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The Future Trend of Commercial Lighting in the Eye of Industry Designers

Jan 22 2018

The environment created by commercial display design is the major element

constituting the urban landscape. An array of shopping malls, supermarkets, specialty shops,

restaurants and business lounge bars are the forward positions for the exchange of goods,

individual consumption and the experience of commodity economy. Its multifarious and

row upon row of features make up the pleasure space adaptable to various human sensory

functions through shape, color, sound and light. 


Nowadays, what are the characteristics necessary for the business space that appeal to most people?

What possible trends could the future commercial lighting design present?

Three industry designers were invited to share their various views. 



Question 1: About unique brand design

The contemporary commercial "community" is vast and complicated.

There are substantial types of commercial spaces to be seen. Business owners have made several efforts

to create their own unique brand of space design. How exactly would the designers

comment from their own point of view?



"Presently, I am thrilled that the Beta test was successfully completed last year

in the Nevada desert in the United States. The Sonic Runway acousto-optic arts avenue was

staged at the IFS International Financial Center in Chengdu, from May to August 2017.


Robert Jensen and Warren Trezevant are two Pixar animators, and the Sonic Runway 

acousto-optic artistic installation was jointly developed by them for 15 years. Robert cited: “The light

waves and the sound waves around us are always there, but we have no access to them.” 

Due to the speed differences between sound waves and light waves, 

Sonic Runway uses the art of light to "visualize" sound."




" At the moment, what I'm really interested in is that the perfect lighting and

system mode in the Nevada desert last year can make it possible for everyone to clap eyes

on the unpredictable and magnificent "sound". Due to different sound frequency bands, the real-time

feedback, super interactive lighting effects and visual experience are here to stay. The artistic

installation is open to the public and attracts a large number of people to experience

it personally. Interaction and visual expression are connected through sound and light,

in my opinion, this is a derived show of business IP.



Zhao Riqiang

"A commercial space entering into the forefront of design, often means that it is high-end,

luxurious and well-known. From this perspective, I personally prefer the design of W Hotel. W Hotel is

Starwood's global luxurious modern lifestyle brand, targeting those who create fashion trends,

where design elements can be found at every corner of the space. The overall appearance

and interior decoration are elaborately handled to be carefully explored. "


W Hotel


“It performs the role of quality-prominence and it never uses outdated elements

such as mirror, stainless steel, hard and soft package, acrylic, wood finishes and marble to

their extreme limit. Every W Hotel around the world has been dealt with non-repetitive

design and universal exquisiteness. For designers, each W Hotel can be regarded

as a design book, worthy of looking through for a long time.” 


 Question 2: Contemporary consumer concept

Some people say that consumers are increasingly paying more attention to the value of time,

while many think that time is a luxury. This kind of thinking and research on consumers is common.

What comments do designers have on this phenomenon? 



"Business appears to be a battle for consumer's pockets, while more and more people

realize that we are actually competing for customers' time, because it is impossible for customers

to go to a dumpling restaurant when they are already in a cuisine restaurant at dinner. In this way,

consumers' time has become a frequently mentioned concept in economics - a scarce resource. Therefore,

terminal stores of various brands have been racking their brains in the product, service,

shopping process, space experience and other aspects, so as to compete for consumers' time."



Zhao Riqiang 

"As the social environment continually improves, consumers' aesthetic appreciation also rises.

Nowadays, consumers are increasingly able to pay for the consumption environment, which is not

necessarily an extravagantly decorated one, but must be an environment that makes them

feel comfortable, clean and special, implying a benefit to the designer circle."


Question 3: Future commercial space design trends

Commercial space design should boast a sense of the times, should be innovative,

forward-looking and meet other tasks bestowed by its era. Social progress and improvement of

living standards also impose higher requirements on space design, including shopping

mall design and department store design. Therefore,what ingredients should

the future commercial space design keep track of? 




I think the core of the future commercial store design lies in three points: enter,

stay and attract.The first is enter, think about the obstacles between your brand’s terminal stores 

and the customers during the process of attracting them into the store. For instance, you should check

whether the lighting settings are prominent in the surrounding environment, whether the shape of

the window is consistent with the current consumption mainstream guide, whether the design

of the shop sign is good enough to express the brand's unique value in terms of color.


The second is stay, which means to snatch consumers' time in our brand. The more

they dig into their purses, the higher the brand premium and the greater the brand value is. 

Thereafter, the key to commercial space design is whether the scenario, shopping process, interactive

experience, space atmosphere, light environment, etc. of the brand stores

can attract customers to stay.


The third is attract, you must have the hook to make consumers revisit,

which is the attractive point that makes them put their time in your hand again.

Any link in a brand terminal store can become the hook. As I mentioned before, an interactive

lighting fixture like the Sonic Runway, which fits well into the circumstance, would be a creative

highlight of the store in the future. Besides the splendid appearances and materials of

luminaire, the innovative lighting system that grew out of digital technology will

bring new sensory experience to the public, forcing them to pass their

time to the store. "


Zhao Riqiang

 I think that the future commercial stores, despite their scale, will tend to be more refined,

designers would have to seize the characteristics of the store itself, utilize the relationship

between element and integrate the design of the store into the store's products. They would

also have to create exclusive style and connotation for each store, as well as unique

quality. However, creating style and connotation through design is a major test for

designers. Designers need to search their brains for various ideas, but only by

such dedication, can the design win the eyes and hearts of consumers. "


Wang Wenxuan

Personally, I think that store design is in the vanguard of commercial design,

which presents a pleasant atmosphere through shape, color, lighting and venue.

The integration of motion and quietness, the smart use of light, coupled with holographic

projections, multimedia and other modern skills, helps to make the static exhibits vivid

and lively. The exciting atmosphere gives man the immersive effect.


The advent of both magnificent and upscale commercial stores is the trend

of future design. In the coming years, most consumers will be after 1990s and 2000s,

thus, stores have to seize their aesthetic point of view, create an atmosphere with light,

as well as highlight fashion and state of the art. "


With the prevalence of e-commerce, online sales continue to increase their shares

in the consumer market. This is the time we have to focus on the plight of the offline stores.

How to get a slice in this highly competitive market and how can lighting design bring forth

greater value in the market, are the questions for both business owners and designers.

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