Luminale 2012 – Best Design Events | Latest Design News, Upcoming Design Events

Luminale 2012



Luminale 2012

Biennale of Lighting Culture
(15 – 20 April 2012)

As in previous years, Luminale 2012 – Biennale of Lighting Culture – will be held concurrently with Light+Building, The World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture and Technology, in Frankfurt am Main and extend the fair into the evening and night from 15 to 20 April 2012. A bus line will link the various attractions throughout the city. Streets and squares, skyscrapers and churches, museums and galleries will be presented in a new light. Luminal curator Helmut Bien expects around 140,000 ‘genuine’ visitors (plus more than three million ‘contacts’ with commuters and passers-by): “Light+Building visitors and exhibitors from all over the world and people from the region enjoy the glamour of the illuminations, the hustle and bustle at the night-time venues and the new lighting ideas by architects, artists and designers. Regular guests have been calling for weeks now to ask when the programme will be published.” From 22 March 2012, it will be available as a download from and, from April, in printed form in the various cultural institutes.

This is the 6th time that Luminale will cast its spell on Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region. After the rapid growth of the early years, it has levelled off with around 170 events and thus ranks among Europe’s established and important architecture and design festivals. Luminale puts the spotlight on Frankfurt and the region. Thanks to the combination of Light + Building and Luminale, target groups as varied as industrial companies, artisans, the retail and wholesale trades, research, the property business and the cultural scene can find everything they need together at the same place and time – discussions, business transactions, inspiration and the good feeling that the sector’s products are needed for the ecological conversion of society.

During Luminale, everything in the region between Aschaffenburg and Mainz and Offenbach and Darmstadt revolves around lighting. The focal points are Frankfurt with around 100 lighting events and Offenbach with around 40. Special bus services will operate in both cities. In Frankfurt, the Palmengarten botanical gardens will be the centre of attraction with installations by international lighting artists (London, Amsterdam, Lyon) and projects by Offenbach University of Design (hfg Offenbach). In Offenbach, the lighting projects will be clustered around the Heyne Fabrik on the banks of the River Main; in Mainz, around the citadel high above the city. Additionally, a ‘light ship’ will tie up in Frankfurt, not far from the Städel Museum, and be the site of an interactive lighting installation by Mainz University of Applied Sciences (Sponsor: Zumtobel).

The trend towards projections on buildings and interactive installations continues at Luminale 2012 with the digitalisation of light first presented at Luminale several years ago now having an ever greater impact. In the immediate vicinity of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, visitors will be able to see and hear an expansive ambient light & sound installation (Philipp Geist), which is likely to be the visitor magnet of Luminale 2012. The media façades from the Zeil-Galerie to the Sparda-Bank, the illuminations on Tower 185 and the Tishman Speyer construction site at Taunustor show the entire spectrum of creative options. The Media Facades Summit (keynote speaker: Ben van Berkel) will bring together the crème de la crème of the world’s leading players in the Städel Academy. And, in the middle of the Hauptwache, the OVO of Belgium’s ACT lighting designer group, sponsored by Osram and Traxon, is sure to be a Luminale eye catcher. Just around the corner, at Börsenplatz, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) is sponsoring a Media Igloo programmed by the software artists of Frankfurt’s Meso Group. In contrast, Italian artist Fabrizo Corneli, will compose ephemeral image sculptures using only (day) light and shadows and no electronics in the Archaeological Museum.

With the installations typical of Luminale, artists and designers explore the potential of control equipment, sensors and software and thus test the technologies that enable the industry to develop energy-saving and highly efficient products. Artistic endeavour and industrial applications interact and provide mutual inspiration. Luminale acts as a lighting laboratory that also makes demands on the spectators. Unlike any other lighting event, Luminale attracts attention worldwide and is distinguished by an audience of highly professional visitors in Frankfurt for Light+Building.

The hopes of ‘green energy’ are pinned on OLEDs – organic LEDs. The Fraunhofer Institute has been awarded the 2011 German Future Prize, Germany’s leading award for tomorrow’s technology, for its OLEDs. The Fraunhofer scientists will be showing their pioneering innovations in the ‘Galerie’ of the Palmengarten botanical gardens.

Luminale is well on the way to being a green-city festival that promotes and opens exemplary buildings to the public. For example, the Energy Department of the City of Frankfurt will once again hold climate tours of Frankfurt, the passive house and green tower capital of Germany. Sustainability is also a key aspect of the work of Mainova@Luminale 2012 award winner Katharina Berndt who will permanently illuminate the co-generation power station in the Kurt-Schumacher-Strasse with her silhouette lighting.

Luminale is now one of the classic major events in Frankfurt. It is unparalleled in terms of international participation and the mood and atmosphere are unique. In the early spring, when the temperature rises and people begin to breathe out and venture outdoors again, Luminale stands for the annual reawakening.

Press conference: Palmengarten, 10.00 hrs, 22 March 2012

A bus line that runs in 10 minute intervals, connects the events. Departure and final stop is at the bus stop at the fairgrounds city entrance. First departure is at 18:00 h, last departure at 23:50 h.


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