Singapore, 13th June 2012

I guess that closely linked to inspiration there is frustration, specifically when you are not getting (to) what you want. While I had an inspirational day yesterday I had a kind of frustrating day today. Not so much in design though, but more in my dealings with my clients. Two projects have turned slightly sour due to frustration about contractual terms and conditions. Having a contract is one thing but actually implementing everything is another, specifically from client’s side. Most contracts are rather unilaterally written to protect the clients rather then the consultants as when we deal with big corporations their legal departments have that all already figured out. You want to deal with them, you follow their terms and conditions…their way or the highway.

In one of the projects we were negotiating the final contract’s terms and conditions as we had already shaken hands on the general fee proposal. However when their final legal document popped up I found one of the terms and conditions unacceptable, a 100 days payment term! What?… In this time and age? Which planet do they come from? As we have not yet started on this project I am likely to let it go as when clients impress these kind of conditions on you it is unlikely you will be treated with any trust and respect, to me key ingredients of a good relationship…frustrating as the project itself was one I was quite keen on doing…alas.

In another project (somehow when it rains it pours…  🙂 ) today I had a long discussion with the project manager imploring me to release our drawing issue for the next stage of work. While we have completed that as per schedule quite a while ago I had been withholding it as the payment for the previous stage was still not received. The payment now being well past the due day I am frustrated as on one hand the project manager is not in control of the company’s accounts department which being a big multinational company deals with hundreds of payments weekly I would imagine, but on the other hand she tries very hard to keep the project on schedule and sees it being delayed by our refusal to issue. She is trying to help but locked between a rock and a hard stone. But so am I as it is my only leverage to make sure I get paid…

Light Watch 3-85: The best way to wash away your frustration is to do something creative. Here are some images from Korean artist Lee Eunyeol’s Night Installations I came across recently when surfing the net for some inspiration…

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

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