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Designing a Smart & Sustainable lighting system


Aparna – From India

Architecture & Urban Planning

Shogo – From Japan

Acoustic Design

Maria from Colombia

UX Design

Jordano – From The Netherlands

Communication and multimedia design

Amanda – from The Netherlands

Game developement



The beginning of a 100 foot journey


Bye bye MediaLAB! You were nothing less than an adventure <3. It is never a goodbye and until then this is team KLM – Data Lighting signing off in style in our new sweaters.

Happy holidays

Dear readers/partners/people who randomly stumbled upon our page,


Hereby we want to wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year! We hope you will chase your dreams and achieve what you desire! Stay healthy and strong! And most important of all, keep creating!


We wish you the best!

–Team KLM – Data Lighting

Sprint-05 Summary

In comparison to the other sprints, this sprint is only two weeks long. It’s going to be really short and stressful, right? As long as we keep our heads clear and our gaze free, we think we can manage it 🙂

So for this sprint, our original goal was:

Create a physical prototype displaying Power over Ethernet and expand the prototype of the Generator and Circularity passport.

However, after talking with our coach, we decided that we shouldn’t spend time on a physical prototype as it would not help us with our end goal. So our new goal will be:

Update the prototype based on the Generator & Circularity Passport and create a rough draft of the business model.

After the enthusiastic Monday at MediaLAB framing our Sprint 5 Goal, it was time for us to visit the Hangar 11 & 12 since they also needed a change of lighting system. So we scheduled a meeting on the following day and took off to visit the majestic Blue birds. Oh and of course getting into the specificity of our work there. We must mention we were quite honoured and surprised to see youngsters welcoming us who had the same mindset as us and with all due respect can rightly be called the “Change- makers” in the KLM scene. We were given a run through of the Hangar and the intent behind them involving us in this particular project of renewing the Hangar and making it completely on-going. We were rightly excited and thrilled to work on such a different scenario which was challenging at the same time because our user research had mainly concentrated only on the Data center.


The team at Hangar 11 & 12

However, we promised them we would deliver a rough conceptual framework of what would fit their needs the best. So yay! We have another meeting scheduled the beginning of January.  Now moving back to MediaLAB.

We had a session with a coach from another team, Marco. He really liked our idea and he gave us a good suggestion to create a package we can present to companies. Our coach also seemed to think our idea could turn into a profitable company.

Having said that, we tried contacting Alliander, Cisco and the Edge building, but unfortunately there was no availability. We, however, got lucky with Chess Wise. Wednesday after the peer pitch, we went to Haarlem and showed them our framework, consisting of the Generator and the Circularity passport.


Explaining the Generator and Circularity passport to Chess Wise 

Being the technical expertise, they thought our concept of the Generator was very cool and user-friendly, but far from complete. Also some of our questions were not necessarily leading to the solution. But this was something we were also struggling with. However, they are willing to help us work on it by giving us suggestions and valuable inputs to complete the generator. All in all, this meeting was great to make us think how to tackle our impending problems and gave us a different perspective.

The following morning, we had our fifth sprint review. This time Mijndert Den Hartog and Micheal van Balen were present.

We expanded the application of sensors in the Data center.


The different kind of sensors in the rooms


How the lighting reacts to movement


The Generator and Circularity passport were updated.


Now they share the same screen and they are in KLM brand colours!


Hovering over the questions on the right, highlights the answers on the left

Furthermore, we gave them some proposals how they can apply this framework in the future.


Our plan of action

They seemed to be content with our progress in this time period. However, we need to be more specific in our business case. Mijndert will try to send us a format for the business cases they use at KLM. Our coach also proposed to maybe plan a short session with Chess Wise to work on the generator and a session with Mijndert to work out the plan or the Data centre room by room.

After this short, but whacky ride, it is time for our last and final sprint. Monday we will discuss how we are going to finish this. Although we are nearing the end, it is more challenging and fun than ever! But now, it’s time for lunch!

Sprint-04 summary

In the previous sprint we looked at the problem from a holistic view, but now that it is done, it is time we go back to continue and focus on the data center again.


Our sprint planning session

After a brainstorm session with crazy ideas (like a virtual reality experience in a spooky data center… spoilers: we didn’t to it) we came up with a concrete goal and fair enough subgoals. Our sprint goal this time is:

Create a physical prototype explaining the difference between the current situation and the proposed solution for the data center, leading to the creation of material passport.

The first week was fun. We visited the Scrap Plaza to get some insights about the stuff KLM throws away, why they throw it and what happens to it. We also acquired a Peggy 2.3 board, which we can be used in the physical prototype. The demo of the physical prototype was also created to make initial tests. Further adding to this, the week was more of a ‘create-it’-week. But there was definitely some research about the two options for the data center, based on the information acquired from the first two sprints.


