Something from nothing

Singapore 17th January 2012

Time and again we are faced with situations were (prospective) clients ask us to produce “something from nothing”, often a frustrating activity. Let me elaborate…

Today I had two fairly similar experiences in two different fields of our lighting design practice. As you know, doing fee proposals is crucial to our business, as long as we keep doing these we are in business as somewhere along the line one will convert into and actual project. But fee proposals are quite tricky as you sort of lay down your commitment in regards to the services you intend to deliver against the fee you are proposing. So in order to make the fee proposal meaningful you need a decent input in terms of the design brief, scope of work and deliverables. So how to do that if you are not given any clear scope of work other than some rough descriptions of the areas (no sizes) and when prompted about the building size being answered: “one building is tall, the other is flat!” That makes it understandably challenging and needs a lot of experience to create a proposal that makes sense while leaving the door open to log in the final fee at a later stage when details are confirmed. I generally do not like to give a client a flat NO, as the lack of info maybe unintentional, possible due to their own lack of experience or simply the result of confidentiality at that stage. Diplomacy and education can do wonders some time…

In a similar situation we are in the process of putting a lighting concept presentation together for a shopping mall but as we progressed we discovered that the rendering was old, the CAD drawings made available did not match the rendering (unclear which one was more recent ) and of a very general nature, making it very hard to get a good understanding of the building and site details. Prompting the client did not deliver any additional info, so there is a great risk that the development of the lighting concept may turn out to be abortive work being based on seemingly obsolete drawings and renderings…yet the client is pushing us to come and present the concept. Again experience will help us put something together that will be a good base for the presentation, but it will take a skilful and diplomatic presentation to present something out of nothing. It will need to help the client understand and hopefully result in appreciation for what lighting designers need to create!

Light Watch 3-6: Getting the lighting concept right is really very dependent on understanding the architectural design concept. If you do not understand the architectural intent how to develop a meaningful lighting concept. Here are a few shopping mall designs that googled with very different design intent….

17. January 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting design | Leave a comment

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