Age and wisdom
Singapore, 3rd November 2009
As we are all supposed to grow older and wiser, the question arises if there should be a time where lighting designers should consider retiring. Lighting design is very much a matter of experience and passion, so it seems that as time progresses we become better and better…..we become vintage designers, so to speak.
It was a pleasure to listen to William Lam’s acceptance speach and his wise words upon being confered the life time achievement award for his lighting design work at the PLDC gala dinner. However I would venture to say that as we grow older we generally become less flexible in our ways of designing, relying more and more on proven concepts and lighting technologies. We are gradually “rusting” in our comfortable routines and it becomes more and more difficult to be open for new innovations, new ideas and accept that things that have always worked for you may have been overtaken by new technologies and common public acceptance.
I believe that in our profession we can continue working as long as we have our mind,faculties and more specifically our senses, working well. I don’t think there is really an age limit if we are passionate about what we do. But it takes wisdom to understand that with age we may have to accept that the new generation are the leaders of tomorrow. Hence the roles of the “elderly statesmen” of lighting design should shift to that of mentor and role model.