Module 8: Future Lights in Ceramics


Every year, young people who deal with ceramics in any manner, historian/art historians, designers, or artists, are called to participate in a competition. At the beginning of each year, people are invoked on a specific topic, which is pre-selected by the jury, to compete with new ideas as Future Light. From the ideas 18 will be selected. These will be invited to one of the big ceramic Congresses in summer to present their ideas. Afterwards, the best six have the opportunity to implement their ideas as part of a summer school at Staffordshire University or to better themselves for a month in one of the partner museums. The following year, the converted objects/topics will be presented at the next congress. Further, they should complement the exhibition of Shaping the Future and lastly, they will be presented at the Brithish Ceramics Biennial (BCB) in 2015 and 2017. Moreover, during the year, each Future Light in Ceramics should make the topic ceramics more present, especially for a younger/contemporary target group.


Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum für Porzellan in Hohenberg a. d. Eger/Selb


1st December 2015 – 30th November 2018

Future Lights – Showcasing the future of ceramics in Europe 2017/ 2018


The Future Lights competition is designed to build new bridges and provide a platform for recent graduates to further their careers.

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

  • Encourage cross-disciplinary learning and approaches by bringing together the ceramic designers, art historians, researchers, makers and artists of the future
  • Support people in the early stages of a career in ceramics by exhibiting their work at high profile ceramics exhibitions across Europe
  • Promote ceramics to a younger audience, though identifying potential ambassadors.

The competition is run by Porzellanikon and co-organised by Staffordshire University, the Design and Craft Council of Ireland and the British Ceramics Biennial. Each year, recent graduates from across Europe are invited to apply to Porzellanikon, setting out their experience and responding to the year’s theme.


What is the theme?

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.


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.


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
  • Dr. Jaume Coll Conesa, Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias “González Martí”
  • Dr. 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

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


Any questions?

Feel free to contact Jana Göbel from Porzellanikon on


Terms and Conditions

Use of personal data
All personal data submitted to Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum für Porzellan will be handled according to the “Code regarding the protection of personal information” by Porzellanikon. In order to exercise their inherent rights under German law, applicants can contact the director of Porzellanikon at Porzellanikon Selb, Werner-Schürer-Platz 1, 95100 Selb.

Publications and exhibitions
Submitted work, including research papers and images of artists and designers’ work may be presented in exhibitions, on posters, published online and in printed publications.
Applicants are considered to have granted the right to publish their names, CVs, statements, submitted images and papers, and photographs and footage from events. This includes publishing in both digital and analogue form.
In addition, publishing and reproduction rights for designs and objects produced though workshops supported by the Ceramics and its Dimensions project will be held by partners in the Ceramics and its Dimensions project.

Finalists and competition winners are encouraged to display their objects at Future Lights and Ceramics and its Dimensions presentations, events and exhibitions, as per guidelines provided by the event organisers.
Participants remain responsible for the transport, care, presentation and insurance of their own work. Ceramics and its Dimensions is unable to arrange transportation or insurance and cannot be held responsible for any damage to work during events or transportation to the event.

Competition finalists and winners can claim up to €300 travel and accommodation costs for travel within Europe to attend Future Lights events. Detailed guidance on eligible costs will be provided on invitation.
For any queries, please contact Jana Göbel on


PDF download

Future Lights in Ceramics 2017/ 2018
Future Lights Competition Application Form
Futue Lights 2016/ 2017 Information


The Future Lights


CV’s 2017

Download PDF

CV’s 2015

Download PDF

Future Lights videolist

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Team Meissen

Karolina Bednorz
Author: Foto: MEISSEN®, Maik KrauseAperture: 4.5Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIso: 320Copyright: Copyright: MEISSEN®Orientation: 1
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Link to the The Future Lights in Ceramics 2016 to 2018

The Future Lights in Ceramics 2016 to 2018