Who decides what?
Singapore, 11th March 2010
Lighting designers are not the lead consultants, at least not in the majority of the projects, they are part of a much greater project team. I am speaking with my hat of architectural lighting designer on.
The thought for today was triggered by this morning’s meeting where I found out that the “big boss” had totally different ideas of what the lighting was supposed to do than the project director we had been dealing with so far. It was our first presentation of the lighting concept to the board of management. In the lead up we had been closely coordinating our lighting concept with the client’s project director and the lead architect. Understandably we were taken aback. Who is in charge here? Who decides what? Does anybody know what they want?
My point is this: while we need a brief from the client or, if not available, develop a brief and design direction with the client, we need to understand who the key decision makers are. We may love our own lighting concept, the architect may love our concept but if the key stakeholders are not on the same page with you, we may be wasting our time. Of course one can argue that it is up to me to get my client excited about my concept and convince them that “this is it”! But sometimes we are genuinely not on the same page.
I am not the type of lighting designer that says to the client: “it is my way or the high way”, I am a designer hired to expertly create design concepts that works for my client, not just for me. But as we work as part of a team for a client that includes sometimes multiple stakeholders it is not always easy to figure out who decides what!