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BAC Student Chinwendu Ibe Wins Travel Scholarship Student Competition

Chinwendu Ibe

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is proud to announce that Chinwendu Ibe, a third year Master of Interior Architecture student, was awarded a travel scholarship through Designers Lighting Forum of New England (DLF-NE) to attend LIGHTFAIR International in Philadelphia in May 2019.

Each year, the DLF-NE hosts a competition for students, asking them to answer a question through design. This year the competition asked, "What is the culture of light? How can the experience of light differ across cultures? How does the meaning of light change and evoke different feelings across lighting projects in the world?"

Chinwendu first heard about this year's competition through the Office of Student Life weekly email sent to BAC students, and was immediately inspired to enter. Her presentation took viewers on a journey around the world.

"I wanted my audience to travel with me starting from my home country of Nigeria, and end up where light took us," says Chinwendu. "For me, the culture of light was how I saw and experienced light for a long period of time in Nigeria and I wanted to share this experience with everyone. I wanted each slide to show the different personality traits of light and evoke different feelings as I moved from slide to slide. I was also inspired by different parts of the world where designers captured people's attention using the cultural aspect of light and using it to bring people together from all over the world. In the end, I was glad that the jury understood what I wanted to convey."

Chinwendu shared her 20-slide presentation to a jury that included Robyn Goldstein of Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Matt Zelkowitz of Available Light, Ted Farnham of Boston Light Source, as well as DLF-NE's scholarship team of Jane Slade, MID ʼ08 of Anatomy of Light and Shahrzad Abtahi of Sladen Feinstein.

Going into the presentation, Chinwendu felt confident. "I got a lot of moral support and coaching from Karen Nelson, dean of the School of Architecture. I had a dress rehearsal for my presentation with her and she gave me an idea of what the actual presentation would feel like. I didn't know if I would win, but I was excited to make it to the event and felt good about my presentation."

After presenting at the DLF-NE competition on October 25, Chinwendu was selected by the DLF-NE's panel, along with two students from nearby colleges, to receive a scholarship to cover travel and expenses to LIGHTFAIR International, the world's largest annual architectural and commercial lighting tradeshow and conference.

"It was very exciting to win and I am so grateful that I was selected from the amazing work that I saw that night," Chinwendu said. She is excited for the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia and meet and network with lighting, design, and architecture professionals from around the world.

Chinwendu, originally from the Imo state in Nigeria but now living in Malden, MA, received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Caleb University in the Lagos state in Nigeria. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Chinwendu decided that she wanted to pursue interior design and architecture, a program that is not offered in Nigeria. After doing some research, Chinwendu found the BAC. Now, Chinwendu is looking forward to graduating in May 2019, after which she plans to stay in Boston to work at a local design firm.

Click here to see Chinwendu's award-winning presentation.

About Designers Lighting Forum of New England Travel Scholarship Student Competition

The Designers Lighting Forum of New England is dedicated to promoting lighting education and is honored to assist area schools in providing traveling scholarships to students that demonstrate a passion for and understanding of lighting.