Is our profession seasonal
Singapore, 29th March 2011
One of the questions I have never really been able to answer is whether our profession as lighting designer is subject to seasonal influences. Over the many years I have been practicing my profession I have not been able to put my finger on a clear seasonal effect on work load other than the typical holiday periods. And these are culturally influenced as well. While Xmas/ New Year maybe a typical lull period for Western companies (we generally close our offices at that time anyhow), the same is not the case for Chinese companies. Project demands basically disappear from the horizon for at least a week during their Chinese New Year holidays.
So a Western company operating on a project in China may face a bit of a challenge as there is generally little consideration when it comes to project deadlines. Requiring project deliveries over Xmas and New Year has been common place in this part of the world when it comes to Chinese companies and projects. Even more, you may be rushed to have all delivered the day before Chinese New Year even though everyone knows very well that nothing is going to happen until after the holidays.
Summer holidays are also sacred for Western companies as are some of the religious festivals in this part of the world. On a smaller scale we also have the difference in work week between the Middle East and the rest of the world. While most parts of the world have their (suposedly work free) weekend on Saturday – Sunday, Middle Eastern countries mostly celebrate their weekends Thursday – Friday, leaving effectively only a 3 day window to “communicate”.
When it comes to new projects and project activities if any seasonal “peak” effect could be pointed out it would have to be March- May period and the September- November period. But it is not really a hard fact. Most of all our profession is ruled by the state of the economy. All is driven by money and the availability of cash to develop and keep supporting the projects. The economy crashes of 1997 and 2008 are clear examples of how strongly our work is linked to it.
In Light Watch today the sky is the limit when the economy goes well…developers building higher and higher. I myself am now involved in the 720m high India Tower in Mumbai! Many others are in the pipeline.
Light Watch 61: Sky scrapers…101 Taipei, Taiwan