Smear campaigns

Singapore 28th April 2011

It is interesting to continue the parallel with elections with our daily work as lighting designers. As the election battle in Singapore heats up, the verbal war of words does as well and it is interesting to see how party campaigners choose their words to make them-selves look righteous and so concerned for the well-being of the people while painting the “opposition” to be doubtful and without integrity…also called smear campaigns.

While our lighting design fraternity is relatively small compared to the architect’s world or other professions, there is still rivalry. If you add the lighting suppliers into the fray then the pool of people with different opinions, interests and experiences is big. We are similarly in an “election process” for projects all the time so likewise the war of words and “smear campaigns” also happens in our business from time to time to make a stance with potential competitors.

But my experience is that in our lighting business it generally evolves from bad blood or from being a sore loser. In the first case something may have happened that was never properly resolved or clarified and people start to make up their own assumptions and interpretations (generally bad). Then the story gets amplified as it goes around from one to another and then suddenly someone has a “bad reputation”.

The second case is typical when people lose a project whether as a designer or as a supplier. According to those who lost the winner must be cahooting with the client, money must have been paid under the table, favouritism must have applied, etc. Of course all this being the subject of imagination to make one-self look (and feel) good in losing.

It takes a confident and self-assured person to just take it as it is. You win some; you lose some, so what? As long as you know that you acted professionally and in integrity and gave it your best shot. There is always another bus around the corner. There is no need for mudslinging in our business.

In Light Watch today an interesting picture from my recent Euroluce visit (I keep digging in my trip file 🙂 ). One of the furniture manufacturers (Futura) had an interesting take on combining modern and traditional lighting design by using T5 to frame a traditional crystal chandelier.


Light Watch 80: Euroluce Futura Chandelier

28. April 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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