EP01 Welcome to the Light Talk Podcast

In this episode, recorded 6th Jan, Martin welcomes you to the new year which is 2020 & the new way of sharing his insights, as well as what can be expected in the lighting design industry this coming year.

An award winning lighting designer, Martin runs the widely acclaimed lighting design practice Klaasen Lighting Design (KLD), with presences throughout Asia, Australia and Europe.  Many of his projects are featured in articles and magazines.  The book ‘Light Talk: A Year in the Life of Light’ was a compilation of his blogs which he started writing in 2009.  Similarly, ‘Light Talk 2: 16 Years in the Life of Light’ is a compilation of 16 years worth of Martin writing in Lighting Today Magazine about world actualities in the lighting industry.  

Practically from the beginning Martin has been sharing his insights and views about the lighting design industry with his readers and on how the industry has evolved right from the early days of LED technology making its way into our daily life up to the new smart world we live in today.  Continuing where he left off, here Martin has evolved to recording video (vlog) and podcast versions in 2020.   

28. February 2020 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting of the future | Leave a comment

Light Talk Vlog Episode 05

Recorded 1st February 2020

06. February 2020 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: going green, Light & Learn, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting design, lighting design practice, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Tags: | Leave a comment

Light Talk Vlog 2020 – E04 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club

Recorded 17th January 2020

Take a tour through the prestigious Hong Kong Jockey Club and grandiose lighting design. Getting ever closer to commissioning after 2-3 years of design work. Featuring Alex Giudice of ASDA Interior Designers.

23. January 2020 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, lighting applications, lighting design, lighting design practice | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light Talk Vlog 2020 – E3

The week of 6-12th January 2020

14. January 2020 by Martin Klaasen
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Light Talk Video 2020-E1

6th January 2020

06. January 2020 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting of the future | Leave a comment

Light Talk Season 10 Blog Title: E17 – The life of light…October 2019

Singapore – Dubai – Portugal – Netherlands – France, Weekend 27-28th October 2019

How time flies…PLDC 2019 has already come and gone and as I write this blog…I am on my way to France for a little break. My intention is that this is my last blog of year, and possibly my last active blog all together…for 10 years I have written my blog with great pleasure, but I have come to a stage where I need some new inspiration and new impulses to keep the excitement and passion flowing!

The end of an era
Some may recall that I started my original blog at PLDC 2009 in Berlin, so it seems fitting to end my regular blogging following PLDC in Rotterdam, my home country, in 2019. It also coincides with the launch of my new book Light Talk 2, 16 years in the life of light, which in hindsight is a prequel as well as a sequel to Light Talk 1, which also is a round up of what I have been writing over the past years. It feels strange as writing a blog is so engrained in my mind, becoming a habit in the process that I nearly feel guilty when not writing one. But to all good things comes an end…time for new challenges. Bur rest assured,, there will still be blogs now and then, possibly written by others.

Video interviews
Recently I have moved to recording video interviews with experts in their field and it is something I really like doing. There are some new ones being edited which will find their way to our YouTube channel soon and I have a great list of potential people to interview over the coming year, so stay tuned! Not some one to sit on his laurels, I have already started plans for Light Talk 3, so plenty things to look out for.

Light Middle East – Dubai
Following my talks in Xian/ China, Ho Chi Min City/ Vietnam and The Perfect Light/ Singapore the next stop on my “world tour” was in Dubai where I was scheduled to make two presentations besides also being a member of this year’s judging panel for the LME Lighting Awards. A busy few days in Dubai!

LAMP workshop
My first day was as a keynote speaker at the LAMP workshop about dynamic lighting, the event being held in a funky out of town design hub. It attracted around 70-80 architects, interior designers, specifiers and other, great turn out for such event which is testimony to the popularity of LAMP and their reputation in the market! Well organised by Ignaci, Raquel, Albert, Fernando and the rest of the LAMP team. It was a pleasure to contribute and share my experiences in realising two of our recent star projects, bot having a great element of dynamic lighting, our Naera Hotel in Xitang, China which features a light show and our recently opened VUE@OUE Rooftop restaurant which also features a spectacular light show.

