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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…

Portugal
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…

Suppliers
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!

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

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.

Bangkok
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
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.

IALD SEA and CLD
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.

VUE@OUE
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: lighttalk.kldesign.co. For any questions please email us at lighttalk@kldesign.co

Bangkok meeting

IALD meet

VUE

XiAn Event

The debate

the gala & award dinner

The Warriors

CNN

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…

LDoT
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!

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

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

The Life of Light E12 – August 2019

Singapore – Perth – Singapore
Long Weekend 9-12 August 2019

It becomes more and more obvious that keeping a disciplined routine of writing a blog becomes more difficult the longer the time between blogs. I have caught myself a few times totally forgetting about it. As I write my blog today it is Monday (a public holiday in Singapore) and only after checking the date of my last blog I realise it was already 2 weekends ago that I wrote my last blog…so here we go.

Singapore
Being back in the office after having been away for a long period of time, tucked away in the French countryside, “deprived” of my regular active day to day communication, allows you to take stock of your own company and how it fares when you are away. I am blessed with a great team who steps up and take their responsibilities when I am away which of course provides me with a lot of peace of mind. While they step up to the plate when I am in the office, stepping up knowing that the boss may not necessarily be available to support or take action is another thing. I have said in the past that in my view the ideal situation for my company is that it can run without me without loosing the respect from our clients. Me being there is a bonus. We are working towards that and I am very grateful to my team for allowing me to take it easier. I can t see myself retiring anytime soon, I am too invested and passionate about what I am doing, but knowing I can slow down a bit and take some time out when I need it is important for the long run. The only way to keep doing what I love doing is by pacing myself…In the first week back in office I caught up with my team, met with some clients and slowly resumed my daily activities…

Perth

Midweek I flew to Perth to sit down with Ingmar to work on our LDoT plans and also finish my Light Talk video’s, long overdue. There is a clear slump in the economy world wide which can be felt in the projects that we are doing. Payments are markedly slower, though the number of projects and the amount of work in Asia Pacific in general does not seem to slow down, not sure what to think about that. The Australian market though is tough, the real estate market has lost a lot of its value, according to the latest figures up to 15-20% since the peak of the boom in 2013. One of our residential projects in Perth, a luxury apartment block, is now holding of selling of the plan because of that. We are finishing the project but in a bare format…new projects seem to be under the pump.

LDoT
Economical downtime like this is in general a perfect time to focus on developing new opportunities, as we are doing with our LDoT platform. Besides preparing to present LDoT in a big way at PLDC in Rotterdam later this year, we are also preparing pitches to potential investors and shoring up our partnerships. Our LDoT website was recently revamped with till new features to be added. One of our main aims is to create a partner portal on our website to which you can subscribe to find or share information related to data analytics platforms, IoT partner offerings and find answers to questions you may have. One of the main features is likely to be our Menu of Things ™, that can be used to find out what you or you client may need…it is quite a complicated development but we hope to have it available in the months to come.

Privacy and The Great Hack

One of the biggest issues that will challenge anyone entering the IoT market, data analytics platforms and AI, is the personal privacy. For those who have not seen “The Great Hack”, a recent Netflix documentary about the role of now defunct Cambridge Analytica company in the American elections and other elections around the world including its relationship with Facebook, I can only recommend it. It is scary but it is real. It has reinforced my believe that I have to be in it so I can be part of a solution, standing on the side lines will not help. The progress in artificial intelligence and data collection technologies is frightening. But it is what is being collected and what is being done with it that we should be aware off. There is talk about digital data rights in the same way there are intellectual and property rights. You own your own data and should not be forced to give it away. It should be your choice and if people want it you should be able to monetise your data. As “the Great Hack” states, data demographics could be classified as a weapon. So as we move forward with our LDoT platform we have to make sure that whatever system we deliver it is end to end compliant with GDPR or any applicable privacy protection law. It is probably one of the biggest issues that involves the application of data analytics as part of our lighting installation…we are working on it!

Light Talk
Finally I managed to finalise the introductions to my Light Talk conversations so they are ready to be uploaded to our website and our KLD YouTube channel. We are looking at other podcast platforms as well. In my next blog I should be able to give you the details of the links to view the conversations I have had with experts in their field. watch this space for the uploads very soon…

Enjoy your time ahead!

