The “month” that was 24th October- 17th September 2017
Singapore – France – Netherlands – Bangkok – Singapore
Weekend 18-19th November 2017
It has been silent for a while for a sad reason…my Dad just passed away two weeks ago and as a result I had to cancel my attendance to PLDC to be with my Dad and with my Mum and family in the time that followed. It is important for me to take a moment to reflect on this, a stage in our lives that everyone goes through some times unfortunately early, sometimes late in life. My Dad was in his 90-iest year of life, one he lived without regret and to full satisfaction. He passed away peacefully and without pain with all of us present, which was all we could wish for. In the knowledge that he lived a good life and was still active till very recently (he had bought a new car earlier in the year at 89! and was still playing golf a month before he died!) his passing was hard but accepted with peace of mind by all of us.
I have many friends and colleagues who have lost their dad but until you experience it personally it is hard to grasp the magnitude of it. Your Dad is always in some ways your leading beacon, the one who sets the standards of your life, who leads by example. We may not always agree but very often find that he was right after all…I realise that I have taken on many things from my Dad and if others are to be believed even some of his mannerisms. I am proud of it and will do my very best to uphold his values and lead my kids (and my staff) by example. Gone forever, but for always in my heart.
Thailand Lighting Fair, Bangkok 2017
While my Dads passing away is life changing, life goes on and after having made sure that my Mum was well taken care of, I left back for Singapore last weekend to prepare for my appearance at THLF in Bangkok, were Kaoru Mende and myself were the VIP keynote speakers for the event. I value these events very much as this allows us to keep promoting the quality values of good lighting design and the opportunity to speak in front an audience estimated at between 700 and 800 people, mostly architects, designers, developers. While Kaoru shared his wide experience in city master planning, a topic very much alive in this part of the world, I had decided to lead my audience through a path of discovery in regards to the challenges we face to day as professional lighting designers. The simplicity from just a switch and an incandescent light bulb are long gone as today we have irreversibly moved to LED technology including its complex infra-structure of software, smart functions and the internet of things (IoT). Lighting design is no longer lighting design as we know it…we know have to consider a wide range of (non-lighting) options and smart functions including circadian lighting, LiFi and other mobile app based lighting control choices.
I also introduced my audience to that other major change that is about to happen, called Light as a Service (LaaS). There is no doubt that our world is moving towards a service driven circular economy (rather than the waste economy on which the lighting industry is currently based). Just like Uber and AirBnB for instance, lighting is poised to move to a service platform. In the Uber model, Uber does not own the taxis or the drivers, in AirBnB they do not own the accommodation, they just provide the service. There are already pilot projects implemented based on this service model for lighting. As the end-user you do not own the lighting, it is installed, operated and maintained for you. You just pay a fee that guarantees you an agreed amount light quality and energy consumption. In this model, like any other service model you have no upfront costs or investments and the responsibility for the lighting performance over time is shifted back to the consortium (lighting manufacturer/ investor/ contractor) that provides you the lighting.
With the world around us changing there is a strong need to re-assert the position of the lighting designer within these changes as well. A lighting designer can in my opinion no longer operate as a unique entity. While the coordinating role with architects and other design consultants will always remain, there will be a new leading role for the lighting designer integrating, guiding and managing the non-lighting functions as a cohesive proposal to our end clients. There is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the IoT, LiFi or LaaS the lighting designer will need to lead from the front, but re-think the way the services are delivered…
While I was not able to attend PLDC, my senior design team did and in next week’s blog we will review impressions from PLDC Paris…
Enjoy the weekend!