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In conversation with...Henrik Clausen, Managing Director, Fagerhault Lighting Academy

This month we speak with Henrik Clausen about how getting the lighting right is critical to enahncing the learning environment, he also tells us about the hands on creative labs available at GESS.

Please tell us a little bit about Fagerhult Lighting and your projects in education?
Fagerhult is the third largest lighting manufacturer in Europe and has through the last 12 years been carrying out evidence-based research together with international universities in how lighting influences the learning capabilities in students.

Is an emphasis on learning environments a new development in education?
Yes. It’s only since 2003, where the third receptor in the human retina was discovered, and the way that lighting influences the biological functions in the human body that the question arose: how does architecture and epigenetic design (and hence lighting) influence the learning process in students?

Why is an environment in which students learn so important?
Because the beauty of our surroundings influences our physical as well as our mental health.

What makes a good learning environment?
Good architecture, good lighting design and a multitude of other things. There is no easy solution but to invest in our children is to invest in the future.

How easy is it to create or improve your learning environment and won’t this require a big budget?
As with all other projects, if you think the right solutions from the start is virtually has no extra costs, but to refurbish and update old lighting solutions doesn’t come for free – but in the big perspective it will always be worth while.

You will be running a ”Creative Lab Workshop” at GEF 2015, who should attend the session and what exactly is involved?
Our “Creative Lab Workshop” is designed for establishing cooperation between architects, designers, teachers, students and parents. We provide a tool that will enable all stakeholders to communicate about lighting and how it will influence them without talking about lighting fixtures, brands, budgets and suppliers.

Where do you see the developments in schools and learning spaces being in the next few years?
Once the boards of the schools discovers that the students get better grades through an optimal lighting design solution, still using the same learning material, having the same teachers and allocating the same resources, it’s an easy choice to redesign and upgrade the lighting. Because at the end of the day every school is being judged on how good the students that leaver the school are.

See Henrik as part of the The Learning Environment- Keynotes and Discussion 11:00 - 14:00 | Blue Room and the Creative Lab Workshop is on at 10:05 - 11:00 | Blue Room Thursday 26th February at GESS Dubai, DWTC