The scrap plaza

This flowed into the second week, where we mainly worked on the priorities for this particular sprint. We also had our translate session again, where it became clear that we had to be much more concrete with our information and give attention to details. Right now we are using a lot of terms known to us, but not to the average joe. We started to visualize everything and make it clear from the get go to put our point strong across the table.

Two days before the sprint demo, we had the time to go to the OCC (operation control centrum). It looked like NASA. Eventually we hope that our system can also help the employees in this building.


The OCC 

Overall, this sprint was pretty intense wherein every single member in our team worked really hard and into the depth of things. Our biggest struggle was to find a balance between the depth of each and present it in an understandable manner to our partners.

Our Sprint demo presentation was divided into three parts, The generator, the proposal and the Circularity passport.


Two screens of the Generator prototype

The Generator we created basically catered to all the departments of KLM. It was on the sorts of a survey-questionnaire wherein the user gets to answer multiple choice questions focussing on his need and want. The back-end of the Generator was configured to pick the best technology solution according to the answers on the front-end. We had a pre-filled demo of this Generator having the focus on Data center. The result included two options, which basically is our proposal.

The proposal we presented to our stakeholders are:   

  1. Working with PoE LEDS
  2. Working with Wifi LEDS

We explained how the system works, what would be the pros and cons, details including pay-back time and investment costs to help KLM make a firm decision, also in a way giving us a direction to proceed further.

We had a fun survey session through Kahoot to help our stakeholders decide in a playful manner which option fitted their needs the best. And eventually they chose option 01, which is working with power over ethernet.

For the next sprint we want to expand our generator into a web-application, work on the circularity passport for the chosen option and think of another way to present it. We  will also start working on details with regard to the business model and perhaps ideas for the next and final sprint. But for now, we are focused in working towards seeing our project go live!

Sprint-03 Summary

After our white-knuckle ride, which was the case of our second sprint, we came to the conclusion we should not focus only on an application. If anything, the application could be a part of a bigger system. However we word it, it all leads to the same point: we must broaden our thoughts and stop thinking in small scaled-solutions.


Picture was taken during our Sprint planning meeting, where we had a brainstorm session

After a fierce brainstorm session, it was apparent that if our stakeholders are expecting something life-changing and innovative. We must deliver a tool which will always remain dynamic. Something infinite.

We came up with the idea to adopt the Cradle-to-Cradle theory, which we consider to aid us in this project. Assuming we can create something that is applicable everywhere and always relevant, it could be the fitting solution which we can provide. Easier said than done, as designing this model was a real brainteaser.

Cradle-to-Cradle is basically an idea where every material retains it’s value. So after it’s usage, it will be recycled and ready to be used again

Our sprint goal this time was:

Design a framework based on the lighting system inspired from the “cradle to cradle” theory to suit the KLM premises on a holistic level and demonstrate a prototype fitting the context of Data Centre.

At the end of the first week, we decided to have another brainstorm session/ workshop, combining the ideas we all had through our research. This workshop gave us a few interesting revelations:

  • We decided we’ll go ‘out of the box’ for the recycling part;
  • We took a standpoint as to the best solution could be like a closed loop ( or semi closed system), where the lights are also recycled to be implemented again;
  • The needed technological innovation with regard to the loop already has grown so wide, so we came to the conclusion to take advantage of that and focus our minds on the C2C-part.


First concept of our Cradle-to-Cradle design

Still we had our doubts concerning certain parts. However, after visiting Chess Wise and seeing some of their possibilities, it gave us an opportunity to look into the practical functionality of the technology loop, that we slowly started to see the different puzzle pieces fit together. And this was only enforced when we had our Translate session. During the meeting, together with our coaches we came up with the idea to create a framework with all the current possibilities. And this was the push we needed to get into our flow. We also made the very important decision of changing the recycle part into the reclaim part.


Picture was taken during our meeting with Chess Wise

The rest of the time was used to think of the possibilities and components of this framework and connecting this to the idea of a passport. We decided that this passport would be our altered design model of the Cradle to cradle system. We made a tabular scheme incorporating the different  components needed in the system. This framework was eventually converted to an interactive circular diagram. From this framework the user can choose his own parameters and come up with a system.  The passport plays an important role, it basically lists all the materials, present in the building and the possibilities as of how to reclaim them. But it also contains the performances of the building, like energy usages, heat management etc.


The process of our design


The tabular presentation of the possibilities 


Diagram of the passport

This is the conceptual idea we eventually presented to the stakeholders on the 10th of November. They seem to understand the pivot we made to focus on a system instead of a technical part of the system.

