It’s not me!

Sanya, Hainan 24th August 2010

Design and site coordination meetings can be quite interesting and revealing. I have just completed another such day where the foreign consultants meet the local team (client, local design institute, local architect, electrical and structural engineers) and cross swords about the design and its implementation on site. This is about a 5 star hotel resort, one of the many going up in Sanya.

The first issue is generally the mock up room. Like in any hotel project a model room (or mock up room) is build to make sure the whole concept (interiors, lighting, etc) works as generally hundreds of rooms will be built as part of the hotel, so getting it right is crucial. The “confrontation” if I may call it that way, is always about what we have specified and what actually is being installed. For several reasons (local availability, cost savings and not to forget kickbacks from local suppliers) it generally ends up quite different from your design let alone your expectation, giving rise to a lot of frustration. That is where suddenly no-one is responsible…I didn’t do it…its not me! But someone must have made the decision to replace it.

Then there is the issue of old drawings or no follow up. We sent drawings to the client and site team, but when we come for a meeting it is like they just started looking at them. That is the good scenario. Most of the time you find out that they are working on previous issues or that you have been working on old drawings as they did not update you…either way an interesting discussion as again there seems to be no one to blame.   

A real beauty is when you find out that your drawings do not match with the actual site situation or that certain site conditions were not communicated to you as it means that all your design work was in vain forcing you to rework that design. Again no one is home when it comes to taking ownership as nobody really likes to admit making mistakes in this business…

There were not many lighting design issues today but it was an interesting meeting to watch nevertheless…  🙂

24. August 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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