Three thought leaders widely recognized 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
Theoretical Physicist, Best-Selling Author

“The Next 20 Years: How Science Will Revolutionize Business, Medicine, Architecture, Lighting and Our Way of Life”
12:15pm - 1:45pm

Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science. As the co-founder of the string field theory (a branch of the string theory), he continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory that will summarize all the physical laws of the universe.

Dr. Kaku is the author of a number of international bestsellers. He is a regular commentator on Tech-TV and the host of the Sunday lineup of shows on the Science Channel. His weekly radio program “Science Fantastic” airs in 130 cities making it the largest nationally syndicated science radio show on commercial radio in the United States.

He currently holds the Henry Semat Chair in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He has previously taught at Harvard and Princeton.

Dr. Kaku has appeared on Larry King Live, Nightline, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, CNN, ABC News, BBC TV, BBC Radio, 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.

SakchinBessetteSakchin Bessette

Co-founder and Executive Creative Director, Moment Factory

"Another Light"
12:15pm - 1:45pm

Since co-founding Moment Factory in 2001, Sakchin has channeled his passion for visual arts, storytelling, and interactive technology into a perpetual quest to amaze, inspire emotion, and bring people together in public spaces. As Co-founder and Executive Creative Director of Moment Factory, Sakchin has been at the creative helm of more than 400 multimedia installations, environments and events around the world.

Developing and applying cutting-edge visual technologies, strong storytelling, and rigorous artistic values have always been integral elements of his vision. Moment Factory's fusion of creative content with artistic ingenuity continues to push the boundaries of excellence in new media and public art with groundbreaking projects such as the numerous Lumina night walk experiences and the impending illumination of Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal. Audience engagement, participation and interactivity have been at the heart of the studio’s practice since its inception.

Sakchin has been creative lead behind Moment Factory’s most celebrated productions, ranging from the groundbreaking permanent media features at Los Angeles International Airport, to the inspiring Ode to Life sound and light spectacle on Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, to the Nine Inch Nails’ interactive Lights in the Sky Tour, a production that Live Design magazine voted into their Top 10 concert designs of all time.

Photo Credits: (left below) LAX (right below) Jacques Cartier Bridge

Sakchin Bessette Sakchin Bessette

Janet EchelmanJanet Echelman

Artist, Studio Echelman


"ART: Illuminating Cities"
12:15pm - 1:45pm

Janet Echelman is an artist who defies categorization. She creates billowing aerial sculptures at the scale of buildings. Choreographed by wind and light, her art shifts from being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in.

Using unlikely materials from engineered fiber netting to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with material science and engineering analysis.

Her path has been nonlinear. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to Bali, Indonesia to paint while studying craft traditions. A decade later on a Fulbright in India, her paints went missing – which forced her to embrace unorthodox new materials, and find her voice as a sculptor of sky, creating focal points for urban life on five continents.

Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, Harvard University Loeb Fellowship, and the United States Artists Fellowship, her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages with more than one million views. Echelman’s art received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award and ranked #1 on Oprah’s “List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!”.

Janet Echelman Photo Credit: Todd Erickson

Photo Credits: (left below) Ulysse Lemerise (right below) Melissa Henry

Janet Echelman Janet Echelman