Mumbai, 1st February 2011

As in many big Asian cities whether Jakarta, Bangkok or Mumbai going from A to B certainly during peak hour is a time consuming affair. I finished my meeting in down town Mumbai and as the driver finds his way back to the hotel through the snarling traffic I sit in the back of the car taking in the city views and typing my blog to pass time. It is no secret that in mega cities like Mumbai there is a lot of poverty. I just have to look out of my car window to see it. People waiting outside hotels patiently for some food, homeless people sleeping/ living alongside busy roads on the pavement, beggars knocking at your car window …and here I am in a chauffeur driven car, with an expensive laptop on my knees…

Everything is relative of course but it does make you think. I earn with one of my project lighting design fees more than some of these people possibly in a lifetime! The world is full of extremes and while we design the lighting for exclusive hotels affordable only to a happy few, others wait outside in the hope to catch some left-over food.

My point today is that we do need to realise that our world of lighting design is mostly a world of luxury. As lighting designers we tend to design for the very best in quality, the best value for money, but when confronted with life’s realities we may do without that extra light bulb. Everything is relative to the standard that we take as the guide for our design, however sometimes we may need to take a step back and have hard look at the standards…

In Light Watch today therefore an “illuminating” destination, a place I visited last year as one of the places on my “to-do” list. Some people call it the Bucket list. I am talking about Mahatma Ghandi’s house, the place where he lived and worked in Mumbai was turned into a museum. I found it a fascinating place…  People like Ghandi have been an inspiration for many. Being confronted with his life story is “illuminating”.


Light Watch 22: Ghandi’s house, downtown Mumbai,
(1) his office
(2) his belongings

01. February 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture | Leave a comment

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