Photo of general manager Klaus Mark and creative director Georg Öhler from MK Illumination Austria.
#Interviews    12/02/2019

Thinking differently: an interview with MK Illumination’s Klaus Mark and Georg Öhler

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Being extraordinary is essential in a globalized world where ideas and aesthetics are becoming more uniform. Courage, creativity, and the openness to break new ground will become critical success factors in the years to come, and they‘re all values that we at MK Illumination hold dear.
We asked our CEO, Klaus Mark, and our creative director, Georg Öhler, to share their thoughts with us, and their responses revealed just how much we benefit from different perspectives and different ways of thinking here at MK Illumination.

The bottom line? Without creative free spirits, every business strategy suffers, and vice versa, too.

The interview

“Being Extraordinary”. What’s that about?

GÖ: “Extraordinary” is a wonderful word that means exactly what it says, namely not to look for “ordinary” solutions and to be open to the new and the different. From a young age,
I was someone who championed new ideas and sometimes had to fight to defend them, and as a result, I learned to love what most would consider “extraordinary” and sometimes dismiss the “ordinary”.

KM: “Extraordinary” is the courage to be different instead of simply doing what pleases other people. It’s about taking a stand, combining the right amount of curiosity and openness
to break new ground, and setting new trends instead of following them.

Where does the inspiration & creativity in your daily work come from?

GÖ: Creativity needs peace and space, which unfortunately are often lacking. Sometimes that means that my creativity is limited to expressing an opinion about a project. I try to give the creative minds in our team freedom and space, however. I also feel that communication with others is both creative and inspiring.

KM: For me, inspiration and creativity come from traveling, attending lectures and events, and from a constant exchange with people from different industries and cultures. Being outdoors in the beauty of nature and playing sports also frees my mind for new ideas.

What attracts people?

GÖ: I am attracted by honesty, openness, and laughter – I like to be part of a group with common goals, although many people tend to be attracted by power and money.

KM: Light – not only scientifically and theoretically but also empirically, as proven again and again by our projects.

Local versus global?

GÖ: The trend towards nationalism around the planet annoys me although it’s probably also a bit of a reaction to a globalized world. The vast majority of people in the world have the same goal – a life of contentment.

KM: Being open to global developments and having a keen sense of the microcosm that surrounds us are both important. Local thinking is a key ingredient in our recipe for success.

What are the benefits of festive light?

GÖ: I think festive lighting has always been part of our culture and is, therefore, part of our lifestyle. The biggest benefit is in promoting a positive, optimistic and open society
– lighting encourages people to leave their homes and bring them together for happy occasions.

KM: Light simply makes people happy.

What’s the future?

GÖ: Our world will continue to change very rapidly and a significant aspect of that change will be climate change. It will affect our environment and our perspective on the world. At the same time, technological progress will enable emotional communication with machines and open up many new possibilities.

KM: It’s vital that we find the right balance between digitalization and using analog solutions that deliver emotive experiences.

Your personal “light moment”?

GÖ: I recently became a father and that’s a moment of light that can’t be beaten! Aside from that though, I’d say that my personal “light moment” is when an idea or design becomes a reality and you see or experience the work for the first time: that’s pure magic.

KM: A Christmas tree with candlelight. As a child, staring at the tree and the light made me feel lucky and it still does today.

Learn more

That brings us to the end of the interview. To learn more about MK Illumination, take a look around our website, get in touch, or use the short form below to download a copy of The MK Express, our annual Christmasworld publication full of good ideas and interesting articles.

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