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art & design / Lighting Design Agora 2017, Shanghai, china

Made in china Lighting Design Agora (LDA) hosted its second edition at the Shanghai International Lighting Fair (SILF) from 5-7th September 2017. Driven to imbibe quality and innovation in the lighting scene of China, lighting designer Martin Klaasen played a critical role in realizing the initiative. Zohra Khan of mondo*arc india shares the intent of this exceedingly critical platform and digs into some of the remarkable highlights from the event.

Pics: Martin Klassen / Scarlet Mak (MKHK)

A new concept event, Lighting Design Agora is a combined brainchild of the Chinese Lighting Designer’s Association (CLDA, Lear Hsieh), its International Advisory Council (IAC, James Wallace and Martin Klaasen) and Messe Frankfurt Hong Kong (MFHK, Scarlet Mak). The forum brings together lighting designers (International, regional and local), design and engineering professionals (architects, interior designers, electrical engineers), lighting manufacturers and key players in the industry like developers, operators, governments and other end users.

Martin Klassen

Connecting them to a common thread, LDA fosters dialogue, communication and value awareness in order to propagate general awareness of the benefits of better quality lighting and lighting design. “China is the birthplace of most of today’s LED lighting production so creating an event like the LDA that addresses the (quality) issues at source make total sense. Working from inside out, rather than outside in,” says Klaasen. Yet the country continues to grapple with the stigma wherein its products are regarded as cheap and of poor quality. This has resulted in the withdrawal of many international manufacturers from the Hong Kong and Guangzhou Lighting Fairs. Along with SILF, MFHK intends to build a program, which can distinguish itself from the local product driven fairs, and create a fair with quality, value and leading innovation. As part of this initiative, the LDA is an enclosed event held within the main hall and strictly houses international sponsoring manufacturers only. Included in this is the speaker’s arena, popular for international and regional lighting experts to share their

ideas and experiences. After an overwhelming response to its first edition last year, LDA was dramatically expanded to host events this year. Spread over 3 days, the first two days were spent in presentations by international and regional lighting experts while the third offered regional designers as the speakers. Managed by the IAC, the international event program consisted of 4 sessions. The first day saw a series of presentations pivoted around Future of Smart Lighting and The challenges that IoT brings to lighting design. While one envisioned an intelligently lit tomorrow, the other noted the spectrum of this development. The discussion on day 2 was pinned around the narratives of Value creation through lighting design in hospitality and the benefits of good lighting design in commercial environments. Asia, and in particular, China currently has a vast majority of projects in the Hospitality and Commercial sectors. Thus, probing into the depths of this multi- faceted premise created a lot of interest among the audience.

mondo*arc india issue#17 Nov/Dec2017  
mondo*arc india issue#17 Nov/Dec2017  
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