Wining and dining
Zhengzhou 28th April 2010
Those who have read my recent article in PLD magazine about doing lighting design in Asia may remember the part about wining and dining. I am currently in Zhengzhou to present to (and get approval from) the local government for our lighting design of a major landmark tower in the city. As the project is very political and prestigious to the local government failure is not an option. Therefore the government is going to great length to make sure the lighting design is feasible and will achieve the design intent. They cited several project examples in China in which the LED lighting (which we are using here) failed to achieve causing considerable local embarrassment.
But it is not a simple matter of just going into a meeting, presenting the lighting design to the officials and get approval…oh, no! The local government had invited some of the top national and local lighting design experts for the assessment of the design. Professors from the architectural lighting division of the Beijing University, independent professional lighting designers and members of the local Design Institute were invited to be part of the assessment panel. So to “break the ice” our client organised first a dinner last night with the key panel members with the intention mainly to get to know each other, understand the lighting design concept and avoid unnecessary confrontation in front of the government by discussing the potential issues first.
The result of last night’s “wining and dining” could be felt this morning when I presented our lighting design to the government officials as the mood was friendly, cordial and above all respectful. With the understanding of the basic design issues, knowing each other better, the questions and comments on the lighting design were to the point, valuable and constructive.
I was happy to get the endorsement by the panel of lighting design experts advising the government. It is not often that we are judged directly by our peers and their approval for my design meant a lot to me.