In the afternoon I participated in the live judging of the award submissions which concluded with a video interview explaining our choices for the winners. Well done to all the participants!

LME – IoT Intelligent Lighting Forum
The next day I was up as one of the invited speakers at the IoT segment of the program presenting a shortened version of our LDoT concept, before doing the full Monty later on at PLDC in Rotterdam with Ingmar…in a way it was sort of a road test to see if the story flowed well. The turnout was good, near full capacity in the auditorium. It was clear from the feedback afterwards that our LDoT approach is finding more and more reception and comparing to last year when people sort of acknowledged and like the idea, this time people are excited and want to find out how to participate…there is no doubt LDoT is gaining a lot of traction which is really great!

The event ended with a great gala dinner award night, where I was also asked to present one of the awards as one of the jury members…

Before heading to PLDC in Rotterdam, I made a stop in Lisbon, Portugal together with Ingmar to visit Jordan who has been operating for us from this lovely country for over a year now. The feedback of the local architects and other project developers has been such that we have decided to move ahead an officially set up KLD there. With already two projects in the bag there seems to be real potential…

PLDC 2019, Rotterdam
Having PLDC in my home country was of course great, having been selected to present a paper with Ingmar about LDoT was even sweeter! To my knowledge it was the very first ever father-son presentation in this event and in light of the fact that I am looking to step back a bit, a great moment for Ingmar to take some of the lime light. The presentation was further symbolic as it very much reflected what the advance of IoT means for many, for the older generation it seems something the new generation will have to pick up and run with perfectly reflected by senior and junior doing the presentation together. It was a novelty for us presenting together, very much as the IoT (let alone the integration into lighting) is new to everyone…We had made some que-cards to make sure we knew who would say what but more to make sure I would hold back talking all the time as I am so used presenting by myself the past 30 years…

We had an amazing turnout, every single seat in the dome was taken (about 300++) with everyone else standing room only. Some later complained they couldn’t get in! The reactions on our LDoT presentation was heart warming and has now more then ever confirmed we are on the right way. We have made many new contacts of like minded people which we will follow up on in the weeks to come.

PLDC was also the location of the official Light Talk 2 book launch which was done through a live streamed interview of me by Joachim Ritter, the chair of PLDC, introducing my new book and sharing the story that led me to write this new book.

Overall the event was very well organised, well attended (about 1500+ registered attendees) with a great set up in the famous Ahoy Hallen, a venue known for its concerts and other fair events. Overall the presentations were of average quality, with some highlights and some lesser ones. But considering the organisers try to cater for all walks of lighting design life, I assume everyone found their own little piece of enrichment. Most of the keynote speakers were of excellent calibre.

As usual the evening events were memorable, from the Thursday night party at “Anabel”, the “Fire within” organised by the Fagurhult group in the famous Maas Silo’s to the gala and awards dinner party in the now defunct “Onderzeeboot Loods” (former Submarine Wharf) that was expertly turned into a spectacular light show by Kurt Vermeulen and his team at ACT. Well done everyone…we left in the wee hours looking back on a very satisfactory time at PLDC…

Time for me to say goodbye and take a break. But not to worry, I will be back in some form or way! Till then, take care and make sure you are always enjoying what you are doing!


Light Middle East, when in Dubai, impressions Dubai


LME LDoT presentation at IoT intelligent light forum


LME fair impressions/LAMP Work shop seminar


LME award nights pics


Impressions Rotterdam


PLDC Rotterdam, event impressions


PLDC LDoT presentation


PLDC Light Talk book launch


PLDC evening Fire within and Gala dinner pics

01. November 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The Life of Light – E16 October 2019

Singapore, Weekend 12-13th October 2019

Two weeks without traveling! A welcome break but at the same time the proverbial calm before the storm, as I am about to embark on the last leg of my “world-tour”, with 2 presentations in Dubai next week and our appearance at PLDC in Rotterdam the week after. Meanwhile a lot happened in the past two weeks!

