Perth, 3rd April 2010
In life we do look up to people we admire, masters of their trade and examples of successful people who have made a difference in the world and more personally to our own life. There are the well known main stream icon’s like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Warren Buffet, Steven Jobs, Richard Branson, Anthony Robbins, etc, but I guess there are many others that have touched us on a more personal level and impacted on our lives.
I am inspired by designers like Philip Starck or architects like Santiago Calatrava and Jean Nouvel who somehow amaze us every time with their original and creative expressions. In sports we have people like Lance Armstrong, Roger Federer or Lionel Messi who inspire us. Though the Tiger Woods saga showed us that we often only see the public face of these people and that privately they are not necessarily the perfect leading light we think they are.
In lighting, my early boss at Philips, Gerrit van den Beld, has always been my mentor and source of inspiration at the time I was developing my own as a lighting designer. Though Gerrit is now retired, I still look up at him as one of my “masters”.
But today is the anniversary of one of my biggest icons, my grandmother. Would she still be alive, she would be 107 today. She lived through two wars, brought up her five children single handedly during the second war and later wrote educational children’s books based on her experience of being a teacher, mother and provider at the same time. She was also an architect (like her father) and besides designing and building her own house also spend a lifetime studying and researching history and architecture, such as the famous pyramids in the Valey of the Nile. As her first grand son I always had a special place, I guess. She was a remarkable woman.
Today I honor my “masters” and thank them for being my source of inspiration.