The week that was—11-15th April 2016
Singapore – Dubai – Abu Dhabi – Singapore, Weekend 16-17 April 2016
Just one and a half day in the office in Singapore before I left for Abu Dhabi. Got some last minute project issues resolved with my team before leaving but otherwise this week was pretty much about the first ever Lux Live Event in the Middle East. I am not totally sure how I ended up as speaker there as I found that most participants were either based in the Middle East or had projects over there. While I have done a few projects in the Middle East area, it is not my prime focus, having already my hands full in Asia Pacific. Considering that previously all other Lux Live events were held in the UK, it was no surprise the UK presence was very strong. Gordon Routledge and Ray Molony have been the driving force of the Lux team and have managed to build a strong name and reputation in just a few years, both with the magazine as well as with these events. This was their first outing outside the UK and with the success of this event I am sure more will follow over time. Lux Live Middle East 2017 has already been announced…
Lux Live Concept
The event is spread over 2 days and if I understand it correctly (I never had the opportunity to attend a Lux Live event before), this event was pretty much build on the UK format. Two “speakers corners” called arena’s where people can wander at their leisure to listen to expert speakers or participate in panel discussions on specific subjects of interests. The Fagurhult sponsored Lux Arena was a more open town hall concept, while the Iguzzini sponsored Light Space Arena was a more intimate semi enclosed space. I felt the latter to be more intimate and conducive to engaging the audience then the more open Lux Arena where the actual exhibition activities impacted on focus and attention. While the Lux Arena was generally well attended, it had its lull moments, while the Light Space Arena was nearly continuously packed. The larger Lux Arena was mostly used for technical and manufacturer driven presentations, while the Light Space was more lighting design focussed. John Bullock and Ray Molony did a great job in master ceremony-ing the speaker presentations and panel discussions which followed each other one after another in rapid fire without breaks. From the feedback it seems that participating manufacturers (sponsors) were happy as they had high quality and focussed access to lighting designers and local authorities and organisations visiting to the event. Despite some little hick-ups depriving some quality speakers from presenting their papers as they had not received their government clearance, the overall quality of the presentations was of high standing. With, amongst others, established names such as Paul Nulty, Sally Storey, Courtney Mark, Regina Santos, Martin Valentine, Zeki Kadirbeyoglu, Michael Grubb and Amir el Sobky, sharing their expertise on stage there was plenty to choose from. Well done to all.
My presentation, “The 10 things I would have loved to have known before I started to use LED lighting”, was a jam-packed overview (we were only given 30 min presentation slots to keep the action high paced) of the typical and real life lighting application issues that have plagued us (and at times still are!) since LED became main stream in lighting design, including dimming and color quality issues. The presentations were interlaced with panel discussions on relevant topics meant to involve and allow the audience to participate. Later on after my presentation I joined Sally Storey, Courtney Mark and Mark Vowles in a lively discussion about trends in hospitality lighting. I find it always enriching when experts in the field combine to share their experiences. Though not scheduled I was asked to join in on two more panel discussions. One on “What clients need to know about lighting designers” (a slam-dunk opportunity to promote our profession!) with Paul Nulty and Amir el Sobky and moderated by John Bullock. The other with the heading: “What they don’t tell you about LED’s” about the issues, challenges and opportunities in the LED lighting market with fellow panelists Ray Molony, Gordon Routledge and Neil Salt a specialist in lighting control technologies. Both panel discussions offered great depth and insight and it was an honor to be asked to participate and contribute. As a sign of the times reactions and comments were tweeted and retweeted live on social media as the event progressed during the two days…
The event ended with the Lux Awards Middle East 2016, the inaugural awards in celebration and reward for project excellence in the Middle East region. I don’t want to comment too much on the awards as it was not really clear on what judging criteria some of the awards were based, but what struck me is the very few lighting designers that received an award in comparison with manufacturers and local organisations. I understand the awards are open to anyone but in celebration and nurturing of the lighting design profession I would have loved to see more actual lighting designers in the shortlists. But that is just a small personal comment. There was no doubt though that the award as Lux person of the year being conferred to Martin Valentine for his outstanding work in Abu Dhabi was unanimously cheered! Well done to all, the award winners, the key note speakers, the panelists, the sponsors and last but not least the organisers. Thanks for having me.
Have a great weekend.