Getting down and dirty

Singapore 14th October 2010

Lighting designers don’t often get their hands dirty. I mean really getting down in the “gutter” to do all the dirty installation work. We have our office work, our travels, our meetings and site visits. Even during site visits we generally still have our “office clothes” on. The actual manual labor of installation is left to the contractor and his work men. Climbing up a scaffolding and actually installing lights is generally not part of the script. If anything we just give directions of what needs to be done. Yes we do get to wear a safety helmet….

But I like the installation part and when it happens I do like to get my hands dirty. It is the part where you really learn to understand what your lighting design means at the other end of the scale! If you have installed lights yourself you will far better understand the implications of your design and light fitting selection!

Today (and yesterday) was such day. Shorts, polo shirt, old runners, tool box….I personally participated in the installation of our artwork and as a write my blog its past 4.30 am as I just came back from a long night. Our artwork is mounted on a floating platform and the installation was a rather wet affair. Wet clothes, soggy runners, sweaty shirt, grease everywhere. We installed the lights during the day and spent the rest of the night testing and programming. As always it does work out as smoothly as you wish. Missing cables, connectors, in our case faulty DMX and lighting control issues, etc. So you have to get down and dirty on the floor, crawl under the lights to figure out what’s wrong.

But once it all comes together and you see it all working as you imagined you have a great feeling of satisfaction even more so because you actually and physically went in there to make sure it worked. You can rely on others to do the work but one is never served as well as by oneself!

14. October 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting design practice | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Dear Mr. Klassen,

    I saw you there in the site sitting in boat..yesterday busy trying to resolve the issues….and it’s great to meet you today in front of your installation. Hope the issues will get solved soon! Gud Luck Martin 🙂

    with regards,

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