For the next sprint, we would like to perform an intense user research, look into ways of making a feasible system and elaborate on the practical application of it. If possible, we would also like to view other premises of KLM, so we can adapt this system to be used on a wide variety of buildings in the premises. But we are sure that we would not lose our aim and make the system work for the Data Center.  This means we must make hard decisions, as well as give our stakeholders the choice to make decisions- flexibility is the key we are going to focus on.

So, you could say this was until now the most braincracking sprint. We discussed a lot more. But the result is definitely something we can build upon. If this works, then we will definitely be smart and sustainable for the future as we intended to achieve through the course of the project! Fingers crossed.

Sprint-02 Summary

After ideating and creating for three weeks, it was time for the finale of the second sprint- the sprint Demo.

This time, our sprint goal was formulated in the following way:

Integrate the functionality of dimming, multiple users and UX design into the application and to reduce the energy consumption by 50%.

This sprint was a lot harder. After the positive feedback we received from the first sprint demo, we  assumed that we were heading the right way.

The first step in this sprint were additions to the prototype. The functionality of dimming and usage of application by multiple users at the same time were added.

After this, a plan was formulated to observe and interview the external workers present in the Data Centre. Primarily, the goal of this user research was to analyse the user dynamics and check the work-ability of the “Switch-on” application.


Prototype additions

As a part of the user research, an experiment was devised to quantitatively come up with a statement in order to move towards our sprint goal which was to reduce the energy consumption by 50%.  The idea of the experiment was to mark all the light switches of the main high security room in the Data Centre. The maintenance workers should only switch on the lights needed based on the machine to be accessed and a  key provided by us on the side. Our assumptions were that maintenance workers knew the location of the machine. However, after interviewing a few workers, this seems to not be the case.


Experimenting at the Data centre

And that’s not all. They usually do not work within one area,  but move around to at least three sections. This means that every time they move around, they need to grab their phone to turn on the lights. They liked the application, but they all remarked that it would be a nuisance when it comes to the usability part of it.

As a conclusion from the User research, it was evident that the way of thinking needed to be broader from our side. Until that moment, only the requests of KLM were met, but for the actual users, the application did not help. They were not gaining anything by using the application nor was our purpose solved. From the user behaviour it resulted in a conflicting thought about the application.


Translate session

We were lost for a certain period until we had a brilliant translate session. This session is planned in the middle of every sprint, to translate the ideas and results gathered until that moment to insights and grasp the main story behind them. The translate session directed towards two points, one – that creation of an application is not the best solution to address our problem, two- all we needed was a change of perspective, an attempt to derive at a balanced consensus between the stakeholders.

At the end of three weeks, it was time for the Sprint Demo. This time we had a big audience. It was a great sight to witness all the stakeholders involved in the project, which was an event we had not come across before, definitely an extra boost for our upcoming sprints.

It was a splendid meeting and this time we received a lot of valuable inputs from the stakeholders themselves. It comprised of critical feedback as well as compliments which was exactly the need of the hour for us. They seem to be absolutely enthralled and positive that we will definitely not disappoint them!

All in all, this sprint was one wild ride, but it gave us a much needed revelation – to get beyond limits. The challenge has just begun!

Sprint Demo

After three weeks, the moment has finally come where we showcase our progress to our stakeholders to receive feedback for the next Sprint.

In theory, we had to present it to five people, but alas, only two were able to make it. Eventually, we presented it to Micheal, Mijndert and Gijs, our coach.

In short, we explained them about our research process with the stakeholder map and the golden circle graphically represented. Then went on to explain our idea and last but definitely not the least, the prototype and physical model demo.


The current stakeholder map we have desgined.


With our research, we came up with this Golder Circle, visualizing the three important stakeholders and their WWW



A few screens of our prototype


One of the scenario’s of how to use the application on a tablet




Our prototype was be able to run on iPhones. Here we are showing them the current functionality

We received lots of varied feedback from the present stakeholders. However, some great ideas always comes during the most random times. This is why we have also have mailed them a feedback form and a summary, which can be read and sent at one’s own phase.

With all the gathered information we have received, we are positive we can make a great second sprint.

Introducing ourselves

Publishing an introduction now could be perceived as tardy as the project has commenced almost three weeks ago. But from our perspective, this is exactly the perfect time. We got to know each other, what everyone’s quirks are, how they think, react and most significant of all, what kind of jokes they like to throw in at random times.

Moving onto the real deal now: we’re a team consisting of five members, coming from four different countries. We are multi-disciplinary, with a wide variety of skills and humor, which makes sure our workspace is the one filled with laughter.

