Breaking a Lance

Singapore 18th January 2013

Today will probably go down in history as the day that Lance Armstrong took ownership of his life and came clean on his doping and drug taking. Like many in the world I switch on the TV to hear his “confession” on Oprah’s no questions, no hold bar interview. Breaking a “Lance” for the truth! I guess at this stage he has everything to gain in being totally honest. Surely his legal advisers have prepped him about the how and what to say…

I have been a cycling fan from the old days when Dutchmen Jan Jansen and later Joop Zoetemelk won the Tour de France and have always followed the Tour at times witnessing stages passing through when I was in the neighbourhood. In my student’s days in Delft one year the Tour even went right past my window, when the start was in Holland.

While we may not have doping or actually take drugs in our profession (but who knows how many need a little booster at times to physically keep going?) the “doping” may take different forms when it comes to lighting design, generally in the form of money as that is the life blood of our profession. In order to be successful in our profession and run with the best you need to earn good fees so we can afford good staff and can provide first class services. Established and experienced lighting designers can command good fees, but you need clients willing to pay for it and when you are in need of work there can be a point in which you may sacrifice your fees to get a much needed job. It is well known, and in some countries common practice in the industry, to then resort to complementing the lack of fees by asking successful suppliers for some “help”.

Like Armstrong states that it would have been impossible for him to win his seven Tour de France titles without doping, it seems virtually impossible in some countries to financially and responsibly undertake a lighting design project without some “help”.  Navigating this world is a skill by itself! Staying truthful and professional here as well is the key to life! I think Lance Armstrong’s story should be a lesson for all…

Light Watch 4-10: I am scheduled to go to Jakarta on Monday but with the flooding going on I may not make it! I will assess the situation on Sunday and decide with my client if it is still worth making the trip! These pictures are from just around my project area!

18. January 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, light and health, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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