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 or [email protected]

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.

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 [email protected]

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

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *