Call for Applications | Future Lights Annual Competition

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

Goals of the competition

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


In 2018, the Future Lights theme is:'Go green - Ceramics and the Environment'

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 can you win?

Six 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 eighteen 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 eight items into one pdf-file in the order given above and named as follows: Surname_First Name_FLapplication_2019

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 (

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.


31 maart 2018


Porzellanikon, Staffordshire University, Design and Craft Council of Ireland, British Ceramics Biennial



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