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Source: Neal Hubbell, 785-532-5992,
News release prepared by: Diane Potts, 785-532-1090,

Thursday, June 10, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Matthew Johnson, a May 2010 graduate of Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning and Design, has won first place in the student category of the 2010 Cooper Lighting SOURCE Awards National Lighting Design Competition.

Johnson, Shawnee, who earned a master's in interior architecture and product design, developed an exhibit to showcase several iconic modern furniture pieces.

The visitor is led through the exhibit by a lighting datum, created by a continuous strip of recessed LED lights. The datum is strategically used to frame circulation and entrances into the exhibit's individual rooms. Backlight panels are used to illuminate the portraits and biographies of the showcased designers, as well as historic contextual photographs of the highlighted furniture pieces. Recessed combo lights are used to dramatically illuminate the iconic furniture pieces inside each room.

The student category of the competition is open to students majoring in design, architecture, engineering and lighting. Five awards were given in the 2010 competition. Johnson received a crystal trophy and $1,500 cash prize.

Johnson's project was completed under the supervision of Neal Hubbell, associate professor of interior architecture and product design at K-State.

Now in its 33rd year, the annual competition focuses on furthering the understanding, knowledge and function of lighting as a primary element in design and requires the primary and predominant use of Cooper Lighting products. Cooper Lighting is a leading provider of high quality lighting fixtures and related products for worldwide commercial, industrial, residential and utility markets.

Johnson also will attend a two-week summer workshop at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, and has been accepted into the center's nine-month program that begins in September. His long-term goal is to design and build functional, beautiful and expressive wood furniture and furnishings to the highest standard of craftsmanship.