Corona Interview Series #6: Iris Molendijk

Iris Molendijk is one of countless soon to be graduates faced with the prospect of entering the job market during the worst pandemic in a century.

Currently wrapping up her thesis in Architectural Lighting Design at KTH in Stockholm, Iris was kind enough to share her experiences as a student of lighting design during the Covid-19 crisis, and her expectations for the future.

“Almost 30 students with different nationalities in one classroom is not ideal when a virus is spreading. Therefore the university decided to close on the 18th of March – which was less than optimal seeing as we had just started our thesis. However, through online meetings students and tutors stay in touch and help each other where they can.

“For a lot of students, their initial idea for their thesis had to be adjusted. Sites are not accessible anymore and doing experiments is getting more difficult as group gatherings are not supported. For my own project I decided to work with an experiment that can be tested through surveys online.

“Looking at the news this crisis might continue for a while. I hope all companies will be able to survive. The lighting industry is a young profession and it seems that we are just starting to get some more recognition, and that people really understand and appreciate the benefits of good lighting. It would be a shame that we will miss work and recognition because of this crisis.

“In difficult times people have to start being creative. I’ve already seen so many initiatives not only in the field but also on social levels. Difficult times might seem never ending but every disadvantage also has its advantage. I think a lot of meetings in the future might switch to online meetings. This saves traveling time, which is cost efficient. However, not every meeting can be done digitally. Sites need to be inspected and products can only be really examined in real life.

“Something that I think might become more popular is the use of VR. Being able to experience a design at a distance.

“Lets stay positive, try to find creative solutions for problems that might seem unsolvable and help each other! For all students, keep working and lets keep searching for that sparkle of light!”

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