Light Talk 2 is out!
The big news for me is the publication of my new book, Light Talk 2. After checking the proofs earlier last week, it’s now done and printed with the first batch of 100 copies delivered to my office this week so I can take these to PLDC in Rotterdam where we are planning an official little launch party at the PLDC Media booth. Look for announcement at the event! Writing, editing and publishing a book is really like delivering a baby (at least so it feels to me…😊). The conceptualisation, planning and final realisation have taken well over a year. Thanks to the team at Tradelink Media (Aishah, Eric!) for their unwavering support, my own team at KLD as well as the sponsors who have made this latest publication possible. My heartfelt thanks to all!

VUE@OUE now open!
Another exciting event was the soft opening of our latest F&B project VUE@OUE, a rooftop restaurant with a “Vue” to Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore skyline. The F&B team started to practice their menu cooking and serving skills to the delight of selected (lucky) guests. Official public opening will be on the 21st October…

The Color Kinetics – Signify team that supported us tirelessly in commissioning this project to satisfaction, released a testimonial video interview highlighting the key features and advantages of the Intellihue product that we selected for the main hall feature lighting. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the technology used in this project is one of the very firsts installations in the world and a first in Asia. The promotional video from Signify will go viral on social media next week (till then we are under embargo, so we cant show it here yet).

LDoT gathering more and more traction and recognition
My presentation at LME is being promoted on social media as a “Kodak moment in lighting”, signs that people are taking note of our Lighting Design if Things initiative! Cant wait to present and have discussions with those interested!

We have also opened up our LDoT to other lighting designers. As LDoT now operates as an independent professional consultancy we can now service our fellow lighting designers. Over the last few weeks we have met with several of them and explained how we can help in projects where data requirements might connect (or interfere) with the lighting design infra-structure. We have received very positive feedback. For those of you interested in exploring collaboration with our LDoT support platform, please reach out to us!

Our LDoT partner portal is progressing well.  We are moving full steam ahead with the portal developer and target to have our Menu of Things™ accessible on our website to our partners by the start of the new year (yes, it’s a lot of work!). We are excited about this partner collaboration as it will be a world first and unique service portal helping the industry merge lighting and the smart world of IoT!

The past weeks also saw us meet with new LDoT partners and collaborators, all excited about the opportunities and future potential. It’s a fast-moving world and securing these partnerships is essential for the success of our LDoT vision.

IoT Smart Cloud Expo Singapore
Not surprisingly I now find myself going to industry events that I previously would not have thought of going. Last week saw the Singapore IoT Smart Cloud Expo at MBS, a two day event bringing together the who is who in this new IoT world. The only “lighting” company that I saw presented was Philips Signify, one of the few lighting companies today that have really grasped the importance of all the changes happening in our world.

Signify also showed of the latest updated LIFI system, still with bulky dongles and sensors, but more aesthetically pleasing and certainly more powerful. The big news is that LIFI up/down load has now fully moved to the invisible IR spectrum, allowing lights to be switched off without interfering with the LIFI functionality. I made some really interesting contacts at this events, strongly represented by the telco’s but also cyber security experts, secure cloud data storage providers and app/ data platform developers. A new world which is not easy to comprehend…

The usual defile of suppliers and manufacturers came and presented in our office their latest product offerings but few really grasp the changes that our lighting industry is about to undergo. One of the manufacturers proudly announced that they were now launching their first fully Casambi integrated range of products…I am not sure, but isn’t that a bit late? Haven’t we not moved way beyond that now?
In that respect a little workshop we had organised for our team to better understand the new generation of DALI 2 controllers was very useful…

Aero lighting developing a strong reputation in hospitality lighting, just launched a social media promotion on the back of the Xitang project that they did with us. Please see the post and video here

The economy
A few words about the economy…while the world is still in the ban of the Hong Kong protests, the trade wars between China and the USA and the Brexit saga, the economy overall still seems to move forward, at least from our perspective. We have signed of multiple new projects from Europe via the Middle East to China, giving our team some exciting new project destinations. Payments are taking longer to materialise and fees are under pressure, but our portfolio of work is healthy for the foreseeable time ahead. Together with our LDoT activities we are excited about the times ahead.

Enjoy your time ahead!

