The week that was 13-17th February 2017

Singapore, Week 13-17 February 2017

This week’s blogger is Grace Eng another one of my long serving staff and a senior lighting designer at KLD. While I have edited some minor things, the blog is pretty much as per original writing as I want to maintain the authenticity of each individual as much as possible. enjoy the read, have a great weekend!

Grace Eng, senior lighting designer
It was only after Martin reminded me yesterday that I realised that this week it is my turn to write the blog! I cracked my head overnight thinking about the topic to blog about, but here it is :).

First I would like to start this blog by telling you how I became a lighting designer. I graduated with an Engineering Degree and was hunting the ideal job (with hopes that I would get one) through Jobstreet back in 2005. It was this post of a company looking for a Junior Lighting Designer that caught my attention. I wondered what job it was and what a lighting designer does. Does a lighting designer design a light fixture? With my head full of questions and out of curiosity I clicked on the advertisement to find out more about the responsibilities and requirements for a lighting designer, mostly because never in my life I had thought that a job as lighting designer existed!

After I had a look at the responsibilities section and the company website, I got a rough idea about what a lighting designer actually does! But then other questions popped up in my mind. Shouldn’t the lighting design in a space not be taken care by an Interior Designer…or an Electrical Engineer? Why is there a separate need for such expertise? With all these questions in my head, I decided to “find out” more by clicking on the “Apply” button. After a week I was lucky enough to receive a reply telling me that they wanted to interview me for this post. Without hesitation, I bought a bus ticket from Malaysia travelled about 10 hours to Singapore for this interview.

Yeah, we know what happens during an interview for a fresh graduate and junior post…in the first part you introduce yourself, in the second part you discuss your skills, experiences followed by some Q+A. The last part in this interview that really opened my eyes was where I was being explained about my responsibilities in detail along with nice project images!  I got really excited about this job and it changed my mind that I should stop applying for boring engineering jobs. After a second interview by Martin, I was then offered the job as a junior lighting designer. As a fresh graduate student, and had never studied or heard anything about lighting, Martin guides and teaches me with his great patience, enthusiasm and care.  I have been working for Martin for many years now and all the while I do not see him as my “Boss” (the Asian way of calling). In fact i see Martin as a lecturer and a motivator as he teaches, inspire and encourage all of us in the office along the way.

The dazzling beauty of light does not appear until the sky gets dark. No matter how great a building or the interior design is, it is nothing if there is no light to enhance it! We are the lighting people!

China Cup Luxurious Yacht Project.
I started my 1st oversea business trip of this year for the above mentioned project in China a week before the Chinese New Year where we had to do a lighting concept presentation to the clients. As the client does not understand English well, my task was to translate Martin’s words into Mandarin, a difficult task as I’m not a professional translator. In the later part of the presentation I decided to use my own words in Chinese to present it to the client which felt much easier. The client was happy with our concept and we are now in the DD process. As I do not have much experience in yacht lighting, the process in specifying the highly specialised marine grade fixtures takes longer than usual, which was further complicated by the fact that we did not find (unlike for the typical architectural lighting fixtures for buildings) local representatives in Singapore for the mostly European based specialist manufacturers. While it slows down the process in getting the right fixture, we are lucky to have had good positive response from the specialised lighting manufacturers that we had identified for yacht lighting.

Xitang Resort Project
After we had finished our meeting with the yacht client, we took a domestic flight from Shenzhen to Shanghai. As it happened the days we spent in Shanghai were one of the coldest days in Shanghai! It was 3 degree during the day and around freezing point (0 degr) at night. As this was the third progress presentation of our concept to the client, the content of the presentation was more an update with mainly renderings and an exciting animation 3D movie, we had made. The client was impressed by our presentation and were graciously thanked for our efforts after we completed our presentation (you can always tell when the client and the team applauds when you finish the presentation!). Despite the peak travel time at the eve of Chinese New Year we managed to get our flight back to Singapore. The next day morning I received a Wechat from the client again mentioning to me that our presentation yesterday was great! It is nice to have such feedback from a client as it shows that our hard work is being appreciated and it is important to keep our standard high.







Xitang 1

Xitang 4

Xitang 6

Xitang 7

Xitang SKU 1Xitang SKU 2Xitang SKU 3Xitang SKU 4



17. February 2017 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting applications, lighting design, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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