Expert opinion

Singapore, 22nd March 2011

As lighting designers we are still are rare breed of people. The profession is still very young and the lighting designers associations like PLDA and IALD have the establishment and acceptance of our profession as one of their key goals. Joachim Ritter, a founder member of the PLDA, said last week: ”You know when your profession is being accepted by the professional market when you are able to get a professional liability insurance”…I thought that was a pretty interesting observation. We still have a long way to go in regards to the general public but we are slowly but surely getting there.

Another sign of our profession being accepted is when you are being asked to provide expert opinion or certifications as this also establishes you as an expert and professional in the field. I have been involved in both of these recently. Just a month ago I was asked to check out a suppliers bid for a lighting installation and the client wanted to assure himself that the proposed lighting installation was compliant to all applicable local lighting standards. The fact that their client wanted to have an independent expert opinion to certify that their installation was compliant was to me a clear sign that professional lighting designers like myself have gained real prominence. The supplier won the bid!

In another case last year a fatal accident happened on a 24 hour work site in the middle of the night. A worker fell to his death from a working platform and it was suspected that poor or inadequate lighting may have been a cause. To ascertain this we were commissioned by the owning company to investigate the accident site…a bit like CSI. They had left the scene untouched and reproduced the exact same lighting conditions as at the time of the accident. We indeed found the lighting to be wanting and could point out several potential lighting factors that could have contributed. We compiled a confidential report that we had to submit to the company’s lawyers and signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose our findings. Our role in this incident was another proof that our profession is slowly being accepted as being professional.

In Light Watch today a place totally unrelated…other than that probably many professionals meet there for a drink and a bite. I had dinner in the court yards  of Chijmes with its lovely setting against the backdrop of a heritage church.


Light Watch 56:   Chijmes Singapore

22. March 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, light watch, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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