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

Beautiful Perth
Data is the now worlds most valuable commodity, not oil…

Recording our promotional video for LDoT

The banking scandal in Australia that has much to do with the economy, inspiring book titles

Personal privacy, the Great Hack
The intro for the upcoming Light Talk conversations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The life of light E11 – July 2019

Singapore – Guangzhou – Europe – Singapore – Shanghai/Xitang – Singapore
Weekend 27-28 July 2019

It has been a while and as you can see from the heading I have been places since my last blog. It started with my attendance to the Guangzhou International Lighting Fair, followed by my attendance to the Lamp Awards in Barcelona. I then spent a month in the South of France in “semi-retirement mode” enjoying the countryside before returning to Singapore and going back to the preopening ceremony of our Xitang project.

Guangzhou
This year I had a panel moderator function at the fair leading a discussion about the future of smart city lighting. Joining me on stage where esteemed assistant professor Chanyaporn from the lighting Research and Innovation Centre School of Architecture and Design, Bangkok (yes a long name 😊), Mr James Wallace, Principal and Design Director of LightPlan from Perth, Australia creator of several city master plans and mr Frederic Couton, from the French city of Marseille as a representative of LUCI (Lighing Urban Community International), an international association of cities in the world. Encouraged by a capacity crowd the panel experts dived into questions about how the future of lighting, specifically in regards to smart intelligence and sustainability would impact on the future of city lighting planning. Having the feedback from an actual city (Marseille) brought a much valued aspect of reality into the discussions. A lively Q+A concluded the panel discussions.

Though I was originally not scheduled to speak at the event a last-minute pull-out of one of the key note speakers in the master sharing sessions opened up a slot which the organisers asked me to fill in. I obliged and shared my thoughts (surprise, surprise) about the new world of smart lighting infra-structures, my Lighting Design of Things vision for the future. The master series were very well attended with again lively Q+A sessions. The event concluded with a gala dinner. All in all a much better event then previous years as the key-note presentations and panel discussion sessions were much more focussed and targeted resulting in a better attendance and audience involvement.

Barcelona – Lamp Awards
From Guangzhou I flew straight to Barcelona with a transit stop at the new Istanbul airport. New or renovated airports as the toast of the world at the moment to coop with the enormous rise in world air travel. I have always liked Istanbul as a city and as a stopover and the new airport did certainly not disappoint.

It was an honour to be invited at the prestigious Lamp awards, admittedly I have never won a Lamp award, but being a fan of the Lamp lighting products, it was a pleasure to attend the event. It was meticulously organised with a pirate-themed party to celebrate the award winners. A panel of expert judges from the lighting design industry adjudicated the awards and it looked indeed like the best ones won, well done to all the winners.

Having never been to Barcelona before I took some time off to visit the city and of course Gaudi’s famous masterpiece La Sagrada Familia. By all accounts after more then 130 years of construction it may soon be finished (another few years…). Barcelona’s reputation as a beautiful and happening place was certainly justified, I will be back 😊

Semi-retirement
It sounds serious when I write it down but after 40 years in the business (I started in 1979!) it makes sense to start thinking about the next phase of my life. I will never fully retire, at least that is how I think now still being healthy and energetic, so hence the semi-retirement tag. What this means is taking more regularly time off for myself and that is what I did after Guangzhou and Barcelona. Switching off from the daily work noise in my beloved France where the main distractions are birds and nature and time literally takes a back seat really helps me recharge and relax. Knowing that I have a great team to keep servicing our clients when I am away is of course a necessary peace of mind. Going back to basics in countryside France also helps to put life and specifically our hectic lighting design work into perspective. We design highly complex lighting infra-structures with sophisticated controls, but in my little village we have no street lights and a simple bare bulb with a scoop reflector pendant hanging from the ceiling. The contrast couldn’t be bigger. At night the stars and the moon shine so brightly I am even able to take a picture of my own moon shadow!

