The week that was…8th – 12th October 2018

Perth – Singapore, Weekend 13-14th October 2018
Time and again I can’t get over how different the lifestyle in Australia is compared to Asia. The open spaces, the landscape, the weather (seasons, we are going into spring) and way of living give a real sense of freedom, it relaxes and recharges your batteries. The balance with work (yes we do work!) seems much healthier…it was also a week when we heard that Two Roads Hospitality (to which our beloved Alila Hotel brand belongs) has been sold to the Hyatt group…it will be interesting to see how that might impact on the projects we are currently working on…When Raffles/Fairmont was taken over by Accor it resulted in some definite delays in our Raffles projects…

International Lighting Advisory Council (ILAC)
In the beginning of the week I met with fellow board member, James Wallace, to further discuss our plans for this coming year. We recently added “Lighting” to the original IAC name to underscore that we are in lighting. Originally set up as an advisory council the Chinese Lighting Design Association, we have now expanded our scope to develop lighting design event programs for fair organisers like Messe Frankfurt, who is one of our partners in the Asia Pacific region. We have big plans for the coming year!

LDoT Australia
Continuing our relentless strive to develop our LDoT business platform, my presence in Perth earlier in the week was used to officially incorporate Lighting Design of Things Pty Ltd in Australia. As Ingmar is driving this from Perth it made sense to protect our national interests with an official company incorporation and trademark protection. We are excited and look forward to develop the business in Australia as well.

LIT Award juror
This week I also confirmed my participation as a juror to next year’s LIT awards which will take place in February next year. Besides professional lighting design practices the competition is also open to the new generation of lighting designers, encouraging students to participate in the competition. My blog will offer additional education value to the competition. Last years awards were hugely successful culminating in an exhibition in Tokio earlier this year. Next year’s venue is not yet determined…Singapore perhaps? More at

Inaugural Lighting Design Summit Melbourne
Looks like next year’s schedule is already quickly filling up with also my participation as a guest speaker at the inaugural Lighting Design Summit to be held in Melbourne in March next year confirmed. Looking forward to catch up with some of my colleagues in the industry who will be speaking there as well. More at

Atlas II
While details are still confidential, we had an exciting meeting with the client of the hugely successful Atlas Bar in Singapore. This year ranked at nr.8 on the world’s best bar ranking, it was great news to hear that a little sister bar is being planned for the new year! We are excited to be invited to work on the little sister. The Atlas Bar is a really unique concept and figures as one of the top attractions of the PLDC excursions. While the guided excursion (to be led by our own Cheryline) is sold out, the bar is a public space and as such open for a visit any time. I am sure its little sister once completed next year will be as successful…

PLDC Singapore 2018
PLDC is now really around the corner, another 10 days and we are off to the first ever convention outside Europe. The pre-convention program is all confirmed with the Cities Forum and the Educators meeting starting off the proceedings on Thursday. On Thursday’s opening night (to be held on location at Marina Bay Sands) I will be delivering a short keynote presentation on LDoT after Joachim Ritter’s welcome address. Besides giving me the opportunity to welcome PLDC in Singapore on behalf of the Singapore and Asian design community, my LDoT presentation will also allow us to set the tone for the “smart move” mantra that has been chosen for this year’s convention in Singapore. Next week I will be out an a about with Frank Kelly, our lead designer who has been in charge of organising the lighting fit out for our gala dinner the last couple of months, a lot of work! More at

LDoT round the table podcast
My participation to the round the table conference organised around my Lighting Design of Things concept has been recorded as a podcast and is now officially available on Signify’s Lighting University website. See the podcast here.

Have a great weekend!


13. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The week that was …1-5th October 2018

Singapore – Perth, Weekend 6-7th October 2018

As we move into October already the high-speed train that is called LDoT, keeps moving on. More and more people are getting interested and understanding of what is changing this world. At the same time it’s like being in a maze with chambers, you open a door and you enter a room with 10 other doors…While Ingmar and myself are spending most of our time in LDoT, our team keeps ploughing away at our regular project work which is keeping us very busy as well. It’s hard to get a read on the economy at the moment as on one hand we can feel pressure on budgets and resulting slower decision making and payments, but on the other hand there are still many opportunities and we keep doing fee proposals, with many new projects on the horizon.

I travelled to Perth midweek to be with my Perth team as we got some potentially exciting projects coming up. While we always were struggling getting projects in Australia, our LDoT platform seems to have opened some new doors…time will tell which door is the right one 😊, but this is one of the reasons I am in Perth this coming week to support the team.

Talking lighting design of things
One of my most striking meetings this week was meeting with two clients and hardly talk about lighting or lighting design at all, something unimaginable just a year ago. With one of the clients (JLL) we are discussing our pilot project, with the other the redevelopment of a hotel and shopping mall. In both cases we spent most of our time discussing the data infra-structure of the projects in question and what exactly they wanted to measure, analyse or control. With our understanding of what is on offer and how it potentially can be linked up with our lighting design we now have meaningful discussions and are in a position to professionally partner our clients with potential IoT players depending on the needs.

