB Lighting
Sofia Arredondo, Kugler Ning Lighting Design
Maria Dautant, Horton Lees Brogden
David Del Rosario, Cosentini Associates
Kass Negash, W. Allen Engineering PLLC
June Park, Horton Lees Brogden

Winners of The 2015 New York City Student Lighting Competition


As in previous years, students are challenged to apply their education, skills, and imagination in order to take an elusive concept and transform it into a three-dimensional illuminated visual experience. This year’s theme, “Residual Sparks,” challenged students to build a 3-dimensional study on how light is interwoven with time and memory and how what we have seen is imprinted in memory and affects how we view the world.

The Competition closed with a record-breaking 195 applicants from more schools than ever before: Columbia University, Cooper Union, Cornell’s School of Architecture (New York City campus), Fordham University, New York School of Interior Design, Parsons The New School for Design, and Pratt Institute.


2015 Winners Projects


Nura Venta, Sergio Taveras, and Selin Ergeneli
MFA Lighting Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Instructors: Nelson Jenkins, Davidson Norris, Glenn Shrum

Title: denCITY
“denCITY” is composed of fabric shaped by volumetric forms. It evokes a sense of time and memory at the large scale seen in the annual seasons, and at the same time, at a more focused scale of light throughout the day. The project incorporated two layers of light, with one more diffused and in the background, providing an ambient glow, and the other more direct and focused. This light acts as the sun from sunrise to sunset against the static nature of New York, a dense city, and a forest. The project was designed to be open to interpretation, and some viewers perceived it to show the changing seasons, while others thought it to be the sunrise to sunset phenomena.


Seung Jun Kwak
Project Title: People Come and Go
BID Industrial Design, Pratt Institute
Instructor: Scott Vandervoort

Title: People Come and Go
“People Come and Go” is a silhouette of a person on a flat wall representing people no longer present, but who vaguely stay in his memory.


Walker Tovin
BID Industrial Design, Pratt Institute
Instructor: Willy Schwenzfeier

Walker Tovin’s (untitled) third-prize winning project attempts to render the contemplative nature of memory itself, recalling the times he spent as a child looking out of the rear window of a car and watching the oncoming headlights, and the rain as it slid down the glass.


Matias Botero
Project Title: Mirage
BFA Product Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Instructor: Andrea Ruggiero


Wookjae Choi
Project Title: Black Box
BID Industrial Design, Pratt Institute
Instructor: Molly Roberts


Matthew McCarthy
MPS Lighting Design, New York School of Interior Design
Instructor: John Katimaris


Michael Phillips
BFA Product Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Instructor: Andrea Ruggiero


Chun Hsiang Yang
BID Industrial Design, Pratt Institute
Instructor: Scott Vandervoort

About the IESNYC Student Competition

One of the goals of the New York City Section of the IES is to promote education and greater awareness about the importance of lighting and the Student Competition is one of the contributors towards these efforts. Since 2000, they have invited students from New York City Art and Design schools to participate in a city wide design competition. The competition empowers students to explore light as an art form, demonstrate light as a stimulus, and prove light as a valuable medium. Every year, students in lighting, architecture, interior design, art, product design, photography and electrical engineering programs have submitted projects, resulting in a diverse showcase of ideas and interpretations on a single theme. The IESNYC Student Competition has been incorporated into the curriculum lighting classes in several area schools and has piqued an interest in lighting design of close to a thousand design students to date.