Back to work – Xitang
After recharging my batteries for a month I was back at it last week, catching up with my team in Singapore and this week flew back to China to attend the pre-opening ceremony at our exciting Xitang project that will see its grand opening later in August. I reported extensively about it in last blog. The interesting thing for us is that we are part of a little bit of history. The client, together with a local Chinese operator, is creating a new brand in the hospitality market. The hotel brand, Naera, will find its origins in organic farming, art and sustainability. On a large plot just next to the hotel, the hotel will be developing organic farming, with cooking classes and using the generated organic food in the restaurants. It is also creating its own organic brand of tea and enlisted a specialised tea company to drive this. With more than 4000 types of tea apparently existing (more than 2000 in China alone), they want the guests to have a different tea experience every time they check in or dine. A tea and cocktail bar is planned in the commercial area. Art is also a big part of the hotel with more than a million Renminbi spend in artworks alone. In phase two of this project a commercial art precinct will be developed.

Tom Cruise
In a dedicated ceremony about 400 people, consisting of operator staff, site contractors, consultants, experts and other client related people were treated to an introduction to the project with presentations from the client, the operator and all involved consultants (undersigned included) to give everyone a sense of belonging and involvement in the project. From my point of view a great initiative as it gave the people that build and will manage and service the project a better understanding of what they are part off. It created a spirit of togetherness which was also the main theme of the ceremony.
I presented our work as lighting designers and to introduce a bit of fun I ended my presentation with the spoof we filmed during one of our site visits on the Mission Impossible 3 running scene that was actually filmed in Xitang. In that film segment Tom Cruise jumps out of a window, runs over bridges and through Xitang old town directed on the phone by his side kick. In our spoof Grace does the same and directs me to our site. It’s hilarious and had everyone abundantly laughing. In a review of the event I was later introduced as the Tom Cruise of the lighting design industry…a new high in my career?

See our spoof on Mission Impossible here

Enjoy your time ahead!

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

Istanbul

Lamp awards

Barcelona

Moon shadow

Xitang

28. July 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, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The life of light E-10 June 2019

Singapore – Shanghai/Xitang – Singapore
Weekend 7-8 June 2019

The last two weeks have been pretty full on; project deadlines, coordination meetings, sample reviews, conference calls, fee proposals, interviews…and a bit of travel. We are fortunate to have been appointed to some exciting new projects, which just kick started. Project cycles are always unpredictable and balancing new projects with ongoing work, making sure the team has ongoing work without over working, can be quite challenging. We have been interviewing new staff to make sure we can cope with our current work requirements. As I write this blog I am on my way back from Shanghai after an intensive but very satisfying 3 days on our project site in Xitang, about an hours’ drive out of Shanghai.

80-20

Going to site facing the hard realities of your own design are the most rewarding and revealing times of a project. I always tell my clients that my design is as good as its final implementation and being allowed to be part of that implementation gives the lighting designer the opportunity to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, making sure the very best can be achieved. The famous 80-20 rule applies here as well…80% of the project’s success lays in the last 20% of the implementation. Having a client that appreciates that and gives you the opportunity (like our Xitang client) to have a near free hand in completing the project is very gratifying as a designer.

Design and reality
Every designer should have the opportunity to see his or her design come to fruition to be physically involved to the very end. It is a very educational process and even after nearly 40 years I am amazed how much I learn each time I am on site. The issues you encounter on site help you to better design and anticipate for your next design. Our site visit to Xitang takes place about 1-2 months before the expected opening, a critical time when you still have the opportunity to change or correct things. With an understanding and willing client this is a great opportunity. Through an active Wechat group and constant communication with the project team, we have been kept up to date since our last visit in April, so we pretty much knew what to expect on site and we set on to work our way through the issues from the moment we set foot on site.

Site marathon
A project of this size, stretched over a large area, with many buildings and several floors are a recipe for a lot of physical endurance. Over the past few days I have done more than 20,000 steps/ day, climbed up and down countless stairs and step ladders, got down and dirty from early in the morning till late at night, 15 hours a day, with short meal breaks for lunch and dinner. These are the site marathons, where you try to achieve all you can during your trip. Good advance planning is crucial and we had the complete site team continuously at our disposal as were the programmers, electricians and lighting supplier. They followed us wherever we needed to go. When Grace and I split up to work in parallel the “support team” split up accordingly as well. We even had people carrying our bags for us! Water was brought when we were thirsty.

