James Bassant, Co-founder and Design Director, Astro Lighting
What does Astro do and what makes its offering unique?
“I see our designs as the lighting tools that allow designers and architects to create exciting, well-lit spaces. Since we started Astro in 1997, we have been designing modern yet timeless decorative lighting to enhance and complement hospitality, commercial and high-end residential spaces. We’re obsessive about the details, seeking the best possible materials and quality manufacturing, with all products designed right here in the UK. – We create lighting that is not just as efficient as possible, but each piece has a delicate simplicity, an attention to detail and a quality that ensures they remain timeless.”
How has your business adapted for the post-pandemic hotel and hospitality industry?
“We are really looking forward to HIX to be able to see our customers face to face again, but the pandemic has forced us to develop new ways of communicating with our partners around the globe. As a company we have collectively embraced the new landscape, working closely with customers to find more meaningful ways to connect. I have very much enjoyed presenting our Astro Live Webinar Series to our hospitality clients in many different time zones at the same time, and it’s certainly something we will look to continue.”
What can the hotel and hospitality industry learn from the global pandemic?
“How the pandemic affects the hotel and hospitality industry in the long-term is yet to be fully seen, but it will undoubtedly have an impact. We are seeing a growing trend towards lighting control apps such as Casambi, which present hotel guests with a personalised lighting solution controlled from their own devices. Many Astro designs are already compatible with the Casambi technology with the purpose of offering users a more considered lighting scheme reflective of the time of day, or task at hand. It also ensures you are only using the lighting you actually need within a space.”
Among the big social shifts to have occurred over the last 18 months, which will be the most significant driver of change over the next 3-5 years and why?
“The single most important value will be the environmental impact of our products. There are many changes we are making as a business and we have a particular focus on refining the electrical components used within our designs, ensuring not only do they have an extended lifetime, but that if required, they are easily replaceable so the product can live on for many more years. One of our key projects is also ensuring that all our stakeholders understand that sustainability is not a nice to have, it is at the core of who we are as a business. We want to be constantly challenging and questioning ourselves on everything we do, asking does this deliver a better tomorrow?”
What products will you be featuring at HIX this year and why should visitors visit your stand?
“We will be exhibiting our Capsule Collection in the UK for the first time. Three exceptional pieces that embody the core Astro design DNA but are amplified to make a real statement within any scheme. – We are also pleased to be showing a range of exciting new products designed specifically for our hospitality customers: Fuse USB, Lucca, and the Miura range with its mix and match finishes and contemporary metal shade.”
Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline for Astro that you can share with HIX attendees ahead of the event?
“Product development never stops at Astro and the fantastic new products being launched at HIX will be followed next spring with some even more exciting, new designs. – Volume 02 of our Capsule Collection is also now in production, featuring three designs that are a unique exploration of materials, craftmanship and light. The creative freedom afforded to me and Riley our Senior Designer by the Capsule Collection, allows us to explore our design passions even further and I’m excited to launch the products to our customers next year.”
What are you most looking forward to about HIX 2021?
“Seeing the industry come back together again in a new exhibition format is really exciting. The first large UK exhibition for Astro since the pandemic, we’re interested to see how HIX will reflect the evolving demands of hospitality design and how events and exhibitions can take on a more sustainable future.
It’s also been a long time since we have connected with our customers in person, so we’re pleased to be able to meet face to face and showcase the wonderful new products that we launched virtually during the pandemic.”