Meeting of the minds
Chengdu, 5th May 2010
Design coordination workshops are crucial for the success of a project, certainly when many overseas consultants are involved. I am in Chengdu to attend such design workshop for one of our hotel projects. It is never too early to be involved in a propject design process is one of my sayings when it comes to lighting design. Most of the time we get involved too late, have too rush the lighting design to meet the deadlines and most importantly because of the late involvement there was no real thought put into what the budget should be for lighting, if any.
Lighting is often the last item on the budget and most of the time the allocated budget is totally insufficient as it was based on some engineered input with no consideration to any artwork, visual orientation, comfort (dimming controls) etc. So by the time we come up with our design in these cases the clients fall of their chair…
So these kind of early design coordination meetings are crucial as they allow us as lighting designer to prepare the client for the requirements of the lighting. Our role at the same time is that of a mediator between the interior designer/architect, the operator and the client who all have different wants and needs when it comes to lighting requirements. The client wants to make sure his capital investment is value for money (or simply said as cheap as possible), the operator wants the running costs (their monthly electricty and maintenance bill) to be as low as possible, which most of the time translates in premium lighting products that have a durable quality with minimal maintenance requirements. If the operator and the client are two different parties you can imagine the challenge to bring this together. The interior designer/ architect just want us to validate their design intent.
It is easy to see that these design coordination meetings serve as a “meeting of the minds”. By understanding each others needs and requirements, combined with basic and common application standards and regulations, we have much greater chance to a successful project.