The interesting part of the hotel/mall redevelopment project is that the architect/ interior designers have yet to be confirmed. This is significant as generally lighting designers are contacted way further down the line (if at all, with architects and interior designers more and more offering the service “inhouse”!). Our client had been attended to our LDoT platform and had invited me to give him a rundown of the opportunities with the view to get us on board early.

Partner discussions
In the early part of the week I also met and spoke with current and potential new partners for our LDoT platform for some of our projects where we are considering (proposing) the integration of IoT in our lighting design. In our Punggol Digital District project it seems a hard sell as the government seems to already have made some decisions (before we came on board) and have as a result started to make some trial runs directly with the suppliers. Our partner discussions show that many of them are diving into it head first (as we are doing) without really knowing which direction to swim. As a result we see an IoT industry with hundreds of little and big fishes swimming wildly around without anyone knowing what the roadmap is to move forward. This will eventually become clear and through our partner discussions we are in an ideal position to assess and understand what each one is doing, most of all on how we can connect them within the lighting linked data infra-structure.

Perth tower
In Perth we are eyeing a multi-storey building redevelopment that will see an existing office tower renovated to accommodate new tenants. Part of the redevelopment includes the integration of smart and intelligent systems to asses and efficiently manage energy consumption, climate control and building usage. The difficulty that we face is that everyone seems to see the potential and we all get excited, but that the reality of wat needs to be achieved needs to determined properly before we start aiming for the sun. After a few meetings and site visits we realised that their was a slight disconnect between the desires of the “board” and that of the facilities manager in regards to the realistic capability of the existing building infra-structure (even with the planned upgrades) to integrate the more sophisticated data infra-structure we were proposing. It reminded me of my early days in lighting design…you learn along the way! Dreams (lighting concepts) and reality are sometimes miles apart. With LDoT we are now in the same “early days” position, we have yet to get full project runs on the board so I suspect we will still come across many of these learning curves…

Have a great weekend!


Partner presentations

Exploring opportunities in Perth





06. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, Lighting Design of Things, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was 24th – 28th September 2018…

Amsterdam – Dubai – Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore,
Weekend 29-30th September 2018

Fresh from my little retreat in France I hopped on the plane to Dubai to attend Light Middle East event and deliver my presentation on LDoT. Like we collaborate in Asia with Messe Frankfurt (HK) for lighting events in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Bangkok, the local design community under guidance of the ever-energetic Sakina Dugawalla -Moeller created a great conference program at Light Middle East as well as some other fringe events to stimulate lighting education and awareness.

Think Light – Cross roads
The conference program had started on the Sunday but my flight only arrived late in the evening so I unfortunately missed both the day and evening program. I know from experience how difficult it is to not only put an attractive conference program together but even more on how to attract and keep an audience captive throughout. Targeted marketing and promotion is one and “strong handed” moderation is another. Specifically making sure the speakers arrive in time, stick to the allocated program time and stay focussed on the theme of the conference. This requires pre-consultation with the speakers to make sure that the presentation is not only relevant as a topic but specifically in content. To make sure there is also a bond between the speakers making sure the immediate speakers before and after are present also helps in forging a coordinated feel towards the audience. While I stayed throughout most presentations I felt some disconnect as some of the speakers arrived last minute and left straight after, giving the feeling the event was not important to them…anyhow that is just my personal little rant. I enjoyed doing my presentation and overall compliment Sakina with the outstanding effort in putting the program together!

The Perfect Light
The evening was dedicated to the first ever screening in the Middle East of Light Collectives movie “The Perfect Light” that has been shown around the world. The showing at Novotel’s Blue Bar was to my understanding the 16th time the movie was screened. Hosted by IGuzzini (Richard Holmes/ Sergio Padula!) and introduced by the makers themselves, Sharron Stammers and Martin Lupton, to the Dubai lighting design community, the evening turned out to be very entertaining. I had not seen the movie before but thought it was very well done and captive from beginning till end…it certainly seems to ask for a sequel!

Light Middle East Awards night
Rounding up LME was the awards night, honouring designers and manufacturers for outstanding projects and products. Expertly hosted again by Sharon and Martin it saw the local community come together to celebrate their achievements. The after parties being probably the most enjoyable parts of the night with lots of networking and connecting…

The Middle East is not my prime focus in terms of business, but if and when there are opportunities we will take on projects there. I have been in and out Dubai on numerous occasions over the years, some for projects, some for lighting events as Light Middle East. As my return flight was later in the evening after the event I decided to take some time off and actually do a bit of “sight-seeing”. Visit the later year developments such as the Burj Al Arab and Burj Kalifa, The Frame, Palm Resort island and its Atlantis Hotel and others. I am obviously not the only one as to enter Burj Al Arab for instance you require a reservation or booking which on enquiry was about USD 200 per person for a high tea! Visiting Burj Kalifa also requires some advance planning and booking…

Overall, while Dubai may be great for business, I don’t really like the city…they are building like mad, one developer trying to outdo the other (Emaar, Meraas, Nakheel, etc), assumingly with the 2020 World Expo in mind, with the result that everything feels artificial and unreal. It is hard to feel a soul in this city…Certainly coming from my nature environment of the Dordogne countryside, the contrast was scary. I did enjoy driving around though thanks to my host Veer and great company Vibhor…