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Checking the proofs

Signify LiFi

Naera Hotel – Xitang


12. October 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, video and audoio podcast | Leave a comment

The Life of light E15 – September 2019

Singapore – Perth – HCMC – Singapore
Weekend 28-29th September 2019

I was supposed to write my bi-weekly blog last weekend but with the Singapore F1 in town (we had tickets to go) and my trip to HCMC it moved to the back burner…also with the frantic work to finish the final details of Light Talk 2 that I had to finish over the weekend I had to let it go. We are now midweek as I start (finally) writing the blog entry which will only be posted by this weekend. But as a compensation it is a rather extensive blog as obviously a lot happens in 3 weeks…

F1 Singapore
The F1 grand prix now in its 12th edition in Singapore has grown to a huge event. By all accounts nearly 270,000 people attended the race weekend that ultimately saw Vettel beat Leclerc and my compatriot Max Verstappen. Ever since the first race weekend under the lights in 2008 I have been able to attend this special event in some form of way. This year we were invited to probably one of the coolest places on the circuit called Turn Twenty3, located track side at the last turn right at the start of the pit straight. It is a secluded little “village” with restaurants, bars and roof terraces with near perfect views on all the action. The access is by boat from MBS. It is always a special feel to be at one the “home of night racing” as Singapore is promoting their status as the only true night rice under lights. It still looks like they are using the good old metal halide fixtures (Philips Arena vision) from the original installation. I guess their maybe scope to suggest upgrading to LED?

Light Talk 2
That’s it, all the artwork is at the printer! They will do the final page preparation and later next week we will have the final artwork review before we give the printer go-ahead. I should have the actual book ready to launch just before leaving for Dubai and Rotterdam. I am planning the official world launch of the book in a little event in Rotterdam during PLDC. Nothing confirmed yet but any suggestions welcome!

SIT Launch
Over the last 2 weeks we also saw the official public media launch of one of our Singapore projects, the Singapore Institute of Technology’s campus at the Punggol Digital District. SIT is one of the 2 packages we have been working on with WOHA architects over the last few years. The JTC package has been tendered and awarded as well and construction is now under way as well…few more years to go though as it is a huge township development…

World tour stop 2: Global Hotel & Resort Convention in HCMC
Vietnam is one of those fast-developing countries in Asia with ever increasing tourists arrivals and a growing GDP and as result the need to grow its infra-structure and facilities. From that perspective I was proud to be invited by the organisers to be part of an elite group of presenters to address developers, architects and key players in the tourism industry. My presentation was sponsored by Aero Lighting, one of the leading lighting manufacturers in the hospitality industry. The attendance was limited but of very high quality allowing for great networking. I was fortunate to be able to present my vision for lighting design and be able to share our experience and challenges in realising our award winning Alila Yangshuo Hotel resort. Lighting design in Vietnam is still in it’s early days and from the reactions I received it was clear that for many it was an eyeopener seeing how good lighting design contribute to the success of a project. I am sure there will be more to follow.

World tour stop 3: IALD Perfect light, Singapore
Hot on my presentation in HCMC I participated at IALD’s “The Perfect Light” event, one of the many events IALD is organising as art of its 50th Anniversary celebration around the world. As a keen contributor (if I am available) to lighting events that contribute to promoting and growing our lighting design industry, I had accepted the invitation without really having an idea what I would be going to present. The main event was the screening of the second instalment of “the perfect light” a journey in search of what perfect light is or could be, curated by the ever energetic team of Light Collective, Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton. The venue for the event, gracefully sponsored by FLOS, was the Other Roof, at Ang Siang Road and saw an attendance of nearly 40 people from our local lighting design and manufacturing industry, Great attendance and great camaraderie. I had decided to use stories from my book Light Talk that had a strong relation to what “perfect” in lighting could be. My book was later part of a lucky draw. Cheryline (one of my senior designers) did an admirable job in presenting her story: “Let there be light”. Well done Cheryline, you should present more often! James Tan, a photographer “obsessed with light” concluded the presentations for the evening that went on till late. Thanks to Yah Li Toh (IALD SEA’s representative) for organising! To be organised again soon!