Site team follow up
We have a great team (the same site team that worked with us on the Yangshuo project) that know us and our way of thinking which helps a lot. They anticipate and understand quickly what you want. Instructions to change or correct lighting issues were executed immediately and on numerous occasions we found the lighting to already be rectified or installed when previously missing, at our next inspection. I cant emphasise enough how critical to the success of a project a supportive and understanding site contractor is! This team shows they are also eager to successfully complete this project and respect us as the expert consultant, never really questioning our judgement other then suggesting possible improvements! We happily understandably put in all the extra hours during our visit!

What did we do?
For those not often going to project sites ( or even for those who do) I am happy to share the typical routines we go through. On arrival we generally first tour the whole site to take stock of the progress and understand what is and what not. It provides us with the base to prioritise our work for the next days. It shows us what is completed, missing or yet to be installed, etc. Then we set out to work our way through area by area, floor by floor.

The most common issue are poorly installed cove lights. No matter how well you document the installation details we always find that we need to adjust these on site mainly because the actual mill work/ installation detail is different then the original drawings and contractors then use their own interpretation to install. We practically had to instruct each and every linear cove light to be re-installed, which the contractor did without a protest and in record time!

Lights missing, wrongly installed or in a “wrong” position are another favourite on the menu 😊. Things change on site due to constraints, unexpected obstructions, last minute change of designs or layouts, etc. Only when you are onsite and can directly discuss with the rest of the team (interior designer, architect, landscaper, electrical engineer, who were all following us!) quick action can be taken to correct of modify. A project is always a moving object…

Last but not least the lighting controls…ooohhh the lighting controls, (sigh 😊). For some reason the programmers always seem totally, inadequately equipped to deal with the requirements of programming the controls. Finding the correct circuit and then being able to dim it seems like a mountain to climb for them at time!

Light show
In this project we have the unique integration of a light show. The buildings that surround and face the central courtyard have been designed with an additional layer of coloured RGB dynamic light that will be part of an integrated light show, probably every 30 mins every evening. Our challenge is to integrate these six designated areas both as part of our architectural lighting scheme as well as the light show. DMX controlled RGB lighting mixed with our regular architectural dimmable lighting controls. I don’t need to explain the extra level of complexity (and frustration) that comes along. However, the initial results look magical (see pictures below). It will be a show stopper!

Everyone has an opinion
Having a big team following you also opens up a lot of discussions…its amazing how many people have an opinion when it comes to lighting. Most of all if their “opinion is based on unfinished work! Very little people have the ability to visualise the end result and having to explain that some lights have not yet been installed, not yet been aimed or not yet been programmed can be a frustrating affair!
Part of our work also requires us to walk our site progress through with the “boss”. It is a necessary part of our presence and serves to satisfy their peace of mind that it will all be ok! Explaining yet be done works to the boss is part and parcel of our responsibility, at the end of the day they are investing a lot of money and are anxious to see that it all comes successfully together. Having to clarify the same to every Tom Dick and Harry who hobs around with you is a bit more frustrating, but we take that in our stride, certainly as we are very confident, we have another winner on our hands!

Enjoy your time ahead!

Notice: To all my readers, I will be away for a couple of weeks and will resume my blog by the end of July.

Also, our blog has migrated to a new provider. If you are not able to connect with our blog please follow this link: lighttalk.kldesign.co. For any questions please email us at lighttalk@kldesign.co

 

 

 

09. June 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The Life of Light E-09 – May 2019

Singapore – Hong Kong/Zuhai – Bangkok – Singapore
Weekend 25-26 May 2019

It’s one of the busy times of the year. Traditionally we see the periods from April to June and September to November to be seasonal peaks in the amount of work and travelling needed and this year does not seem to be any different. The past two weeks I had our China Cup yacht project and our Bangkok hotel and office projects on my travel list. Both crucial site and progress coordination meetings. I have never understood how some design consultancies can only provide concepts and not be involved in the end game of a project. Your design is as good as the final implementation so if you are not involved in the installation and completion of a project, how can you learn to make your designs better! Every time we have a meeting, every time we coordinate our design and every time we are on a project site to coordinate with the contractor team we learn and can support the installation team with our expertise and guidance. You can never deliver a good concept from behind your desk! You need to understand what is going on in the project team and most of all how the local contractor goes about doing his work. Your design documentation only provides about 80% information, sometimes open to different interpretation you even don’t realise! Only we as the designers know what we wish to achieve as the end result…crucial!

