The Richard Kelly Grant The Richard Kelly Grant
In association with the IES under 35s can apply for the Richard Kelly Grant.  Richard Kelly devoted his life to extraordinary contributions to the... The Richard Kelly Grant

In association with the IES under 35s can apply for the Richard Kelly Grant.  Richard Kelly devoted his life to extraordinary contributions to the lighting design profession. He was one of the pioneers of architectural lighting consulting.

His reverence for, and his understanding of, the behaviour of light was promulgated as the design values known as: focal glow, sparkling brilliance, and ambient luminescence. He was a designer of over three hundred major projects; he worked with over eighty prominent architects; he always performed with original and inventive authority.

He sought to first understand the problem and then followed with a creative solution. His synthesis of technology with artistic purpose transformed the ordinary into beauty.

A few of his most recognised accomplishments are the Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, architects; Philip Johnson’s Glass House and The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, Philip Johnson, architect; the Kimbell Museum of Fine Arts and the Yale Center of British Art and Studies, Louis Kahn, architect.

Richard Kelly passed away in 1977.


The Richard Kelly Grant was established by the New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society in 1980. Originally conceived as a scholarship program and later opened to young persons working in lighting in North America, the Grant is administered by the New York Section under the auspices of the IES.

To recognise and encourage creative thought and activity in the use of light. Cash award(s) will be granted to the person(s) who preserve and carry forth Richard Kelly’s ideals, enthusiasm and reverence for light.

Anyone 35 years or under, studying or working in the art and/or science of illumination, in the United States, Canada or Mexico.

Applicant must demonstrate accomplishment as well as the potential to contribute to the art and science of illumination. Proposed, completed, and on-going work involving light may be submitted and should clearly illustrate the way in which the conceptual or applied use of light in new and innovative ways is used to solve or better understand a problem.

The Grant Committee will consider works using light in:
• Architecture • Art • Education • Environmental Design • Health • Fixture Design • Software Design • Theatre

Submissions must include:

  • Written materials, artwork, photographs or drawings, models, VHS videotapes, DVDs, or USBs (ten minutes, maximum). Images must be numbered and keyed to the text of the submission description. Note: Electronic submissions must be in high resolution JPEG format.
  • A one-page written outline summarising the work and discussing the thought process behind the submission.
  • A description of how the grant would be used to further the applicant’s education or research in lighting. Applicants must agree to use grants for the purposes described and be prepared to report back to the Board on the progress of their work.
  • Personal resume including full contact information and date of birth, and curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of reference to be sent, in sealed envelopes marked with the applicant’s name on the back, directly from the writers to the Grant at the address below.

Grant proposals must be submitted by June 30, 2021 to:
The Richard Kelly Grant
Illuminating Engineering Society
120 Wall Street, Floor 17
New York, NY 10005
(212) 248-5000

Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for all submissions to be returned. Grant recipient applications become the property of the Richard Kelly Grant and may be used in Grant publicity materials.

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