NEWS
‘Don’t research lamps, research people’

Lighting manufacturers need to open up their approach to innovation, says Philips Lighting’s chief design officer Rogier van der Heide.

Rogier van der Heide

Innovate together with your customers, says Rogier van der Heide

Speaking at this week’s Lighting Fixture Design conference in London, van der Heide said lighting design is increasingly about application. ‘You can’t just design a lamp anymore,’ he said. ‘You need to understand where the lamp is going into. You’ve got to be relevant.

‘Companies have tried to make better lamps, but it’s essential that we understand what people are going to do with it. We have to understand what drives people, what motivates them to make the choices they make. We have to build a whole new competency in our companies which is about not researching lamps but researching people.’

Van der Heide highlighted some recent Philips innovations achieved through dialogue and collaboration with customers. These included a bike light built into the bike frame, (inspired by a light that a cyclist had put together themselves, having failed to find a good enough one on the market) and a light-emitting belt for back pain, which came about following a conversation between two members of Philips’ staff, one of whom had a sore back.

In fact, van der Heide said, collaboration should be even easier for smaller manufacturers than large ones. ‘As a small manufacturer you’re more agile and team up more naturally, because you don’t have all the resources in-house.’

‘We can only be successful if we build strong relationships, he said. ‘You can only create relevance by understanding each other and knowing what motivates humans. You have to do that together.’

RELATED
Dialight bags solid state lighting award

Dialight’s 150W DuroSite LED High Bay has won the Elektra award for solid state lighting applications at the European Electronics Industry Awards 2010.

RELATED
Pioneering lighting designer Jonathan Speirs dies aged 54

Jonathan Speirs, one of the world’s foremost lighting designers and a pioneer for the profession, died at home in Edinburgh today after a long illness.