VUE@OUE interview
Our VUE rooftop restaurant and bar is now completed and handed over. In the coming weeks it will open to selected guests only before it will be definitely be opened to the greater public. As part of the promotional activities I was asked to participate in a video interview that will be published later on. The Intellihue technology from Philips/ Signify that we applied is one of the first installation of its kind in the world and the first in Asia Pacific, so reason to put in some extra promotional activities.

LED in world news part 2
Trump keeps astounding us with his left field commentary about LED lighting! Shortly after the Bernie Sanders interview, Trump went on record showing he does not understand anything about lighting, confusing compact fluorescent with LED. As far as he is concerned he, and we all, look orange because of poor quality LED. See his comments here

Lighting India
Finally Ingmar’s article about LDoT was printed in the latest issue of Lighting India. We are getting more and more traction and now also our colleague lighting designers are starting to talk to us about how we could assist them in integrating IoT in lighting design! If you are wondering how we can help you, please get in touch!

Enjoy your time ahead!

Entertainment is an essential element of the F1 weekend




28. September 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The life of light E14 – September 2019

Singapore – Bangkok – Xian – Singapore
Weekend 7-8th September 2019

A busy past two weeks, with a lot happening in the office, commissioning of our latest high-end restaurant and OUE Bayfront as well as the near inescapable travel, this time to Bangkok for a project meeting and to Xi’an, China, which was the first stop on my 5 city “world tour” speaking schedule over the next 2 months.

Staff movements
The week started kind of sad as my long-time personal assistant and office manager Siew Mei announced that she would be leaving the company. Over the past 6 years she has been my rock and personal support so it feels up bit like a break up/divorce 😊. But all in good spirits and we seem to have found her perfect replacement…time will tell of course. Over the next couple of weeks, we will work on the transition to make sure it will be seamless and smooth. We all wish her well and will miss her dearly, after all we are a close-knit little family…

Staff training
It reminded me that I have to keep up our internal staff training and personal development program so I invited our trainer Mark Stuart back to discuss the next workshop, which we plan later in November. We started this process a few years ago now and I have witnessed the personal growth of each of my staff in terms of confidence, assertiveness and presentation skills. Time and money well invested!

Light Talk 2
That’s it, we have completed the page layouts and finalised the participating sponsors. The reactions have been overwhelming. In the coming week we will do the final editing and go to print by the end of September, just in time for the planned book launch at PLDC in Rotterdam.

These one-day trips, leaving early morning, meeting 10am-17pm with the client and project team returning on a late evening flight, are highly efficient but also take a lot of energy. But because the time is limited the meetings are generally highly focussed with quick decision making a lot is achieved. I left back writing my report in the lounge reflecting on a fruitful meeting having wrapped up practically everything that had to be settled. A good day in the office…

LDoT is never far away on any given day of the week. Even more it is now an integral part of my every day activities. I met with one of our new IoT partners with the aim to develop an app for our Menu of Things that will be made available on both our partnership portal as well as on mobile devices. We are really excited about this. Still in confidential stage, but I hope to report on this very soon.

Yah Li, who stewards the South East Asian chapter of the IALD (International Association of Lighting Designers), is currently touring the lighting designers in Singapore to not only encourage membership to IALD but also promote lighting designers to take up CLD, the Certified Lighting Designers certification. She also visited our office to encourage our staff. I strongly encourage this and offer my staff company contribution to obtain the membership and or certification as it benefits the company to have recognised designers as part of our team.

Over the past weeks we also made numerous trips to VUE, a new high-end restaurant that will be opening its doors to the public in about 2 weeks’ time. Its testing and commissioning time. Earlier in the week we had the chairman to come and visit the place. We are all very excited and the industry is already abuzz with the latest rooftop restaurant that will join the Marina Bay venues. I am very pleased with the end-result and am confident it will follow in the footsteps of our award-winning Atlas Bar…

LED in world news
It is not often that our lighting industry makes it to the world stage politics, but in the past week CNN reported on Trumps decision to roll back the requirement to use energy saving LED bulbs. In this segment during a town hall debate about climate change CNN asks Bernie Sanders about it…What’s going on in the US? I know that there are still a lot older generation lighting designers that would love to see the incandescent bulb back, but really in the “light” of
See Bernie Sanders interviewed by CNN here.