Hong Kong/Zhuhai
Going to the ship yard, about 1 hours drive from Zhuhai can be arduous. We have done it once flying in through Shenzhen followed by a 4 hour drive south, but flying in through Hong Kong and then taking the ferry directly from the airport to Zhuhai seems to be the most efficient way with more flight options in and out of Hong Kong as well. There is now a new (apparently expensive) option which is to use the new 55 km long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Maybe next trip…
Our China Cup yacht is making good progress…it was moved from the yard into the water and first sea trials are expected soon. We came to inspect the work progress and make sure everything was being installed as per our design specifications. Specifically, locations of down lights and integrated cove light installations had to be checked. Obstructions in the ceiling (M&E stuff) can mean that down lights are being moved from their original location, but not always in the right direction. Linear cove lights (with a shoddy contractor) have a way of looking shoddy with irregular lighting throws, simply because they are not neatly aligned or installed in-line. Luckily we seem to have a good contractor and that showed with most cove lights looking good.

One of the key issues in a moving object, whether it is a yacht, a train, a plane or a bus is that they are subject to vibrations. Hence installation and fixations are crucial. You don’t just put a driver lose in the ceiling they need to be properly tied up so they don’t start having a life on their own once the yacht start sailing…lighting design in confined spaces like yachts and planes are extra challenging, not only because the quality requirements in consideration of the marine climate conditions, but also because the very limited recess space generally available. We are grateful to have been working with one of the foremost expert marine lighting manufacturers who really delivered! It pays to work with experts! We can’t wait to see this project completed, another award winner in the making!

Dealing with a client in China
There is one thing that many European or Western companies do not understand when dealing with clients in China and that is how to negotiate within the boundaries of their culture. Loss of face is a critical aspect in any relationship and one of our specified manufacturers experienced this first hand. We saw the result on site when we visited. The linear lights for our coves had to be supplied as one complete package and lumpsum price including custom lengths, drivers, etc. It turned out that when everything was delivered some custom length were missing as well as some drivers. The client insisted the balance be delivered without any additional costs. The manufacturer refused claiming their quote had not included all these extra items. The client frustrated and upset with the supplier’s attitude, lost patience and proceeded to rip out all the linear lights and replace them with that of another reputable and more willing supplier! We found the stacks of thrown away linear lights on site. Lesson learned…it was never about the money but about the principle and not loosing face…the manufacturer in question did not understand and now will not be able to list this project as a reference as ALL their lights were taken out! They also lost our confidence…a big price to pay for just a few thousand dollars…!

Bangkok
Our Bangkok client is unique to us in the sense that we are combining the integration of smart infra-structures (our LDoT platform) with our lighting design. The mixed development of two towers has a hotel a corporate office and residential apartments. The guestrooms are being equipped with smart sensors to control the lighting and air-conditioning, two of the biggest contributing energy saving opportunities in a hotel room. Both the client and ourselves are on a learning curve in converting traditional installation approaches towards new wireless opportunities. We are building it up step by step and for now are holding back on the public areas though with an eye on future smart upgrades. The offices are another thing all together, we are putting in a smart infra-structure but data analytics capabilities that will allow us to learn with the client what we can “analyse” and “measure” through our sensors and how we can use the real time and historic data collection to improve the office space…it is an exciting and promising journey we are embarking on.

LDoT – Huawei
One of the key things that is changing our world is that we are moving from hardware specifications to software capabilities as the prime decision maker in any purchase. The recent Huawei ban issued by the US shows us exactly what the impact is. In a recent news article in Singapore it was highlighted that the sales of new and second hand Huawei mobile phone sets has dramatically plunged, nearly 90%! The main reason cited by all potential buyers was the availability of the apps. Huawei runs of the Android platform and without it the device is not much worth…It is not difficult to see that that data platforms that will be able to run on our lighting infrastructure will be a key decision factor in the design, specification and installation of future lighting systems…It just reinforces our belief that our LDoT approach will be the way of the future!

Enjoy your time ahead!

Housekeeping notice: Our blog has migrated to a new provider. If you are not able to connect with our blog please follow this link: lighttalk.kldesign.co. For any questions please email us at lighttalk@kldesign.co

Nice to see our drawings actually being used!

