culture shocks

Sydney-Perth 8th August 2011

I am on my way to Perth as I write this blog after spending the last couple of days (off the radar :))in Sydney. I am also on my way to some totally different project environments, in application as well as in the way projects are managed and approached. Over the years I have noticed that the type of projects we do in more developed nations such as Australia are markedly different from those we do in the fast development economies like China and India. In the latter countries projects mostly revolve around (the speed of) economic developent related to tourism and commerce (read hotels, F&B and shopping malls) and infra-structure growth (read transport, road systems, public facilities), while in developed nations the projects revolve around renovations, beautification and human well being (read heritage trails, parks and gardens, sports facilities, new trends, etc). In the first everything revolves around money (cheap and fast) in the latter about quality (good and durable).

The attitude towards project management is quite different too. While in countries like China and India every thing is in a rush and there seems to be no time to properly time and budget projects, in Australia everything is generally organised, time schedules for the projects are locked in and so are budgets. Most projects are tendered and awarded as per specs as budgets have been compiled around the actual lighting specifications so there is no need to substitute fittings with cheaper (less quality) ones. As I write this blog I received a call from India were the client is complaining about some light fittings that are tripping due to water leakage. I have my doubts…The interesting thing is namely that the light fittings are as per specifications! However having seen the quality of the electrical workmanship and installation works it is no wonder that these problems occur. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys…isn’t that the saying?

In Light Watch today one of these new trends called “dinner in the sky”, see for more info. A platform with a dinner table, complete with guests and butlers are all hoisted up high into the sky by a huge crane and you end up have a (“romantic”?) dinner dangling a few hundred feet up in the air. Lighting is probably a bit of a challenge as you need enough lighting to see your food (guess there is a safety aspect to it) as well as making sure one can enjoy the views.

Light Watch 137: Dinner in the sky near Brussels landmark The Atomium, Belgium.

08. August 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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