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GO FOR GOLD – Best Light for Best Agers


For students in the fields of lighting, industrial, and product design; lighting engineering; architecture; and interior design, take a look at the following:

In collaboration with the Berlin International Design Centre (IDZ), and supported by the lighting trade journal LICHT, the trade-fair organizers Messe Berlin are inviting submissions for an ideas competition – in conjunction with the fair belektro 2018: Trade Fair for Electrical Engineering, Electronics, and Lighting.

Students at universities of applied sciences, colleges, and universities – at institutions that have been invited in advance – are encouraged to create, during the 2018 summer semester, designs on the theme »GO FOR GOLD – Best Light for Best Agers«, as part of a sponsored project. The submissions will take place through the supporting college or university lecturers.

Logo Internationales Design Zentrum


Falling birthrates beginning in the 1970s, as well as rising life expectancies, have shifted the population pyramid in Germany. A study by the German Federal Statistical Office estimates that the share of Germans younger than 20 will fall from 18.2 to 15.7 % between 2011 and 2060, and that the share of those over 60 will increase from 26.6 to 39.2 %. At the same time, the total German population is expected to fall from 81.8 to 70.1 million by 2060.

Within the context of the expected crisis in care for the elderly, and of the wish of best agers to spend their sunset years in their own homes, not only home owners but also landlords and tenants have begun to arrange »barrier-free« homes in such a way that they can also be used by golden agers. Industry has supported this development with the appropriate products and services that exploit the potential of smart technologies as part of digitization of all areas of life.


Traditionally, there are two steps to the competition. An expert jury selects the best solutions from all submissions, and these selections are implemented in the second step as functional models. The jury evaluates the submitted models, and the best three models are granted cash awards from Messe Berlin in the total amount of €3,000. The winners will be announced and awarded their prizes at the belektro opening ceremony on Monday, 5 November 2018.


The Sixth belektro Ideas Competition acts on this theme under the title »Go for Gold – Best Light for Best Agers«. Students in departments of product, industrial, and lighting design; architecture and interior architecture; and lighting engineering are encouraged to develop innovative lighting solutions that contribute over the long term to comfortable and self-reliant »smart living« for those in their elderly years.

The sponsors are primarily interested in lighting systems for private homes, or for supervised residential facilities whose characteristics are adapted to good vision and changing lighting requirements for the elderly – and which consider the biological effects of light in support of well-being and health. Light solution designs should appeal to persons 50+, and should be able to be operated by persons under the age-related restrictions of vision, mobility, and psyche.

Intuitive operation is especially important. The second part of the competition involves the development of clearly understood designations and icons that unmistakably represent the functions of the lighting systems. This is primarily directed to the possible biological effects of lighting, about which private users have until now not been sufficiently informed.

Further important aspects are planning with environmentally benign materials, resource-economical manufacture, and the recyclability of the lighting system.


Deadline for registration for participation in the competition is Monday, 16 April 2018.

Submission deadline for the designs is Friday, 20 July 2018 (by which date the submissions must have been received by the promoters).

The jury plans to meet on 27 July 2018 to select, from the submitted designs, up to ten submissions for further development. The finalists have until Friday, 5 October 2018 to realize and submit their functional models.

It is planned for the finalists to present their submissions to the jury on the morning of 12 October 2018. The jury will then select the three winners.


In addition to original aesthetics, aspects such as the following must be included in the design: efficient lighting technology, standards conformity, intuitive operation, simple and safe handling, a maximum of environmental compatibility, and economical manufacture.