Subjectivity in lighting assessments

Mumbai , 6th July 2010

Another day, another city, another country… I woke up in Mumbai, India, this morning after having flown in late last night from Singapore to review (for the umptiest time) the revised mock up room of one of our hotel projects. Revision number 10, would you believe! Sometimes the project team gets it right in one or two attempts; sometimes (like in this project) it seems like a badly orchestrated dance, one step forward, two steps backwards…

The assessment of the lighting effects tends to be very subjective and depended on which people attend the review. If only it were the principal designers (interior/ lighting) and the operator’s and client’s main decision makers. Each with their core expertise and knowledge, so quick assessments and decisions can be made.  In this project there is a lot of “noise” with too many people wanting to put in their little worth of comments.

But by far the worse thing is doing assessments when the installation is not completed and even worse not as specified! Cutting cost and value engineering before the intended lighting effects can be assessed properly defeats the purpose of having a mock up room, isn’t it? Most people do not have the experience or capability to imagine how it should be and throw their subjective on the moment comments in the mix. Managing this ad-hoc subjectivity in the lighting assessment is not easy and takes a great deal of project experience to handle. You need to be really confident about what it is that you are going to achieve with the lighting and be very authoritative to dispel potential “harmful” comments. We started out with a design concept and design intend and random subjective comments (..I like red better…isn’t that too bright?…etc) often result in deviating from it if we are not careful.

Of course there are relevant and meaningful comments, but experience learns that these generally come from the key persons mentioned above.

06. July 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting design | Leave a comment

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