Singapore, 9th May 2012
It does not happen often, but there is occasionally that moment where you come full circle with a project that you designed in the past. We have just received official confirmation that we have been appointed to do the lighting design for a hotel renovation project in Yangon, Myanmar. Now that in itself is not front page news (unlike pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who makes the headlines there nearly every day), but what makes it special is the fact that I was the lighting designer for the original project nearly 2 decades ago. This is the first major renovation and extension since then. I will now get to revisit one of my early works in absolute full detail and see how it has stood the test of time!
There are many things that excite me about this opportunity. First of all; how well or how bad has the lighting held up all these years? Is there still much left of the original specifications or has much, bit by bit, disappeared and been replaced at the hands of the maintenance team over the years. How does the design stand up? Would I still design the same way (which would be a testimony to the longevity of my design concept) or will I be saying to myself, how did that get approved at the time…what about the light fittings…?
Then there will be the opportunity, possibly as a case study on the side, to see how far we have come in terms of technology and how more efficient and sustainable the lighting of today has become. I would not be surprised that with today’s technology we would do the same at less than half the energy and probably double the performance. Have our comfort, quality and expectancy levels towards lighting today also significantly increased? For sure…just looking at some pictures I downloaded from the official hotel website tells quite a story already. I leave you to judge. Sometime in the future I hope to share this experience and the outcomes with you. To me this will be of great educational value and applied into our projects will further improve our designs of tomorrow.
I can’t wait to go and see…keep you posted.
Light Watch 3-63: The Sedona Hotel in Yangon as it is currently advertised on the official hotel’s website.