World tour stop 1: Xi’An, China
The first stop of my “world tour” speaking engagements was in Xi’An, the capital of Shaanxi province and home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties. It is also the eastern starting point of the famous Silk Road and most of all it is the city where the famed Terra Cotta warriors can be found, a must-see site and on my bucket list of places to visit ever since I first came to China 25 year ago.

I was in Xi’An in the first place as an invited key note speaker at an event that saw the design industry come together, interior designers, architects and lighting designers. More than 1000 attendees gathered at the Shangri-La Xi’An Grand Ballroom to attend sessions about hotel and retail applications. I was the key note speaker for lighting. In my presentation I shared how to create your own lighting design identity, learn from the masters but also learn from your own and other peoples’ mistakes…life is too short to make them all yourself! 😊

The format saw speakers from both lighting and interior design practices share their projects and experiences. I particularly liked the debate session that saw lighting designers pitted against interior designers debating the merits of independent lighting designers versus interior designers professing that as part of their services (as some do!). A great debate, even though I only got snippets via my translator…
The proceedings were followed by a gala dinner and award ceremony celebrating award winning designs in the various applications. A great event, honoured to be invited. Next stop Ho Chi Minh City in 2 weeks…

Terra Cotta Warriors
I was told that around 8000 life size, hand-moulded terra cotta soldiers can be found at the site in several “pits”. I visited the 3 that were open to the public, but was told more was still to be un-earthed. The army was buried together with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. According to our guide more than 700,000 people worked for 38 years to create these warriors. Note that not one is the same, they all have different facial expressions! They are all different! Amazing, I was in awe by the pure sight of it and blessed to have had the opportunity to see this in real life…

Social Media
To end the blog with a bit of fun. This week we (KLD) was accidentally tagged in a post about South African tennis champion Raven Klaasen. Instead of Raven KLD was tagged in the post. We replied that we are not a tennis champion however we are award winning lighting designers…😊

Enjoy your time ahead!

Note: the blog has migrated to a new provider. If you are not able to connect with our blog please follow this link: For any questions please email us at

Bangkok meeting

IALD meet


XiAn Event

The debate

the gala & award dinner

The Warriors


Social Media

08. September 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The life of light E13 – August 2019

Singapore – Xitang – Singapore
Weekend 24-25th August 2019

Another 2 weeks have flown by…In my first week, back in Singapore I spent a lot of time meeting people, physically and virtually through conference calls. Part in attendance to resolve issues for our projects progress and part in support of our LDoT activities which are becoming more and more important place in our daily activities. My second week was fully spent in Xitang, China, for the commissioning of what is fast becoming the talk of the town, the new Naera Hotel, hospitality mixed with an art gallery, spa and organics farming…

Project deliveries and payments
Despite the economic slowdown in the world, which I think everyone is feeling, the demand for our services in our ongoing projects and quotes for new projects is not letting up. We are as busy as ever, but feel it in the slow payments…the turnaround between invoicing and payment is getting much longer, some already several months, which is generally a sign of things slowing down. This is where we have to carefully balance our work output and deliverables with the client’s ability to pay for the services. Promises to pay is not the same as having money in the bank! We have several project situations where we are holding back our issues pending a payment that is to be “received”. It is a balancing act as we also do not wish to offend our clients. But without leverage we have not much to pressure the clients to prioritise the settlement of our outstanding invoices…

My week in Singapore was also full of LDoT related activities. As we have opened up our services to fellow lighting designers that are in need to integrate IoT and smart data platforms into their lighting, we have had exploratory discussions with lighting designers with more scheduled in the weeks to come. It is for this reason that we have now fully separated LDoT as an independently incorporated company. This has been enthusiastically received in the market and gives us more opportunities to collaborate. Our discussions about collaboration with existing and new LDoT partners is continuing unabated as we develop this service to become better and better. Most players in this new market are learning, discovering, adapting, but one thing we all have in common, is that you have to be in it to win it so to speak.

