Karolina Zielińska-Dąbkowska - Biographical note - Bridge of Knowledge



Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska, Ph.D., Eng. Arch., M. Arch., is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT).

In 2002, she completed her studies of Architecture and Urban Planning at Gdańsk University of Technology (Gdańsk Tech) and in 2004, Architectural Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) in Hildesheim, Germany.

After graduation, she worked for several world-renowned companies in Berlin, London, New York and Zurich, working on architectural lighting design projects. Her 15+ years of international professional experience in the completion of large and medium scale interior and exterior projects from various sectors gave her a full understanding of the design process. The most significant projects on which she has worked include: the main NATO headquarters in Brussels (BE), the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai (UEA), the urban lighting masterplan for Porto Montenegro in Tivat (ME), the Tribute in Light Memorial art installation in New York (US), external illumination of the Granary Building and Granary Square in London (UK), external lighting for the new astronomical observatory cone at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (UK) and the external and internal illumination of new JetBlue terminal for Kennedy Airport in New York (USA).

In 2013, she obtained her Ph.D. degree in technical sciences with honors from the Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology. In the research work "The art of illumination as a tool for creating architectural form", among other things, she translated her practical-based knowledge in the field of light architecture into important guidelines for designers. In 2014, this work was recognized with the Polish Prime Minister's Research Award. In 2015, for her work and scientific research on the non-visual effects of light on humans, flora and fauna, Dr. Zielinska-Dabkowska was awarded the international PLD-R Professional Lighting Design Recognition Award in the category "Research". In 2020 she was awarded the IDA’s Galileo Research Award (2020).

Since 2018, Karolina is also an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland, and co-founder of GUT LightLab, where she conducts research on various aspects of light and lighting in the built environment. Since 2019 she is a Head of ILLUME the interdisciplinary research group as part of the EcoTech Research Center at Gdańsk Tech, created to minimize the impact of artificial light pollution on people, flora and fauna.

For many years she has been involved in organizational and associational activities: she is a professional member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a member of the International Lighting Designers Association (IALD), the British Society of Light and Lighting, the American Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), a member of the International Council Advisory (IAC) of the Chinese Association of Lighting Designers as well as International Comission on Illumination (CIE). She has been invited numerous times as a member of the jury for international professional lighting design awards (USA and GB). She also has participated in many international conferences and symposia as an invited speaker.

Her didactic experience began in 2008 with cooperation with the Hochschule Wismar, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Architectural Lighting Design, Germany as a co-supervisor of master's theses. In the years 2014-2017 she worked as a senior lecturer at the above-mentioned university conducting lectures, exercises, projects, supervising master's theses and being an auxiliary supervisor of two doctoral dissertations. In 2013, she was also the supervisor of a master's thesis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm/S, STH Technology and Health, Lighting Laboratory. This work won the main prize in a competition organized by the British Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) in the category Young Lighter of the Year. In 2015-2016 she lectured at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the School of Professional and Executive Development in Barcelona (ES) on the master's degree course in Lighting Design.

Dr. Zielinska-Dabkowska's research interests touch on the issues of interdisciplinary considerations in contemporary illumination projects, including limitations resulting from ecology, environmental protection, sustainable development or health as well as new technological possibilities. An additional research study is the examination of the processes involved in shaping lighting design projects and methods for integrating it within architecture and urban planning.

Many of the above are the subject of articles printed in scientific journals such as Nature Journal.

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