Sad to see that the linear lights being thrown away…

25. May 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things | Leave a comment

The Life of Light E08 – May 2019

Singapore – Hanoi – Singapore
Weekend 11-12 May 2019

One thing I seem to manage better is the extent of my travelling. In the past two weeks I had nearly daily conference calls but only one trip, to Hanoi in Vietnam for a kick off meeting with a new client. Not that we are not travelling, it’s just that I personally am travelling with less intensity and more selectively. Considering that I have just reached another milestone age (65!), probably good for my health and stress levels! Managing time and health is becoming of prime importance without letting down our clients. My team has been travelling extensively the last few weeks and the fact the client is happy to deal with them is testimony to their ability to service our clients professionally!

Conference calls

In the age of high-speed connectivity it makes sense to communicate, meet or have progress meetings through conference calls. Over the last 2 weeks I have literally had at least one such CC a day, with even a few days with a two or three. While nothing can replace face to face meetings, conducting international or even intercontinental conference calls makes life so much easier! Most of all it frees up so much time that would otherwise be lost in travelling and even though I nowadays travel comfortably, I never really work well or efficiently in a plane. Most of my CC’s these past weeks have been with our LDoT partners and the ease with which you can share documents and have discussions while seeing each other is a real game changer compared to my early days in my practice.

Market disruption
One of the main take-aways for me these past weeks has been the way our traditional lighting design market is being disrupted. If not for my LDoT start-up activities I would probably never have realised this. But we are literally moving towards the “Kodak moment” for the lighting industry. As lighting designers, we are focussed on our developer-clients, our architect, our other design consultant relationships and our lighting manufacturers and suppliers. How that is changing! Yes, my regular core project activities with KLD very much relies on my existing relationships and our standing in the lighting design industry. Still about 80% of our projects come through these referrals and relationships. However, this is about to be disrupted in a big way by players that previously had nothing to do with lighting, namely the big tech companies. Without giving away our market intelligence and new built big tech relationships, I can share that our lighting design services are already being disrupted and gradually going to be eroded more by these new players!

LDoT services for you

For those of you keen to learn more about the integration of IoT in lighting or in need for support in the integration of IoT into lighting design, we have now opened up our LDoT services to fellow lighting designers. You are welcome to contact me or Ingmar directly on martin@lightingdesignofthings.com or ingmar@lightingdesignofthings.com

Guangzhou Light Fair: 9 -11 June
My program for the Guangzhou lighting fair is also firming up. After some further discussions with Messe Frankfurt HK, I will be moderating a panel discussion with a number of experts about the integration of IoT in smart city landscapes. We are still discussing some further fine tuning of the program, but below you can find a the preliminary program of the speaker and panel discussion events.

Hanoi
Finally, after nearly 10 years, I was back in Hanoi for the kick off meeting with a new client. I have been many times to Vietnam over the last couple of years but somehow our projects have focussed around the HCMC area and the coastal resorts. Last time I was there was for the Intercontinental Landmark hotel project (with my previous company). It was good to be back and certainly our client seems to be a pleasure to work with. The lead designer is one my long-time friends with whom I have had the pleasure of doing projects throughout the region. I generally take personal pride in kicking of new projects with our clients, not only to make sure we lay the foundation for a long term relationship but also to make sure we create the proper environment to deliver our services to the desired quality and timelines. Getting the base foundation right at the start is critical for the long-term success of any of our projects. We explain our design process, our deliverables and by that we can manage their expectations right from the start. We establish the communication lines for smooth coordination and follow up…

Hanoi, compared to HCMC seems still to be a sleepy town, there is not the same buzz of noise and traffic jams. Our journeys to an from the airport, the site and hotel was smooth and with a client that values quality himself that was reflected in the way he took care of hosting us, his hospitality, the hotel accommodation and transportation. The exquisite Vietnamese food, and when it came to drinking wine, nothing less than St Emillion Grand Cru!

Even though Vietnam is still considered to be a developing economy, there are clear signs that appreciation of good quality is gaining a lot of traction. If your client asks if brands like FLOS or IGuzzini are ok, I can only look forward to a hopefully appreciative client when we get into specifying our lights!

Enjoy your time ahead!

Housekeeping notice: In the coming weeks (before the end of this month) we will be migrating our blog to another carrier. In principle there should be no interruption or disruption but just in case there is it should be only for a short time. Should you have any issues in accessing the blog please email me at lighttalk@kldesign.co

14. May 2019 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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