Alila Hotel Bangsar
Hardly back in Singapore I flew out again 24 hours later to attend the grand opening of our Alila Bangsar Hotel project in Kuala Lumpur. Another potential award winner… Designing city hotels with an “oasis” feel is not easy but the Neri & Hu interiors, simple and contemporary with great attention to detail together with our lighting really works. As soon as you step in your feel in a different world. The night was an exploration of the hotel with activities and food/ drink stations scattered throughout the key hotel areas. An official opening toast was hosted by Alila founder Mark Edelson in the presidential suite. The enjoyable evening moved slowly from the pool area up to the magnificent roof terrace with unlimited 360 degree view of the city. Proud to be associated with this project.

We left back to Singapore the next day with a tired but very satisfied feeling.
Have a great rest of the weekend!

the conference

The fair

Some of the lighting artworks

The perfect light

Awards night


Alila Bangsar











30. September 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The week that was 3 – 7th September 2018

Singapore – Amsterdam, Weekend 8-9th September 2018
With the usual hectic meetings and last-minute demands the first two days of the week, I finally left on Tuesday night for Amsterdam to attend Signify’s Pioneers of Light event with at the centre of it all the Lighting Design of Things round the table conference.

The week started with a strategy meeting to decide on the content of our planned KLD Convention (KLDC) right on the heels of PLDC in Singapore. As I will have most of my team together to attend PLDC it is also a unique occasion to catch up and discuss the way forward with the company into the future. With the help of Mark Stuart, a professional corporate trainer who has helped our team over the last 2 years and specialises in helping companies prepare for the digital age, we discussed the content for our 2-day in-house event. We put a provisional program together and are excited about the directions and potential outcomes, very much centred around our LDoT platform.

IoT Players
We now pretty much meet every week with new potential IoT players for collaborations or partnerships. One thing is for sure if you want to make a dent in the lighting-IoT world you can only do that through collaborations and partnerships. The IoT world is too complex and extensive to be wanting to be and do everything. On Monday we met with another new player previously not known to have anything to do with smart lighting, but like us they are moving forcefully ahead and we may well collaborate with them on our Punggol digital district project as they have already been approved by the client as a smart supplier…there you go…

Punggol Digital District
Speaking of which we had another major and crucial meeting (literally hours before I flew off) with the client to make sure they are well aware of what we are doing. While we are coordinating our design development with the lead architect and the rest of the design team on a nearly daily basis, making sure the client is on the same page is critical to avoid abortive work as we move ahead. The client, practical as ever, is not surprisingly principally focussed on cost saving and the ease of operational management…all good so far…

Pioneers of light – Amsterdam
The rest of the week for me was dedicated to the Pioneers of Light event held at the famous Amsterdam Arena stadium, home to probably Hollands most famous soccer team Ajax and not in the least linked to arguably Hollands greatest player, Johan Cruyff.

Philips Lighting, now aptly renamed Signify, also held a world partner event at the same time which saw some 250 partners from all over the world congregate at the Arena to learn more about Signify’s IoT platform called Interact. A market place was created for everyone to see the various Interact platforms in action in dedicated applications. The Pioneers of Light event however was only for a very selected few, literally handpicked by Signify’s management based on their strategic importance to the business. We started on the first night with a welcome get-to know-eachother-network dinner. Nice and relaxed, allowing us to get familiar with each other and each others background.

The Edge
No, I am not talking about U2’s famous lead guitarist but about arguably the world’s most smart and intelligent building, which was our first stop the next day. Occupied mostly by Deloitte the building is a living example of what todays smart and intelligent IoT technology can achieve. We were given some great presentations and shown around the building to get a feel of the IoT capabilities of the building which came into operation in 2014. You can google the Edge Building, Amsterdam for more information. While the achievements are impressive, it did not come about without lots of challenges and obstacles and not surprisingly with what they have learned the Edge is now preparing for V2.0 as technology has kept on improving at a fast pace…a very impressive visit indeed.

Lighting Design of Things
Back at the Arena and after some further introductions about the Interact platform it was finally time for our LDoT round the table discussion, a studio event that was being pre-recorded for posting as a web/pod cast in the coming days on the Signify Lighting University site expertly managed by Jaap Schuuring, who is in charge of customer learning. Moderator for the discussion was independent lighting designer and writer Alan Tulla and his task was to extract as much as he could from not only myself as the only active lighting designer of things but also Laura Taylor, Head Design Exploration at Signify, Nathanael Meyer, Head of Design at GSM Projects and Peter Raynham, LET Lecturer at the University College of London. The diverse backgrounds of the panellists providing a large variety of expertise for a great discussion. The one and a half hour during discussion, through Alan’s skilful moderation, delivered everything that one would like to know on the current state and impact of the IoT on the future of lighting design…a great value discussion…can’t wait to relive it when the webcast comes online! Thanks to the Signify Team (Anissa, Jaap, Pierre-Yves, Mike) for making this possible and thanks to my fellow panellists for their great insights.