Introducing us in alphabetical order:

Amanda from The Netherlands  – ‘Not all who wander are lost’ – J. R. R. Tolkien. This quotes reflect my way of thinking. While everyone around me is always working towards an end goal, I always tend to enjoy the journey more than the destination. I am someone who wanders a lot in thought and does a lot of soul searching, hoping to help everyone on my path. Currently I am studying Game Development and love to draw. I hope to visualize my wandering thoughts in the drawings I make and inspire others to do so.

Aparna from India‘We but mirror the world. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world also changes. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi. And this is me in a nutshell. An architect and urban planning researcher by profession, but more of a believer and doer 🙂

Jordano from The Netherlands – ‘Without music, life would be a mistake‘ – Friedrich Nietzsche. I think this quote says a lot about me. Music isn’t only rhythm, melody and words. It connects people and creates opportunity to practice everything in life. My specialties are communication, strategy formulation, branding/identity and design.

Maria from Colombia – My bio I’m a UX Designer, focus on digital media. I worked with design thinking, model business canvas and workshops to generate a solution.  I´m highly interested in work with a multidisciplinary team and learn about others disciplines. ‘Dont live the same year 75 times and call it life’ by Amalia Andrade is my favorite because it makes me realize that I have to enjoy every moment and be out of my comfort zone.

Shogo from Japan – My background is Acoustic and Interaction Design. Through this project, I would like to improve all my skills to do more creative work. I love to think and make something. I keep imagining what makes people happy by designing something. Art and Design save the world! “Cogito ergo sum.”  by Descartes is my favorite quote, thought explaining the reason why is rather difficult, but the better my brains work, the more strongly I feel that I am alive. For me, the quote means that time I think is youth.


This is us! Picture taken at KLM Point of View. 

Meeting up with KLM employees


On the 8th of September, we had an appointment for meeting with a few employees of KLM. During this interview a lot of ambiguities were cleared up, since we got a chance to finally determine the authentic goal of our project.
Opening with an ice breaker, we moved on to a presentation introducing ourselves and our skills. Eventually the topic shifted to the actual task and a tour through KLM’s Data Centre, familiarly known as The Bunker and subsequently into a questionnaire session.



The Service Desk of the Point of View building


The objective of this meeting was to squeeze as much information as possible out of our partner KLM. This is a necessity considering the first Sprint planning is around the corner, which requires a great deal of knowledge about the subject of the issue.


We finally had the chance to take a good group picture

Gained insights

  • The problem to be addressed and innovated is based on the following criteria:
    • Energy usage;
    • Temperature;
    • Usability;
    • Flexibility;
    • Maintenance;
    • Extensibility;
    • Cost avoidance.
  • The lighting products are to be replaced, as they are old and prone to failure; since the building is reaching its 26th birthday this year;
  • Around 500 TL lights are in usage;
  • Only a few lamps are lit 24/7. Most lamps are used during maintenance;
  • The Data Center contains no sensors to automatically adjust the lightning;
  • Other than maintenance workers, there are no employees present in the building, since it contains little to no work space;
  • Numerous lights are fitted inaccurately, leading to poor functionality and causing problems for the workers;
  • The High Security Area (HSA) uses the most energy (at full capacity 16 kWh per 1500 m2 with 24 x 24 lights);
  • Specific info like floorplans, floor- and door numbers, etc. should not be mentioned on the blog.

Tinkering workshop


On the 7th of September, we were scheduled for the Tinkering Workshop. In less than 4 hours, the teams were requested to use various gadgets, like Little Bits, The Bttn and the Makey Makey, to enhance the creation made during the Maker Sprint.



The intention of this workshop was directed towards elaborating upon the models of the Maker Sprint in a playful and lighthearted manner, subsequently getting opinions from other team members on the added feature.

2015-09-07 17.27.00

Our glasses with the lights attached to it


After a short discussion, we decided to make use of Little Bits to add colour-changing lights to the frame of the Effi-glasses. Using the lights, there was no more a need for the coloured lenses.



The Little Bits components were rather bulky, resulting in excessive use of tape to keep the entirety together. The emitted lights did not light up through the sides of the glasses, however, by taping them on an angle, it was possible to mimic the effect of coloured glasses. Other team members tried on the glasses and the session ended with them providing us with potential feedbacks.




2015-09-07 17.27.50

2015-09-07 17.41.51

Other people trying on the glasses and giving feedback


Gained insights

  • It was evident that a majority of people considered this to be a plausible phenomenon in the future.  
  • It was important to keep in mind while designing that the intensity of lights play a major role and it being too bright could have an adverse effect on the user.