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#SGID17: What We Learned About New Lighting Technologies

New lighting technologies continue to emerge, so what’s the effect on how we interact with light and data? We asked four lighting experts at #SGID17 for a packed Design Conversation session at Kreon.

#SGID17: What We Learned About New Lighting Technologies

In the lead up to Singapore Indesign 2017, our Design Conversation session ‘Interacting with Light and Data’ was the first to be fully booked, and the numbers didn’t lie. The session saw the Kreon showroom in Club Street jam-packed with people, with a queue forming on the staircase.

Moderated by Cubes and Editor Narelle Yabuka, the session brought together four of Singapore’s leading lighting designers: Dan Foreman (Singapore Lighting Leader, Arup), Josephine Dimalibot (Director, Bo Steiber Lighting Design), Bunpot ‘Kong’ Assawarungsee (Senior Designer, Illuminate Lighting Design) and Toh Yah Li (Principal, Light Collab).

Asked about the imperatives of clients in terms of lighting, Foreman shared that the expectation varied in the Asian region and that clients in Singapore, which is quite a mature market, are looking to differentiate themselves using lighting technology. Dimalibot added that while Singapore clients do want lighting technology, they are cautious and keeping the wish list within practical limits.

Assawarungsee shared that in the case of hospitality clients, most have set requirements and it is the lighting designer’s task to manage the power consumption and design a user friendly interface. Toh posited that it depends on the client’s goals and the lighting designer’s understanding of them.

The discussion touched on incorporating digital consultants in the lighting design team, which, Foreman and Dimalibot shared, are needed for complex projects. One lighting designer in the audience raised the point that these days lighting designers need to make sure they don’t lose their seat in the table to data consultants.

Other challenges faced by lighting designers that surfaced during the session included the tendency to use the most cost-effective lighting to achieve TOP and the need to package lighting services as worthy investments to potential clients who speak only numbers.

The Internet of Things and lifi were some of the new technologies being discussed. Assawarungsee considered lifi technology as an added value but not necessarily connected to lighting design. Dimalibot and Foreman concurred.

“Data and lighting is one thing, but codes and standards on lighting and lifi and what collects data and what doesn’t collect data – that’s another thing,” said Foreman. “But it’s not our scope of work.”

Asked about the possibilities of data becoming lighting designer’s scope of work, the panels agreed that at some point they would need to embrace it but there should always be distinct specialists and a lot more collaboration with them.

Photos by Wilson Pang.

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