Hard or soft copies?
Shanghai, 19th March 2010
With modern computer and internet technology moving fast forward we are steadily arriving in a paperless world. .. or are we? Today it is much easier to send an electronic file to a client instead of kilo’s and volumes of paper documents and drawings like we used to do in the past. Even better… we don’t send the electronic files anymore due to the enormous file sizes…we just send them the link to our FTP site or use You-Send-It type of mail facilities and basically give them the responsibility to retrieve it. Again, like the good old days, we can say: “It is in the mail”. 🙂 (By the way: finding the right files between hundreds of uploaded files and then downloading them is another story!)
In my early days as designer we had a whole storage room full of drawings stuffed away in drawers or hangers. Now it is all in our office computer network. We don’t call anymore, we “skype” or “chat” with our clients. We read our newspapers online, we Google images for our projects on line…our lighting manufactures have all their products “on line” too now…that is practical for our lighting specification works. But thank god most of them still issue hard copy catalogues! Publishers now also issue electronic soft copies of their lighting magazines. Again handy for our work and practical to carry along for reference.
But the question is: “Where are we going in this society?” You can’t talk to people anymore as they are too absorbed by their mobile phone or laptop. I don’t know about you but I do like my newspaper in the morning…the real paper. I do like to enjoy images (even the smell!) in a real hardcopy magazine or book. And how many people can still actually use pen and paper? People who know me, know that I like to use pen and paper to sketch when discussing lighting design… It’s personal, it’s engaging, it’s direct, its real, and it’s pure. Therefore I dont see myself sketching on or reading from an electronic tablet anytime soon ….