Amsterdam at night
We concluded the event with a sunset canal boat dinner and a walk about the city narrated and guided by an expert city architect and lighting designer to give substance to the beautiful city skyline. We un-boarded at the famous Hermitage building and walked our way to the city centre taking in the beauty of the canals, bridges and “grachten huizen”,Amsterdam is famous for.

I mentioned it before and I do it again in rounding up my blog…it will be crucial for the future and the Pioneers of Light event has certainly contributed in planting the seeds to develop these oh-so necessary partnerships!

PS: I will be away for a short break…back in 2 weeks when I am presenting my LDoT platform at Light Middle East 24-25th September in Dubai… have a great weekend!

The Edge

The Edge presentations

Amsterdam Arena

Interact Introduction

Pioneers of Light – LDoT

Canal boat dinner and city night tour

Of course the social media…




08. September 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Light & Learn, light and health, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The week that was: 27 – 31st August 2018…

Shenzhen – Singapore, Weekend 1st- 2nd September 2018
After an exciting weekend in Shenzhen I flew back to Singapore for what I thought would be a relatively quiet week as my original trip to the Maldives was postponed to a later date. But as so often, appointments, meetings and other “things” popped out of the wood work making for a busy week after all!

As I mentioned in my last blog, the weekend was all about celebrating, in this case the celebration of my good friend Alex Xu the principal of the company named after him. An architectural lighting practice based in Shenzhen celebrating its 10 years in the business. Good initiative, I think it is good to celebrate and reflect on your achievements, which is what Alex did with more than 200 attending the event held at the newly completed Hard Rock Hotel in Shenzhen, one of his projects. While I was the only “Angmoh” among the otherwise Chinese guests, the elite from the design industry was present; architects, interior designers, developers, city representatives, lighting manufacturers and of course fellow lighting designers, many from the CLDA.

The event was very well organised and I can only say I got the royal VIP treatment, flight arrangements, pick up, hotel, etc. Thanks Alex! It was my pleasure to deliver the keynote address about my Lighting Design of Things platform which was gracefully translated by Lear Hsieh, who represented the CLDA as its president. Presentations and entertainment were well mixed and kept everyone interested and entertained. The subsequent celebration dinner was a typical Chinese affair with a lot of toasting and drinking! An enjoyable event! Well done.

After our team’s factory visit in Austria earlier this year on the back of our Frankfurt trip, it was our pleasure to meet up with Javier Nieto again in our office. He updated us on the latest developments and product improvements since Light & Build. I always keep saying that the products are as good as the people behind it!

Signify Interact
One of the leaders in IoT world is without doubt Signify, formerly known as Philips. As part of our LDoT partnership drive, I had been invited to spent a full afternoon at the Philips experience centre to meet with the various IoT specialists to get myself fully updated on what their Interact platform can achieve and what’s cooking in the kitchen. There is no doubt that Signify is one of the current IoT leaders when it comes to linking IoT and lighting. Their lighting innovations and Dynalite control smart systems are being developed at breakneck speed and keeping up to date is therefore of importance for our team.

Pioneers of light – Amsterdam
My ulterior motive was of course also to be fully updated before my Lighting Design of Things round the table conference in Amsterdam next week. As this is a Signify sponsored event it seems logical to be aware of your hosts achievements and future plans! I am excited about the conference and look forward to it!

JLL Liquid Labs at District 6
In anticipation of our upcoming Liquid Labs participation, a cooperation between KLD/LDoT and Gooee, I spent time reviewing the space where we are planning to display our capabilities to the “world”. As it is an existing space we will need to work with the lighting that is already in place, so a thorough review and site assessment of the current lighting installations was one of the jobs I carried out this week. Looking forward to this event as well!

On the heels of PLDC end of October we are planning our own inhouse KLDC. With most of our overseas colleagues coming to Singapore to attend the PLDC event we decided it was an opportunity not to be missed to create our own little mini convention, aptly named KLDC 😊. Over the Sunday and Monday following the PLDC event we will discuss strategies towards making our practice ready for the digital age and will have professional specialists to guide us in the proper direction. Our Lighting Design of Things platform will be central to all of this. Certainly having most of my team (from Australia, Indonesia, Shanghai and Singapore) all together will be a great opportunity for everybody to meet up and bond. Another exciting happening, I am looking forward to!

Time’s worlds greatest places list 2018
What a surprise to see our award-winning Atlas Bar project make it on to the top 100 world’s greatest places list for 2018! It is testimony to the whole design and project team and the clients vision to transform this Singapore icon into this beautiful and unique bar. There is no doubt that the lighting has been key in bringing out the mood and unique features of this architectural marvel. Congrats to everyone, great acknowledgement. No wonder that the Atlas Bar excursion offered as part of the upcoming PLDC event in October is the hottest ticket on offer!

Have a great weekend!

