Singapore, 19th October 2012

Now here is a touchy subject for you. Today’s subject of integrity is triggered by the fall from grace of Lance Armstrong, a sporting cycling hero that many around the world have admired and looked up to for his achievements. Only now, after the damaging 1000 page report issued by the USADA, evidence of his drug taking seems so strong and overwhelming, that it is really hard to believe and imagine that we have all literally been taken for a ride! And they can’t even award his titles to any other rider as nearly all riders in the top 10 classifications of the 7 Tour de Frances he won have been convicted or banned from the sport for drug taking as well…phewww.

Integrity in our profession is a sticky issue as many designers have commercial or personal interests in some way or another. Being truly and fully independent can be a tough call at times. Commercial benefits aside, we generally like to deal with and help our friends in the business as we like to deal with people we know, people we trust. Does that mean we are not in integrity when we go about selecting our light fittings, manufacturers or suppliers? As long as our choices and decisions are based on professional and verifiable grounds I think our recommendations are in integrity. We have developed our preferences over time, with proven solutions and reliable people behind those solutions, so as long as the choices do not represent a conflict of interest, we are in integrity.

Sometimes you can sense conflicts a mile away. In a project a few years ago I was presenting my light fitting selections to the client only to find myself “attacked” by the architect. He came with a story promoting another brand and supplier he had worked with and did everything possible to discredit my design and promote his “views”. He had obviously some personal interest in this brand/ supplier. Most of all he did not have any professional or light technical arguments to back up his stand, other than “past experience”. He lost the battle…

So the question beckons; do you stand strong by your principles and integrity, or do you join/condone in what seems to be perceived as the way to be successful in business at the cost of integrity? I think the answer, after all what has been exposed in the Armstrong case, is easy…

Light Watch 3-161: The Noche Zero event in Chili has come to an end, here are some initial pictures. More about this event may come to us in the coming times. Pics courtesy of Light Collective.

20. October 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: going green, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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