A big focus has been on developing our system integration team and with that also a revenue model. Because it is new to everyone, whether you are a vendor or a consultant like we are, defining the revenue stream that is also a win-win for the client is something that needs to be carefully developed. This no longer the delivery of hardware products, it is the delivery of a service, with ongoing support over time (data analytics, content management, etc). We are slowly getting there but only by going through the pilot projects will we be able to define exactly how this will work…it is therefore not a surprise that we will need investors to help us fund the early stages of this new data- industry. The reaction so far is very positive…

Light Talk 2
This week I also met with the team from Lighting Today Magazine who is helping me editing my second book Light Talk 2, 15 years in the life of light! The artwork concept and content pages have been completed and we are now finalising the individual page settings, additional commentary and illustrations so that we can go to print by the end of next month. I am super excited and if all goes well the book will be ready for launch at PLDC 2019 in Rotterdam, 23-26th October. Look out for it!

Naera Hotel, Xitang
This is probably one of the most exciting projects I have been involved with for a long time. It is not often that you are involved with the birth of a new brand. Naera has been created as a concept brand that merges top quality service hospitality, with art, health and organic farming to promote healthy food. Staff is being trained to provide top quality services, nothing is impossible, they will go out of the way to provide you with a comfortable stay. In my week at the hotel it was omnipresent in every detail of the service, you feel treated like royalty.

Art Gallery
The hotel is also one big art gallery, with artworks from some of China’s most respected artists. The complete pool tiling is one big artwork from China’s famous artist Ding Yi. There are some more works of him displayed around the hotel. Other artists even from Taiwan and Japan have artworks in the hotel, which makes walking around one big and exciting discovery. Not surprisingly lighting plays a super important role in bringing the artworks out day and night! The exploration of artworks continues all the way into your room, in table decorations, accessories and so on.

Organic food and tea
One of the driving pillars of the hotel concept is that all food derives from organic farming. On a plot of land adjoining the hotel, organic farming will be a major draw for the guests. Experiencing the healthy food in the restaurant (they have more than 30 specialised chefs) is an important part of the experience. Our lighting has been designed to create the mood that goes with it. More then 2000 types of tea will be available and by rotating the types of tea available in your room you are virtually assured that you will never have the same tea in your room as a returning guest!

Relaxing the mind
The interior concept has very much been about relaxing the mind… from the moment you arrive in the enclosed exterior courtyard, you arrive in a different world, screened of from the busy street outside. The lobby is designed as a maze which helps you to unwind on your way to the reception and check in. Designed as a Chinese garden, filled with artworks that you discover around each new corner, you can feel your mind relax with every step. Our lighting is concealed, with softly glowing backlit rattan panels, invisible spots highlighting the artworks you discover on your way… a truly relaxing experience. The impact of the lighting here is immeasurable…

Light Show
The icing on the cake for this hotel is the light show that we created using the public spaces that are build around the central courtyard which consist of a big water surface punctuated with some island trees, a central pavilion and a two walk ways that look like you walk on water when you cross over. Having a reflective water surface doubles the effect, which becomes magical when lighting is added. The architectural building concept has always been developed with this central feature in mind. Each of the public spaces (Lobby, Reception, Bar, Library, Restaurant, Tea House, Gym, Spa, Pool, etc) all look out to this central courtyard. With the soft moving coloured light show that plays for 15 mins every hour, people are drawn to relax and enjoy the spectacle with a drink or some food…it was the talk of every single guest who all proclaimed the uniqueness and magic of something they had never seen before.

After we had the official opening on Friday night, the guests stayed till deep in the night to enjoy the beauty of this magical spectacle. It was the birth of something very special, a brand I am sure you will see, hear or read about much more in the future. For us it was a grateful and satisfying conclusion to many years of hard work.

Xitang project video
As we did for our award winning Yangshuo project, my daughter Kyra came along to film the project, interview the key players like the owner, operator and lead designer with the aim to put together another project documentary. We also took the opportunity to interview Yvonne a TV personality who host many shows and was the MC for the opening event. It was very interesting to hear her feelings about this unique hotel.

Enjoy your time ahead!

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The arrival experience

Teaching the operator staff

Welcome in the room

Interviewing Yvonne. media personality from Shanghai TV and Channel Young


25. August 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light and art, light and health, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting design, video and audoio podcast | Leave a comment

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