Shenzhen event


Signify Interact

Pioneers of light

Times list



01. September 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was 20-24th August 2018

Singapore – Bangkok – Shenzhen, Weekend 25-26th August 2018
This weekend I am I Shenzhen attending the 10-year anniversary celebration of a well-known and friendly architectural practice. They invited me to deliver a key note address to their big bash function to which they also invited press and media. The event is held at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel where I am also staying. I am writing my blog on my way to Shenzhen, arriving this Friday night. I am looking forward to the event on which I will report in next week’s blog.

The week started however with my trip to Bangkok where I delivered a dedicated LDoT presentation to a group of executives of a local hotel operator as part of a two day workshop exploring the future proofing of their business. I had tailored my presentation around the benefits of LDoT in hospitality highlighting how the digital age will help improve Capex and Opex while improving the guest experience at the same time. For most of them the impact of IoT and the use of lighting to deliver the IoT features and data infrastructures was an absolute eye opener and the topic during lunch and coffee breaks! A gratifying experience for me as well as we are looking at possibly implementing this in one of their ongoing new projects.

Singapore smart nation implementation – the local IoT Cowboys
The Singapore government is leading the world in the implementation of smart technology and our Punggol digital district project is no exception. We presented our lighting concept for the campus part of the project which was then followed by a briefing from the client about their desires in regards to smart sensors and data analytics. What I got out of that presentation is that heaps of local suppliers have hopped on the “IoT” bandwagon calling themselves smart to impress the client who is not too knowledgeable and relies pretty much on the sales talk presented to them. The local suppliers themselves also do not seem too knowledgeable other then understanding that IoT smart products represent sales opportunities so they are trying to sell whatever smart features they can get their hands on. I may seem harsh but now that I understand soo much more about what goes in in IoT land and what is possible, I see the limited understanding they display about what should be called IoT or even smart!

We were shown many different sensors all in different sizes and with different functions with the client expecting these to be integrated in the light fitting! It is no surprise to see lighting manufacturers with zero experience in smart features teaming up with whoever has some smart sensors and or data analytics. The sad thing however is that like we saw in the early days of LED, we now see the same happening in IoT smart land, the emergence of IoT cowboys…to me this presentation was one of them!

Lighting Design Forum
Now in its 5th year, the event held at the National Museum on the side lines of the Singapore Night Festival attracted a big crowd. The lighting industry, designers, suppliers, manufacturers and the universities came out in strength courtesy also of a great line up of speakers. The theme of the evening was lighting design for working spaces and was hosted courtesy of Roberto Baggio on behalf of Linealight and Eye Iwasaki and a host of other sponsors.

Warren Julian, emeritus professor at the University of NSW in Sydney, kicked of proceedings by enlightening the audience to the scientific way of how we perceive light and hence how the balance and distribution of light affects how we appreciate our visual environment. He was followed by an insightful presentation by last year’s education PLDC award winner Georgios Triantafilllydis on how to adjust LED lighting for proper circadian lighting. The specific reminder I took away from his presentation is that circadian lighting design is not just about the visible aspects of lighting but equally important also about the non-visible aspects of lighting (biological/ medical), something many lighting designers seem to be oblivious off by just designing tuneable white lighting schemes and calling that circadian lighting. His reference to the circadian stimulus calculator recently developed by LRC in the US was really helpful. The speaker line up was completed by Ivan Sanchez Garcia, who treated the audience to some spectacular virtual reality visuals that are currently being developed by his team to experience lighting design in virtual reality. The future of visualisation is here, exciting stuff!

As a bonus the guys from the Social Light Movement made a short, very entertaining re-appearance (after last year’s presentation) to update us on the progress of their Singapore project. The great take away from their presentation to me is something that is so true: lighting design should look good 24/7! In other words, whatever you design should look good not only at night but also during the day! The networking dinner afterwards was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues in the industry. A great night all together. We hope to see the same level of enthusiasm and participation during PLDC later in October this year!

Singapore Night Festival
As the venue was right smack in the middle of the ongoing Singapore Night Festival I took the opportunity to walk around the festival and soak up the mood and ambience, knowing I would be away over the weekend with no further time or opportunity to visit. I have seen many editions over the year and support the initiative, but could not escape the impression that compared to last year the budgets seemed to be less, with less spectacular lighting installations, but that can just be my limited observation as I did not see everything…keep it up though, it brings life and cheerfulness to the city. We need that in an otherwise sombre looking world!

IES Illumination awards
This week we also received an official link to this year’s lighting design award winners and we are proud to see 2 of our projects (His majesty’s Theatre in Perth and the Atlas Bar in Singapore) featured in the relatively small group of international winners. Well done to the team again, these are projects to be proud off.

Have a great weekend

Bangkok workshop

Smart nation

Lighting Design Forum

Night Festival

IES Awards



25. August 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light and health, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, Lighting Design of Things, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The week that was 13 – 17th August 2018…

Singapore- Shanghai- Singapore and Medan, Weekend 18-19th August 2018

After two days of meetings in Singapore it was off travelling again, this time to site in Xitang, a water town project just outside Shanghai we have been working on for a few years now. I have managed to reduce my project travel but once in a while they want to see my face to make sure I am still involved and can sign off on important design decisions. This is a very good client who values our expertise and when it comes to quality agrees that you get what you pay for. While conscious of budget he is also very conscious of quality which makes our communication and client appreciation much easier.

