Now and then
Singapore, 3rd October 2012
As I am struggling again with my laptop, looking for un-findable files, then try opening files with un-willing software programs that erratically do something else then what I want, I am thinking back to the time when I started my career in lighting when we did not have personal computers, let alone mobile phones! Lighting design was done with hand sketches, manual calculations, hand drafted plans which then had to be brought to a printer to be copied. We would go to project meetings with boards full of sketches, rolls of drawings while now we are just carrying our laptop for a Powerpoint presentation or even less, just CD rom disc…what…wait, even that is outdated…just a little thumb drive which you use as your key chain is already enough. How many terra bites?
While cumbersome in terms of “manual” work, our life was probably simple, certainly no LED worries. Just incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes and gas discharge lamps, well, the early ones at least. Lighting design was fairly straight forward placing a good deal of importance on creativity and technical knowledge. In that respect things haven’t changed much, it’s just that the array of lamps and technology we need to master together with the ever increasing environmental, safety and health standards means you need those terra bites in your mind to keep up or have a fantastic virtual storage system.
Interestingly we are getting to a point that the new generation of lighting designers have no connection anymore with the past, the area without computers, laptops, Ipads, IPhones, Blackberries, Face-books, Linked-In’s, Twitters or Skypes. It’s now part of daily life…if you are not holding a mobile phone in your hand and talking or texting to someone at anytime your look like a retard! Do people still smell the roses, realise what is happening right around them, instead of finding out via Face-book or Twitter?
We now have upcoming lighting designers that only know about LED lighting. They never have (and probably never will) design lighting with the “old” lighting technology. Isn’t that scary a bit? How can they make a point for LED? I have shifted to LED as well but at least I have a reference frame with the “old” technology that allows me to appreciate and bring out the values of LED to a client….
Light Watch 3-150: One of the lighting events that is certainly representative of the now are the city Light Festivals. Moscow’s Circle of Light recently celebrated its 2nd edition.