Singapore 26th July 2010
With the economy back on track in most parts of this world, the number of new projects is increasing fast and we are scrambling with our man power to fulfill the project demands. It seems at this moment less difficult to get a job then to actually deliver the works! I hear many others in the design consultancy business in this region face the same situation. One of the big interior design firms in Singapore has grown nearly 50% in staff capacity over the last few months alone. In the lighting design business (and in my own company now) the pressure is on too.
With a growing staff capacity the question arises how to arrange the office set up. The larger an office the more segregated the individual skills. Large design practices would have project managers, project designers, CAD production staff, visual renderers, staff that look after documentation, etc. In this way a project team can consist of many people.
But lighting design practices typically are small in size and most of us multi task. This requires the typical lighting designer to have multiple skills and experiences. He or she needs to have project management skills, creative design experience, proficiency in computer skills (whether in lighting calculations or visualisations), product knowledge and certainly understanding of technical site installation issues. People with all these skills combined are difficult to find. Those how possess these skills either run their own company or have high level management positions in existing companies.
So with the growing demand for man power the alternative option is to look for specific skills and build a team around several people each with one or more of the skills needed. Though I am realistic enough to accept the market situation, I am a big supporter of lighting designers having the full understanding (and experience) of what it takes from to realize a project from creation to completion. At least the project design leader should have all these skills preferably with vast application knowledge.
Unfortunately some people like to call themselves lighting designers without this basic knowledge, but because the enormous demand they get away with…as the saying goes: “In the land of the blind, one eye is king!”…isn’t it?