As I write this blog I am in Medan, Indonesia, where I am spending the weekend at the invitation of a new project client, after a short overnight stay in Singapore. The travelling and subsequent site visit are cause for the late posting of my blog this weekend…

Smart lighting
In the first part of the week we met for our Punggol project to understand what the government really means with implementing smart lighting. Having been brought back into the project by the architect we were confronted by the fact that the “smart” consultant had already decided on what smart components to be integrated into the lighting poles, basically daylight sensors, presence sensors and WiFi capability with their proposed pole locations showing the good quality reach of each WiFi point! You can hardly call presence and daylight sensors smart nowadays, it is quite common practice, but that the pole location was directed by the coverage was a novelty for us. We took note of the plans and informed them we would redesign according to the lighting needs and not the WiFi needs! All kinds of political issues also play in the background with different departments having different relationships to different smart pole manufacturers…most governmental department are vertically connected with very little horizontal coordination it seems…anyhow we will do our best to resolve that with a design that considers lighting first but all other “smart” components as well…

LDoT Trademark
We recently received acceptance for our LDoT trademark application and had some further meetings with IP specialists to understand our worldwide position. We are a small company and enforcing a trademark in countries like China may be very difficult but we feel that registering it at least will give us some peace of mind. We are excited about the potential of our LDoT platform and have received great feedback soo far 😊

The rest of the week was spent onsite at our Xitang project, a huge intricate development that requires a lot of interaction with all parties involved, both for the commercial as well as the hotel parcel. The client has been full of praise about our Alila Yangshuo project and it was therefore not really a surprise to see that he had engaged a part of the original Yangshuo site installation team to help him in completing this project to the highest standards. For us it is also very good, we worked together in Yanghsuo for many years and having familiar people on site who know your way of work and drive for details is really helpful in achieving the standards we require. Besides successfully reviewing the mock up room, which we needed to sign off on so they can start implementing the wiring for all guestrooms, we spent most of our time reviewing samples from a variety of Chinese suppliers, some good, but most really bad. It is always interesting to see the difference in approach when they show you their samples. The “educated” suppliers know you are looking for quality, but the majority of the Chinese suppliers are focussed on price and show “look-a-like” quality to then impress with the price and unfortunately many developers in China (Asia) fall for it. Fortunately, we have an educated client and were able to show the team what makes or breaks quality and shortlisted the light fittings that made the cut, 5 suppliers and 1 ½ day later 😊! For us it is specifically critical to highlight the quality criteria (Colour binning, glare control, IP rating, etc) and installation issues such as wire connections, driver compatibility, inline mounting, and so on. Making everyone aware of the potential installation issues we may face at the tender award stage will ensure a much smoother installation result. We spent the time and will continue with visual mock ups later on to make sure we get it right before we proceed to final installation.

Despite a typhoon passing over Shanghai which produced heavy rainfall we managed to reach the airport in time for a safe trip back to Singapore with the satisfied feeling that we had accomplished a lot with hopefully some peace of mind later on!

There was however little time to rest as I was back at Changi airport at 10am for the Medan flight. The project is a renovation of an historic art deco building that houses a large ballroom, pre-function and restaurant. The client has never used specialist consultants before but realised he was out of his depth for this project. We came recommended through one of his trusted suppliers. We spent the day working the site and assessing the options for the renovation. He and his team seem very quality conscious, not once did we talk money…the signs are very good…

Have a great (rest of the) weekend!

Xitang site, completed part of the commercial block

the hotel block site
flooded entrance (typhoon)

Meetings (late night and day time…)

Mock Up Room review at night

Supplier sample review
Checking colour qualities…

the walk over test?…
Quality…mmm…plastic reflectors?…
Colour inconsistency

T-shirts you see in China… 🙂
Typhoon aftermath…





19. August 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The week that was 6 – 10th August 2018…

Singapore, Weekend 11-12th August 2018

A short week for most people with Thursday 9th August being Singapore’s National Day and many taking Friday off to make it a nice long weekend. I decided to work from home on Friday to have a relaxed end of the week. The early part of the week however was very hectic and busy with Ingmar coming over from our Perth office for some crucial LDoT meetings with JLL, Liquid Labs and Gooee who visited our offices for some strategic meetings and workshops.

LDoT: JLL – Liquid Labs @ District 6
Our first meetings were with JLL and District 6 to discuss our Liquid Labs marketing implementation at District 6. KLD through our LDoT platform are partnering with Gooee to showcase how LDoT is going to work. It is our first real life project implementation, so we are really excited about it. District 6 is a one of the latest successful co-working spaces in Singapore founded by one of our former Agora speakers Arjan De Boer. The cooperation with JLL as part of Propel Asia is an extra incentive. Other participants are companies like Dell, Vodaphone, Haworth Furniture and others. While most of them have individual smart systems, our Gooee backbone should be able to connect all these through their open platform…we aim to have it operational in the last Q of the year. It is extra challenging as we are integrating the system in an existing environment rather then starting from scratch so we have an added difficulty in making sure all the systems and lights are compatible, connectable and addressable! Will keep you posted…

LDoT and other partners
Besides our cooperation with JLL and Gooee we are also looking at linking up with other partners as well as lighting manufacturers keen to make the switch to the new world of IoT. We had conference calls and meetings this week with those that are “switched on” and ready to collaborate. Lighting manufacturers that are making or planning to making the switch.

