Lighting and terrorism

Singapore, 8th March 2010

With the “Hurt Locker” movie about the heroics of a bomb squad in Iraq sweeping a number of awards at the Oscars today it seems to be an appropriate subject for today’s blog! In my early days of being a lighting designer terrorism was not really something we worried about. Yes, we would avoid going to “war zones” like Israel and Libanon or areas like former Yougoslavia, but airplane high jacking was not really a threat. In our earlier days of flying we would often go visit the pilot in the cockpit…remember? But some  Al Qaida and 9-11’s later, how the world has changed…

I don’t know about my colleagues, but we have now added a travel alert clause in our consultancy contracts to cover against travelling to areas that have been designated by official government announcements as unsafe to travel. Sad to say that we already had to use to it…

It has also impacted on the actual lighting design as most projects like important public and corporate buildings, hotels, etc, nowadays specifically require lighting for security and bomb checking on arrival. Something unheard of not even 10 years ago. In a design coordination meeting today I was further confronted with it as we discussed the architect’s drawings for a public building showing possible bomb attack and impact zones. You may not believe this, but it had an actual “impact” on the day lighting design of the building! As a result the planned day lighting intake had to be compromised for possible terrorist bomb attacks!   

If things continue this way we may soon find ourselves designing architectural lighting with explosion proof luminaires!

08. March 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and culture, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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