Brain gain

Perth, 15-16th May 2012

Travel has caused me to miss a day… :). I am generally quite good at planning my blogging, but somehow yesterday it did not work out between meetings, packing and travelling. Back in Australia to attend to some of our projects and catch up with some clients. When you travel you get to appreciate the various cultures, various climates, various eating habits and what I appreciate most of all, the different views on world news.

One of the things I read in an international newspaper on the way is about the so called brain-drain that is happening around Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and even Singapore. People who are highly educated (many having studied abroad) and then find their skills better rewarded overseas. The interesting part of the article was that rather than looking at the negative side, the so called brain-drain, it looked at the positive side, the brain-gain. While each country “suffers” the loss of skilled people to other nations, they also “gain” skills and expertise from other countries at the same time, like skilled draftsmen and designers from the Philippines, Indonesia or Thailand for example.

I have a very positive outlook on life, sometimes over-positive, but there are many positives to draw from the inter-cultural brain exchange. If I look at my own lighting design practice, I have key operations in Australia, Singapore and Indonesia, mixed with operations in India and China. Each cultural back ground brings something else to the table and in a multi-cultural society as we live in now, the international nature of our projects and the ever smaller world (easy travel/ easy communication), I can only see positives and hence the brain-gain. I enjoy working with people from different educational backgrounds, different cultural upbringings or with different life experiences. Look at the bright side, in the end we all win.

Light Watch 3-67: The cultural differences makes us experience lighting in many different ways. Lighting in Africa may be different from lighting in China or Australia. Below some (contrasting) pictures capturing different lighting experiences.

I also found this educational website called “Science games for kids”  (  which explains light and dark for kids in a simple interactive way….have a look.

17. May 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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