If you have been to Dubai Opera, the spectacular light installations must definitely have caught your eye. Curated by master Czech glass and lighting brand Lasvit, every installation is one-of-a-kind.
Lasvit is a combination of two Czech words, laska, which means love and svit, which means light. The brand is built on three pillars – traditional craft, innovation and design. Vadim Horna, Global Sales Director, Lasvit talks about the brand’s offerings.
Is glassmaking a Czech tradition?
It is a tradition, going back some 800 years. The Czech Republic has the highest quality silica sand and other raw materials used in glassmaking, so people learnt the craft and passed it on to future generations. It’s a an industry close to the Czech´s heart. After 1989, and the fall of communism in the Czech Republic, the glass industry suffered, which is when Lasvit was founded and brought in a new perspective, engaging young talents and encouraging them to explore more than just traditional design, do something new using the modern technologies as well. Today, this trend is followed by most companies. The Bohemian glass and crystal industry is flourishing once again, something we contributed towards and are proud of.
What are the current high-profile UAE projects the brand is involved in?
We recently completed fantastic installations in the lobbies of W Dubai – The Palm and the Grand Plaza Mövenpick hotels here in Dubai. We are working on probably the largest ever glass and lighting installation in the Fashion Avenue of the Dubai Mall that will be nearing completion in the next weeks. I mean the largest in the world and in the history. We also have a truly unique kinetic installation that will be performing in one very special hospital in Abu Dhabi – details coming soon. We are the national partner of the Czech Expo pavilion with an breathtaking installation growing literally out of the heart of the place. Of course we also work on many high profile private projects which will remain confidential. As always in Dubai there is exceptional projects in the near future that we will be able to tell more about soon!
What are the trends in lighting installations globally, how much of it do we see in the UAE?
Firstly, a trend we embrace very much is being eco-friendly in all aspects from packaging to energy consumption.. Moving on to design, we work on creating artworks that are not just decorative but mainly meaningful . The design is always rooted in the space that it’s going to occupy, so it has to be connected to the heritage or the story of the place. For instance, in the Dubai Opera where the whole building is designed to mirror a traditional dhow, our installation is inspired by the ocean spray as the ship’s prow hits the waves.
Another, slightly more technical trend is dynamic lighting, with each light source having its own address, helping to create some impressive lighting choreography. To sum things up, dynamic lighting uses low-energy light sources, creating technologically advanced installations that are telling a story. Last, but not least, we are proud to see our installations are very ‘instagramable’ –people like to take pictures of our artworks and post them as these installations become the face of the property.
What is the creative process like?
It is important for us to know the project theme at the outset. For instance, at Dubai Opera it was maritime history, while water was the pivotal theme for the Dubai Metro. We work together with an interior designer and architect, who together conceptualise the installation so that it complements the theme. The actual designing process starts with a hand sketch, before being developed into a 3D model, which is then shared for client approval. Once approved, we work towards project delivery.
How critical is R&D for the brand?
Even a decade back, when the Dubai Metro was launched in 2009, the installation we created was technologically ahead of its time. Today, installations can be controlled from a smartphone, and interactive tech is a trend. Installations are not just preprogrammed, but can respond intuitively to for example crowd movements. People can interact with the feature, draw within the installation and colour it in different shades. R&D is vital in ensuring the quality of the lighting, energy consumption, interactivity and various effects. Our dedicated R&D team studies both the electrical aspects as well as new hardware entering the market.
What are the other focus areas for the brand, are there any expansion plans?
In terms of products, we wish to explore further the combination of craft and technology and continue being the leader who brings new ideas and inspiration to our clients and to the world.
In terms of client portfolio we work more and more on private residences and homes where attention to detail is of utmost importance. We love to come up with narratives close to the client´s heart and contribute to their happiness in their new or renovated villa.
Territorially, we are a diversified group and enjoy our presence at all the continents. And while Asia and the Middle East are our biggest markets with Dubai being a hub, we anticipate our next growth spurt to be in Africa. We have done a lot in India too, with projects in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata, including several private residences for industrialists and celebrities.