Census and lighting
Perth 9th August 2011
Somehow I planned my presence in Perth perfectly to coincide with the nationwide census held in Australia today…every 5 year the government takes this snapshot of “life” in Australia by asking all kinds of questions about where you live, where you have been,who lives with you, what work you do, how much (roughly) you earn, and so on. Not really sure what they do with all the information, but completing the census is compulsory and punishable by law if you do not participate.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the lighting design society did a census as well to get a snapshot of how our profession is doing? These could be the (imaginary) questions asked:
-State your name, male or female, date of birth, citizenship, employment status (employed or unemployed), company you work for (employee or own business), location of your company (country-city), number of colleagues, your position and responsibility in the company (manager,senior, junior designer, etc), number of years in the business, where did you work 5 years ago/ 10 years ago, education and lighting qualifications, membership and associations, language proficiency, do you travel for your work, countries and frequency of travel, etc
More project and company specific questions could be:
-Income bracket (employee), company turnover and profitability (business owner), project lighting applications involved (new,
renovation, applications), average fee per project, highest/ lowest fee, overall project value (lighting equipment/ installation), average duration of projects, average time from invoice to payment, do you carry a professional indemnity insurance, have you ever used a debt collector, do you have repeat clients, how do you acquire new projects (referal/ marketing), do you have a website, do you use computer software (lighting calculations/ rendering programs), do you outsource work, have you ever been refused work or kicked out of a project, do you use of the shelf lighting products only or do you customise designs, do you have prefered lighting brands, and so on and so on…
I am pretty sure that the staistics coming out of this “lighting” census could paint quite an acurate picture of the current state of our
profession and by doing so every say 5 years would also high light specific trends and developments. Maybe something for the upcoming PLDC in Madrid to consider? With close to 1000 lighting designers, professionals and aspiring students expected it could be the ideal occasion!