Luminale 2020

As a biennial for light art and urban design, the Luminale’s themes of light, city and future pursue the goal of creating a popular and high-quality program in terms of both artistic and contextual content.

A further key objective is to make a sustainable contribution to urban development – in dialogue with artists, creative minds, urban planners, scientists and the city’s residents. Projects revolving around urban visions in the fields of light, architecture, technology, ecology, social interaction in the city, or with its history and culture, make this into a tangible experience – accompanied by interdisciplinary dialogue. In this process, the Luminale sees itself as a source of ideas and impulses, as well as coordinator, communicator and test laboratory.


The Luminale has been held in Frankfurt and Offenbach at two-yearly intervals since 2002. Originally established by Messe Frankfurt as an accompanying event to Light + Building, the world's leading trade fair for lighting and building technology, the Biennial is now one of the largest cultural events in the City of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region with around 250,000 visitors and 150 projects.

As Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design, since 2018, the Luminale has pursued the goal of creating a popular and high-quality program in terms of both art and content, as well as making a sustainable contribution to urban design. Thus, the city is not only a stage, but a major component of the festival itself. Projects that contend with urban visions of the future at the interfaces between light, architecture, technology, ecology and social interaction in the city, accompanied by transdisciplinary dialogue on the related issues turn this into a tangible experience. 

The Luminale is presenting its program in five categories: selected positions of thematic light art in CURATED; lectures and talks with renowned experts in TALK; projects from universities and other educational institutions in STUDY; as well as projects that, with unique spirit, deal freely and experimentally with light and city outside the curated area in COMMUNITY.


Finally, the BETTER CITY section is dedicated to all projects that will be permanently preserved in the city and thus contribute to the sustainability of the Luminale.

The heart of the Luminale in the urban space is the Light Walk, which combine interesting places into a walking tour of the city and a public gallery of light art. These locations tell the history of the city, proclaim the visions and desires of its inhabitants, create identity and shape the urban atmosphere. In such dynamically-changing cities as Frankfurt and Offenbach, new places emerge, squares disappear, fall into oblivion or become »un-places«. These witnesses of change, monuments and landmarks, will become venues and themes of light-art projects on the Light Walk.

Special focus „Digital Romantic“

For the first time, the Luminale has set itself an all-embracing theme and is inviting participants from all categories to be inspired by the Digital Romantic in their project development and to look at the city and its venues with this theme in mind. Although this thematic focus is not mandatory, it is intended as a suggestion or possible intellectual starting point in concept development.

Why have we chosen this theme? While it is especially light as medium and material (of art and urban design) that unites the paradox inherent in the term „Digital Romantic“.  Thus, the medium of light (perhaps unlike any other) seems an appropriate medium to tackle the issues of interaction and significance of the digital and the Romantic.

In the coming year, when the Deutsche Romantik-Museum in Frankfurt/Main is due to open, the Luminale is also looking for connections between the Romantic era and the current digital revolution. It aspires to show that light art can not only transform surfaces, but also unfold its effective power subcutaneously. By creating unknown places, opening perspectives and revealing layers of meaning that were previously hidden. The Luminale wants to explore whether light can also create places beyond the real world, often perceived as chaotic, demanding and, not rarely, overwhelming. And it also wants to ask, whether we need these places at all? Is digital the solution to conveying and reinterpreting (forgotten) analogue content? Can new images be created in the mind to counter the flood of endlessly incoming content? Does light art rapidly wear off as a staged event, or does it fulfil a yearning for the true, the beautiful, the good?

For further Informations about the thematical Focus, click here: DIGITAL ROMANTIC


The „Instituto Cervantes“ will once again house the Luminale Festival Center in 2020.

Instituto Cervantes © Luminale, Photo: Dieter Schwenk

Since 2008, the Spanish Cultural Center has been located in the former Amerika-Haus at the edge of the Rothschildpark not far from the Alte Oper. Its bright, inviting architecture offers the ideal setting for lectures, talks and screenings. The Festival Center is also the perfect meeting point for all Luminale visitors and a great starting point for a stroll along the Light Walk.

Advisory board

Together with the Luminale team, an interdisciplinary Advisory Board will evaluate all submitted project proposals in the CURATED category and decide on their inclusion in this program area and the design of the Light Walk in Frankfurt's city center. Members of the board are: 

Gründer und Leiter des NODE Forum for Digital Arts
Frankfurt am Main

Philipp Geist, Lichtkünstler und Künstlerischer Leiter Lichtkunst Weilheim

Leiter Public Relations Institut für Stadtgeschichte
Frankfurt am Main

Stellv. Direktorin Deutsches Architekturmuseum
Frankfurt am Main

Direktor Zentrum für Internationale Lichtkunst

Direktor Museum Angewandte Kunst
Frankfurt am Main

Leiter Genius Loci Festival

Designer und Künstler
Frankfurt am Main und Berlin

The Luminale e.V.

The Luminale e.V. was founded in June 2017 as a non-profit organization to promote and organize the Luminale as a „Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design“.

In particular, the association seeks to support artists and creative minds in realizing their creative works within the framework of the event. As a neutral platform, the Luminale invites supporters from all walks of life to become part of this project.

Since 1st January 2019, the Luminale e.V. has been a member of the „LUCI Association“ (Lighting Urban Community International), an international network currently comprosed of 70 cities that use light as an instrument of social, cultural and economic development.

Project Office

Members of the Luminale team:


Project Management 

Program Development 

Technical Consulting


Project Management

Public Relations

Volunteers program


Project Management


Project Assistent

Graphic design

Web / Social Media




Project Management TALK

Programm Develpoment 

IT Consulting

Call for Volunteers

Please spread the word: We are still looking for volunteers for the Luminale 2020, the Biennale for Light Art and Urban Design.

Be it in the festival center or project office, looking after our international guests, in development and organization, as support for our press team, coordinating our series of events, or in many other areas. The tasks are varied and offer a candid look behind the scenes of an international light art festival. Applications can be submitted at any time until 20th December, 2019. Just download the form, fill it out and send it back by mail!

Download form: Call for Volunteers

This website is using cookies. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.