The week that was…14-18th August 2017

Singapore, weekend 19-20th August 2017

Another week without travel! It feels strange if you are so used to hop in and out planes and hotels…but these times are generally very productive. It allows me to focus my attention to things that otherwise are on the slow burner (for when I have time)…I have many plates cooking in my kitchen. As most of you know I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and the profession of lighting design through seminars, lighting events and media as I do through my articles, my book and this blog. After 35 years in the business I humbly believe I have something to tell and keeping it all up in my brain cells is of no use to anybody. Sharing my knowledge and stimulating and motivating my own team is my first call while at the same time I actively support associations and other lighting organisations and events. Besides regular ongoing project work, this week therefore was pretty much dedicated to this passion. Our profession exists by the grace of our industry reputation, our business colleagues and our clients. While much work comes in through our established reputation, staying “in the race” means that you need to be continuously active, to see and be seen. It is a harsh world out there, with many new generation dynamic entrepreneurs ready to take your place…Sometimes I wish there were more hours in a day, more days in a week or more weeks in a year… 🙂

Lighting quality awareness in Asia
There is no doubt that there is still a continuous need to create awareness of the benefits of better quality lighting and lighting design. Our profession is still very much in its infancy, though well accepted, there are still many people who do still not appreciate how good quality lighting can improve the quality of our life. I very much appreciated the insights of Alessandro in last week’s blog, who really nailed the point on behalf of many professional quality manufacturers that are continuously fighting the erosion of quality caused by unscrupulous LED Cowboys with their “Frankenstein” monster products.  Quality does not necessarily means expensive…quality means considerate, balanced, thoughtful, safe and reliable!

Because of my geographic location here in Asia it is logical that I focus my attention on this region and it is for that reason that I lent my time and expertise to the International Advisory Council to help grow lighting design in China and Asia Pacific through the Chinese Lighting Design Association, specifically bearing in mind that China is pretty much the cradle of most LED manufacturing! We have had events through many cities in China including Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and others as well as Hong Kong and recently Bangkok. Together with Messe Frankfurt’s great support we are currently finalising the details of our Lighting Design Agora at the Shanghai International Lighting Fair (SILF), a concept we launched last year which consists of an enclosed speakers arena surrounded with our international top quality manufacturer sponsors and networking facilities. Contrary to the Guangzhou and to a lesser degree the Hong Kong lighting fairs, we aim for the designers/specifiers/end-users market. The whole program is a careful balance between international and local talent and aims to bring the lighting designers together with architects, interior designers, developers, operators and other relevant institutes such as governments and universities. Our aim is the same…to improve the awareness of the importance of better lighting quality. I have personally spent months together with the rest of the team putting together the booth and the speaker program…we are nearly there…the event, which I will be moderating, is held in Shanghai from 5-7th September. Please join us if you are in the neighborhood!

Professionalism and integrity
This brings me to another important issue…with quality comes the responsibility for professionalism and integrity, character traits that are a key ingredient for the longevity of our profession and the trust and confidence of the specifiers and end users in using lighting design and quality products. Not only do we need quality products we need the people behind it and the specifiers using them to lead the way of quality by example, which means a professional and independent attitude towards design and specifications, great service from suppliers and manufacturers and personal integrity in the handling of all related work and services. That’s the kind of image and identity that has to go along with the quality message that we are promoting as part of better quality awareness.

Unfortunately many times personal and commercial interests take precedent as I personally discovered this week. I was invited and confirmed to speak at an international sustainability conference in Singapore next month, with my topics and time slots confirmed. On enquiring about the event progress I was reluctantly told that I was no longer part of the program and that another speaker was taking up the lighting slots!…What? In a subsequent phone call I could not get any decent explanation other that one of the organising partners had pushed in a no-doubt “friend” for personal benefit. I have no other explanation as I learned that the speaker in question is one of my former suppliers! Beside it being totally insulting it is also a mark of total unprofessionalism which marks the event even before it has started! As I initially thought highly of my contact and the event, this has shown me I was grossly mistaken…Unfortunately there are many such conferences (I unknowingly participated in some I have to confess) that promote themselves as THE conference on the subject but as you then later find out, are in fact organised for pure financial gain rather than for a professional desire to share real knowledge, which is a real shame and murk’s people’s perception of quality…

60 Over 60
Finally I would like to salute and celebrate those who have genuinely contributed to the quality of our profession of lighting design through their years of experience and realisations. I noted that there is a “competition” that focusess in finding the brightest 40 lighting design talents under 40, the 40 under 40’s awards. Great stuff! However I would like to suggest to the lighting community to make that a perfect 100…let’s find and honor another 60 lighting designers over 60 that have visibly contributed to our society with their great designs and research! The 60 over 60’s! Not because I am over 60 but because I genuinely believe these people deserve the respect and appreciation for a life-long dedication and contributions to our profession!

Have a great weekend!

Here is a peek at the provisional program of the Lighting Design Agora coming September…


18. August 2017 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, light and art, light and health, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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