Right now, people are either switched on for the new world that awaits us or are totally oblivious to it. I have found no-one in between, either they see it or they don’t. Most lighting designers I know are still thinking the conventional way. I heard the president of the IALD say in Frankfurt earlier this year when he participated in an IoT round the table conference that, yes, IoT was here, but that lighting designers are artists, story tellers, he did not see IoT of much impact to lighting designers…

My personal opinion…the train for the lighting designers of the future is at the train station right now, either you jump on board or risk being left behind…Hence our full-on drive towards developing our Lighting Design of Things platform.

LDoT; the relationship between people, space and “things”
We see now that some people start to wake up…I read in Lux Magazine that Gordon Routledge just discovered the 3-30-300 rule (or 1-10-100 as others use), a relationship that was put forward by JLL some time ago to high light that when it comes to the bottom line, energy saving does not mean that much in the scheme of things. Its space usage and human capital that are the game changers of tomorrow. Today, thanks to LED technology we have already maximised energy saving and with some additional smart controls we can possibly add a bit more, but the real savings are elsewhere and to achieve those we need the IoT, we need data analytics and we need to understand the relationships between people, space and “things” over time and in real time. That fact that lighting turns out to be the key choice for hosting the IoT platform should be seen as a big opportunity. As lighting designers, if we convert ourselves towards LDoT we have potentially a big role to fulfil!

The future of the lighting industry
It was interesting to read that Osram is quitting the light fixture manufacturing business and sort of in line with Philips (Signify) moving to become an innovative smart systems company, at least that is what I understand. I understand the GE’s name is also to disappear and Zumtobel is also struggling to stay a float after serious losses over the first part of the year. Why is the lighting industry under threat? Because the entry point for lighting and lighting design is moving way down stream. For the future proofing of buildings developers and end users are looking at the IoT, its impact on people, space and things and hence the related data infra-structure needed. Lighting is becoming a by-product. Lighting is already a digital hub, however the functions it will soon be able (read: will have) to perform will be way more than just lighting functions and unless we master all these “by-functions”, it will be difficult for lighting manufacturers to survive and lighting designers to maintain the integrity of their lighting design!

Ah, I nearly forgot…the gala dinner venue has now officially been announced on the PLDC website. We have secured the Wine Vault, an of the beaten track venue that little people even in Singapore know…discover it on the website! 😊 Frank Kelly, who heads KLD’s entertainment division has been working relentlessly in between his shows and travels to develop the design for the gala dinner…its going to be a great night!

Have a great weekend!

a little taste of what is to come…




10. August 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was 30th July – 3rd August 2018

Perth – Singapore, Weekend 4-5th August 2018

Australia provides a contrast to Singapore in many ways. It is nearly a complete opposite way of living and working. Singapore has basically no seasons, it’s always 30 degrees and humid, in the “winter” it rains a bit more than in the “summer”. As I was in Perth the night time temperatures got close to freezing point, with daytime temperatures just itching towards 15 degrees. Rains, storms and sunshine followed each other in totally unpredictable sequences. Where Singapore has a rush and hectic city work-life, with literally millions of people falling over each other, Perth has that laid back life style feeling combined with space and nature with family time playing as an important part as work life. It always recharges my batteries to spent time in my Perth office…

SILF – Lighting Design Agora
First some sad news…after months of hard work and efforts to organise the Lighting Design Agora (an integral component of the Shanghai International Lighting Fair organised by Messe Frankfurt HK) that had been halted earlier this year when the City of Shanghai wanted to actively participate in the event, we found ourselves running out of time to adequately prepare and organise a quality event, certainly after last years highly successful edition. We had to concede that we could not be able to attract enough sponsors this year to make the event with international speakers, commercially viable. We needed our international sponsors to be part of the event. So, with a heavy heart, we decided this week, in consultation with Messe Frankfurt and the Chinese Lighting Designers Association, that is was better to cancel the event and focus our energy and efforts in creating an even bigger and better event next year.

