Austrian lighting company, Zumtobel Group is set to open Lichtforum (light forum) in Amsterdam by the end of January. The new facility, on the top floor of the UP Building, one of the city’s tallest buildings, will host programs dedicated to architecture, light, and technology. It will also include LightLAB, an innovation incubator for the Group’s brands: Zumtobel, Thorn, and Tridonic.
The concept for such a gathering spot stems from discussions with the company’s customers and technology partners and the desire for a space that would foster collaboration between architects, lighting designers, universities, and technology experts. “Amsterdam is an extremely attractive location for our industry,” said Ulrich Schumacher, Zumtobel Group CEO. “As well as engaging in intensive dialogue with some of the world’s leading architects, at this international hub we will also be able to work alongside some exciting technology partners. Our declared aim in this era of the Internet of Things is to develop new and innovative business models in the field of lighting. In pursuit of this goal, our new Amsterdam Lichtforum with its international team will be an important innovation driver for Zumtobel Group as a whole.”
Overseeing the Lichtforum and its international team of 25, expected to be in place by end of May 2015, is Rogier van der Heide, chief marketing & design officer at Zumtobel Group.
Additionally, Thorn will have its own luminaire concept development team at the Amsterdam location, allowing for a short commute--an hour flight--to the brand’s main factory in Spennymoor, County Durham, United Kingdom.
“In the age of LED technology we need to study the latest trends more closely than ever – be it in terms of new materials, software solutions, sensor technology or communications electronics,” said Van der Heide. “In the new LightLAB we have the ideal place to develop concepts for the future, for knowledge transfer and to inspire our development teams around the world. But we will also be realizing very special, customer-specific lighting projects in Amsterdam that will pave the way for whole new business models for us.”