The economy again…

Singapore 22nd August 2011

I think none of us can’t help but anxiously watching the world economy (and our projects)…are we or aren’t we going into a recession again. I did not see 1997 coming and was totally un-prepared, resulting in a dangerous flirt with near bankruptcy at the time. But we survived and by 2008 we had rebuild a well-balanced port-folio with projects, in China, India and Australia specifically, that kept us alive throughout the crisis. But as always there is a time lapse between the developing crisis and the time it actually hits you, could be up to a year.  Are we looking at another one in the making?

Over the last few months I have noticed a slowing down of project activities, appointments take more time, payments are delayed and most of all new projects are under tremendous fee pressure. In a recent negotiation last week, after we had already discounted our fees for more than 30%, the client said they were looking for fees half of that! Are you are kidding? Is this for real? There is no way a lighting design practice can take and survive on such fees alone. So there has to be other ways and what we see is tie ups of lighting designers with manufacturers or contractors. Or a JV with a bigger brother like a large electrical contractor or established architectural practice. We see it happening and it looks like we are more or less drawn into following suit to keep up. In the last few weeks we have explored two such options and we are now in the latest negotiation stages. The interesting part is that the fees do not really suffer a lot as we become a part of a bigger package and between us there is an economy of scale that justifies lowering of the fees. A development to follow…

In contrast to all the doom and gloom in Light Watch the lighter side of our work, entertainment and the magic that light and light projection can produce. I have been following the Yellow Trace blog for a while and always find some very interesting subjects
and creative design ideas. Todays blog showcases one the latest performances of Ron Arad at the Lighthouse in London called curtain call. Unfortunately I am not in London otherwise I would certainly go and see it! See more on the Yellow Trace blog at I will be adding their link to my blog for those interested in the future.

Light Watch 147:
Curtain Call at the Roundhouse in London

22. August 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light and art, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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