The pulling power of PLDC
When PLDC announced its unexpected intention to hold the convention in Singapore it caught many manufacturers by surprise as no-one had budgeted for it. Over the months that followed several of the sponsors that had initially committed and budgeted for our LDA in Shanghai, decided to redirect their budgets towards participation in Singapore. This happened to other events in the region as well. Our Bangkok event was also seriously affected by it even though we just managed to make it work. It is a credit to the organisers of PLDC and the attraction it has to sponsors and participants, it is a shame however that it was done seemingly on the spur of the moment with little thought on the impact it would have on the region. There is no doubt that the event and its educational format contributes a lot to the awareness and acceptance of the lighting design profession in general and the idea of bringing it outside Europe, closer to those who may not be able to make the bi-annual trip to Europe has many merits. However, this year’s short notice of PLDC in Singapore has had a big impact on many lighting design grass root initiatives around the Asian region. With funds redirected to Singapore, many have found their events wanting for sponsors or like we have experienced, left empty handed after initial promises of support.
I have personally always supported PLDC over the years and when asked to become a steering committee member for the Singapore event had no hesitation to accept. Looking back over the last few months however, I can only see that the sudden decision to go to Singapore this year may have been too hasty, as in the process it has affected much of the hard work done by so many volunteers who organise events around the region…I am confident that the PLDC event in Singapore will be a great success and hopefully will be a springboard to rejuvenate all the efforts put in over the past few years. PLDC owes this to the region…

We are certainly on our way to make it a great an unforgettable event!

Our LDoT platform is gathering more and more steam with further partnership discussions taking place this past week. We had a long conference call with one of our US based partners (specialists in lighting controls) about what is cooking in their kitchen and discussing how their products and features could be integrated in our Menu of Things. In order to become knowledgeable about being a lighting designer of things we need to understand what is available in the market and how that integrates in and affects our lighting design. Our “menu” will be our reference of what is currently available in the market and how it integrates with lighting…still a lot of work to do! In the coming week we have further discussions with IoT partners in Singapore.

Light Talk – Live, lighting conversations with experts in their field.
One of my long-time desires has been to do Light Talk – Live, in which I sit down with experts in the industry, people we work with to achieve our lighting designs and chat about their experience of lighting and how it contributes to improving their expert field. Using my daughter Kyra’s media and video recording skills, we finally sat down this week to record the first episode of Light Talk Live with my first expert guest, Richard Offen. Richard is the former Chief Executive of Heritage Perth, an author with his own weekly radio program on ABC talking about the history and heritage of Perth and Western Australia. Richard was instrumental on getting KLD on board for the lighting of His Majesty’s Theatre and having the opportunity to have this unique one on one chat was a real joy. We recorded our Light Talk against the background of the beautiful, century old interiors of the theatre. The official YouTube edit will be ready in the next few weeks and will be available for viewing through our KLD YouTube channel and the LightTalk blog site soon! Watch out for it…😊

Have a great weekend

My early morning walks always provide me with a rich breath of light and nature…

The award winning His Majesty’s Theatre today

Light Talk in conversation with Richard Offen…some low res screen shots



04. August 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things | Leave a comment

The week that was…23-27th July 2018

Perth, Weekend 28-29th July 2018

Back in Perth to catch up with my team. Ingmar and myself are working tirelessly in further developing our LDoT platform and with all the feedback and positive inputs we have received we have set some time aside to work on detailing the various components that will make our approach even more valuable to our clients, specifically with some very interesting pilot projects in the pipeline…

PLDC Singapore update
Not much to update this week, work goes on in the back ground in regards to the organisation, the excursions, the pre-convention program and the gala dinner. We are now getting into the nitty gritty of the event in terms of the layout and design of the space. I think it is going to be very nice…

After the major change of direction for the theme of the fair in which the lighting fair is now endorsed by the City of Shanghai who wants the event to reflect how the lighting of the future will be beneficial to the Governor’s vision for Shanghai to become a smart lighting city, we had to drastically revamp the program and overall approach to our Lighting Design Agora booth. This now practically completed and we are aiming to confirm our speaker and sponsors very soon. I will be presenting a paper over how through our Lighting Design of Things platform we can majorly contribute and facilitate the integration of IoT features in smart city lighting. A networking dinner will be held on the evening of the 3rd September at a yet to be confirmed location. More news soon! PLDC will be represented by both Joachim and Alison who have indicated they will come to Shanghai to attend the event.

This week also saw some typical office team activities. Aishah had her birthday celebration and we had a little farewell party for Jordan who is moving to Europe where he will be heading our new Europe studio. With some new projects in the pipeline there we will need his support. He will remain a full active member of our team in Singapore…with todays modern internet communication, it does not really matter where you are anymore! We wish Jordan all the best in Lisbon!

It’s the economy!
I am back in Australia also to move some new initiatives as the economy here is not easy. The Australian market is a very close nit industry where it is not so much about what you know, but who you know! The engineering companies in Australia still call the shots and there is little room for boutique specialist designers like ourselves.

However this seems to change and with the world of IoT slowly moving in real time, the environment for lighting design is changing as well. We noticed over the past weeks in several projects that engineering companies have little understanding of the role IoT is playing and how it integrates into lighting so there are clear opportunities for us to take up that role. There is an amazing interest in this new world and the fact that we can offer an integrated approach to those IoT features for integration in our lighting design seems to interest many potential clients. There is however lots of ground to cover certainly when it is unchartered territory but being creator of the LDoT platform allows us to develop and choose our path!

Insite Magazine – India
Another magazine picked up our project successes, this time well respected Indian Interior design magazine Insite. In a 6 page spread, including the magazine cover the article covers some of our recent project realisations.

Have a great weekend

28. July 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things | Leave a comment

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