Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund – 2020/2021 Winners Announced

The Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund is a UK-registered charity that provides support to students of architecture who wish to enter the architectural lighting design profession.

The Trustees of the fund awarded this year’s scholarship to Laura Carcano from the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the London Metropolitan University and Lawrence Lynch from the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.

Laura Carcano

Laura Carcano

Currently studying architecture at London Metropolitan University, Laura has a first degree from Politecnico of Milano, following which she spent one year working as an architectural assistant. Having understood very well the power of light to affect aesthetics and atmosphere, during the course of her research she found herself increasingly curious about the importance of the biological and emotional impacts on people’s moods, performance, productivity and many other aspects of daily life, even body temperature. Her future plans, to be supported by the scholarship, include further studies and research into the role of light in creating responsive and adaptative architecture that improves emotional and physical wellbeing.

Lawrence Lynch

Lawrence Lynch

A student of the Welsh School of Architecture at the University of Cardiff, Lawrence’s undergraduate degree work evidences his clear passion for the poetics of light and form. Having spent some time working for DaeWha Kang Design – a firm who specialise in wellbeing and human oriented design and who collaborate with professional lighting designers – he has cultivated a deep interest in the psychological effects of light. Returning to his architectural studies, Lawrence’s Masters dissertation explored how biophilic aesthetics affect emotional wellbeing. It is this research that he would like to continue into the future with the support of the scholarship, with the aim of informing his own design work and aiding the general understanding of the emotional effects of lighting within architecture.

John Roake, Chairman of the JSSF commented:

“When we announced the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship last year, little did we know of what lay ahead. We suspected it was going to be an extremely difficult time for students to study, particularly in the creative industries, but we hoped that with online conferencing that some manner of tutoring would be available. Despite the very best efforts of the Universities all this year’s submissions spoke of the extreme difficulties experienced both with remote studying and finances.

It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that despite this, the resilience and fortitude of the students who made this year’s submissions has resulted in two fantastic new scholars to add to our growing list. Each year, my fellow trustees and I debate the merits of the numerous presentations we receive. So it is always a proud moment when we are able to contact the winning scholars to tell them of their success. This year the pleasure fell to me to speak to two totally different and talented students:

• Laura Carcano from the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the London Metropolitan University showed a clear understanding of both natural and artificial light through her vision of using the medium in many different ways.
• Lawrence Lynch from the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University exploits the poetic relationship between light and architecture, beautiful visualised through a series of models and renders.

We congratulate them both on becoming part of the JSSF family and trust that their scholarships will help them to finish their studies and go on to develop further as both architects and lighting designers. I conclude with a ‘thank you’ to all our supporters: In a year which has been so hard in all sectors of business, to have the financial backing of our generous sponsors has shown us the true meaning of charity. Jonathan would have been proud!”

The Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund has been set up at the behest of the late Jonathan Speirs to allow ‘A Student of Architecture to investigate the study of Architectural Lighting Design’. It is entirely funded by donations, particularly from the lighting, architecture, and engineering communities. The fund pledge was that it would make a minimum of one award each year until 2023. If you wish to help please contact or visit for further information.