Future Lights

Ahryun Lee imaginary bottles (2017)
Ayryun Lee (2017)

Future Lights is an annual competition for people in the early stages of a career in ceramics.

Each year, recent graduates from across Europe are invited to apply to Porzellanikon, setting out their experience and responding to the year’s theme. Round 4 of the Future Lights competition opens for applications in 2018.

In 2018, the Future Lights theme is:

Go green – Ceramics and the Environment

“Ceramics are made from earth. As a material, ceramic has multiple functions. Fired ceramic is extremely durable – lasting thousands of years. Clay can be used by artists to express their visions, by architects to fulfil constructive needs, and by designers to make everyday products in high numbers.

At present, we are experiencing many sociological changes. People have started to think more about their way of life. It is increasingly clear that we will have to focus more on our environmental needs than ever before, producing goods that are sustainable and ecological. Products made of ceramic can meet these new and important issues. Ceramic materials can also provide solutions for buildings, substituting materials such as plastics, coated paper, and alumina. Ceramics can help to save energy, water and guarantee high standards of architectural stability and hygiene.”

Wilhelm Siemen, Director, Porzellanikon

The 2018, the Future Lights competition invites applications from:

  • Early career ceramists from art, crafts and design disciplines who are actively creating items – conceptual as well as design oriented.
  • Historians and art historians, museum curators and researchers who are focusing on environmental aspects: ecology, sustainability, resource-saving in both production and use.

The “Future Lights” chosen by the jury must demonstrate their “Go green” vision by concrete examples: artists, craftsmen and designers by real 3D-objects, historians, art historian, and researchers through their written work and forward-thinking vision.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be resident in EU or associated states. There is no age limit. However, applicants should have completed their main full-time studies within the last five years.

Applicants should have expertise, experience or innovative ideas that respond to the theme. We are happy to receive applications from people from a range of disciplines including design, fine art, art history and materials science.

What is the prize?

6 competition winners will be invited to:

  • Attend a workshop where participants collaborate across disciplines and develop new work.
  • Showcase their work at high profile events across Europe and through the wider Ceramics and its Dimensions project.

In February 2019, Future Lights Ambassadors will exhibit at Ambiente, the world’s most important consumer goods trade fair, attended more than 134,000 trade visitors from over 150 countries.

What are the judges looking for?

In 2018, the Future Lights judges want to discover talented early career professionals who are exploring questions of sustainability in their work and have the ability to inspire others. Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Relevant experience and expertise
  • Quality of work evidenced
  • Response to the theme
  • Ability to be an ambassador for European ceramics

Applications will be shortlisted, with 18 finalists invited to present to a panel of judges at Kilkenny Castle with the opportunity to visit Ceramics Ireland’s International Festival at Thomastown, in September 2018.

Who are the judges?

The jury is chaired by Wilhelm Siemen from Porzellanikon and comprises representatives from partners in the Ceramics and its Dimensions project.

  • Iain Cartwright, British Ceramics Biennial
  • Franz Chen, Franz Porcelain, Taiwan
  • Jaume Coll Conesa, Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias “González Martí”
  • Biljana Djordjević, National Museum Belgrade
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Mateja Kos, Narodni muzej Slovenije
  • Nathalie Lautenbacher, Aalto University
  • Kai Lobjakas, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn
  • Gus Mableson, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
  • Professor Barbara Schmidt, Kunsthochschule Berlin
  • John Tynan, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland
  • Professor David Sanderson, Staffordshire University
  • Rachel Dickson, Ulster University

How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted in English by 31st March 2018.

Please send the following information as a WeTransfer to Jana.Goebel@porzellanikon.org:

  1. Your personal details: Name, address, email address, website, social media links
  2. A brief biography in the 3rd person (50 words)
  3. Your CV
  4. A statement about your work e.g. artist’s statement (100 words)
  5. A response to this year’s theme (250 words)
  6. Why you think you’d be a good ambassador for ceramics (250 words)
  7. Up to 5 photos of your work (printing size at a maximum 21 x 29,7 cm), published articles or research papers
  8. Confirmation that you have read the Terms & Conditions

Please include all 8 items into ONE pdf-file in the order given above and named as follows: Surname_First Name_FLapplication_2019 (e. g. Goebel_Jana_FLapplication_2019.pdf)

The organisers of the Future Lights competition wish to be as inclusive as possible. If you have any access or support needs, please get in touch with Jana Göbel from Porzellanikon (jana.goebel@porzellanikon.org | phone: +49 9287 91800 614).

When will I find out if I’ve been successful?

Porzellanikon will contact all applicants in July to inform them of the outcome of their application.


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