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News

Lighting the road ahead

Jim Collin took over the role as Head of ÅF Lighting in January this year. Today, a hundred days later, we meet with him to talk about his new job, the lighting industry and the future.

So, your first hundred days are up! Were they as expected?

My expectations have been exceeded. These past months I have focused on understanding the strengths and challenges of each of our local teams, and on meeting all our wonderful staff. As ÅF Lighting has offices in eight locations in five countries I have done a lot of travelling, of course, but it is definitely worth it to create those personal connections. I’m happy to say that I have been welcomed with open arms everywhere. Also, we are still in the process of integrating Light Bureau in London, who joined us last October. Going from being a small company to being part of a large corporation requires effort. But they’re a great team who do very impressive work.

In your new role, what do you see as your most important mission?

I want to create an organization with as few boundaries as possible. We are currently working on a training programme to convey our comprehensive knowledge to all employees. We have great colleagues with great strengths as individuals, but together we are even stronger and are able to offer our customers an even more complete service.

What are your thoughts on the future of ÅF Lighting? What challenges are the lighting industry facing?

Increased digitization and automation is making this an exciting time to be part of the lighting industry. Going forward, I foresee that we will not be asked to pay as much attention to detailed planning, which to some extent will be automated. But instead, I believe that we will be able to give more weight to concepts and expression. ÅF Lighting is an established international player already, but I believe that in coming years, an increasing number of international projects will strengthen our brand name further.

ÅF is expanding within architecture and design. What does the new strategy mean for the industry?

Bringing architects, lighting designers and acoustics engineers together within one business area is a natural and well-timed step, in my opinion. We have a multi-brand strategy with strong individual brands, which gives us as individual players the opportunity to continue developing our own business and projects freely. At the same time, we can combine our strengths into a joint offering, thereby being able to offer complete end-to-end solutions to customers and projects. The new structure is only positive, in my view.

Learn more about ÅF Lighting's  services and projects at afconsult.com/lighting.

Photo: Linus Höök