Three thought leaders widely recognised as visionaries in the realms of light, technology, design, art and science will deliver headlining keynote presentations addressing a common theme of transforming the future at LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) 2017 in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center May 7 – 11 (Pre-Conference LIGHTFAIR Institute: May 7 – 8; Trade Show & Conference: May 9 – 11).
The three featured keynotes are scheduled to occur during the LIGHTFAIR Institute on May 7 and 8 and continue for a third day—a new addition to the 2017 LFI calendar—on Tuesday, May 9, when the trade show opens.
Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best-selling author and co-founder of the string field theory as, according to his biographical profile, “he continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory that will summarise all the physical laws of the universe.”
"During the keynote luncheon on Tuesday, May 9 from 12:15-1:45 p.m., Dr. Kaku will present “The Next 20 Years: How Science Will Revolutionise Business, Medicine, Architecture, Lighting and Our Way of Life.”
Dr. Kaku is a commentator on Tech-TV and a Science Channel host. His weekly radio program Science Fantastic airs in 130 cities making it the largest nationally syndicated science show on commercial radio in the United States. He holds the Henry Semat Chair in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Kaku has appeared on Larry King Live, Nightline, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, CNN, ABC News, BBC TV, BBC Radio and PBS’s Nova and Innovation. His work has been published in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Discover Magazine, New Scientist Magazine, Astronomy Magazine and Wired.
Sakchin Bessette is the co-founder and executive creative director of Moment Factory, a new media art studio. He has been at the creative helm of more than 350 multimedia installations, environments and events globally.
Bessette, noted in his biographical sketch, “has channeled his passions for visual arts, storytelling, and interactive technology into a perpetual quest to amaze, inspire emotion, and bring people together in public spaces.”
During the keynote luncheon on Sunday, May 7 from 12:15-1:45 p.m., Bessette will elaborate on Moment Factory's work that continues to “push the boundaries of excellence in new media and public art.” Its work has a particular emphasis on audience participation and interactivity.
Bessette has collaborated closely with Cirque du Soleil, participating actively on projects such as Bar at The Edge of the Earth, Celebrity Cruise Ships and Beatles Revolution Lounge at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
He was the creative lead on productions such as the Los Angeles International Airport installation, Ode to Life on La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Bon Jovi’s Because We Can Tour, Fun at the Grammys, Nine Inch Nails’ Lights in the Sky Tour and the Tiesto Kaleidoscope Tour.
Janet Echelman blends art, science and engineering to create grand and mesmerising large-scale aerial sculptures. She was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.”
Echelman received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award and ranked #1 on Oprah’s “List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!” During the keynote luncheon on Monday, May 8 from 12:15-1:45 p.m., “ART: Illuminating Cities,” she will discuss her fascinating work and attendees will find out more about her sculptures around the world. According to her biographical profile, “choreographed by wind and light, her art shifts from being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in.”
After graduating from Harvard University, Echelman moved to Bali, Indonesia where she painted and studied craft traditions. A decade later during a Fulbright residency in India, she started using new materials after her paints went missing, which led her to find her voice as a sculptor of sky, creating focal points for urban life on five continents.
Echelman has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, Harvard University Loeb Fellowship and the United States Artists Fellowship. She has a TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” which is available in 34 languages.
Echelman will also be the keynote speaker for the LFI Innovation Awards® which take place on Tuesday, May 9 from 8-9 a.m. following the breakfast at 7:30 a.m. just before the trade show opens at 9 a.m.