Not from behind my desk!
Singapore 16th January 2013
Life of a lighting designer is not one that is executed from behind a desk…oh no! While we may spent quite some time behind our computers to communicate, research, document or create, getting out and about to physically and visually inspect and assess lighting is a key element in our profession. People who never get out, never meet clients, never play with light fittings, never actually go to site to understand the players and elements that are part of the lighting design chain, will never understand what it is and what it takes to create a good lighting design. I always encourage everyone to get light fitting samples, go out and do visual mock ups, check out other peoples design realisations. We learn from what we see and experience in real life. And our lighting designs are meant for real life, for real people, not for some you tube video or photo shoot.
We have currently a few visual mock ups in the planning over the next couple of weeks, one of which we carried out tonight on site. We had done a preliminary selection at the office from light samples brought in by the supplier, that pre-inspection of the lighting performance in the office allowed us to make a more definitive selection of the type of light we wanted to test on site. The more experience you have, the easier and shorter the process will be. Experience does help enormously in homing in on the right selection and solution. With my years of experience I can easily eliminate at least 80% of the options and zoom in straight away on the few options that will do the job. But for people with much less experience, let alone field experience, this process can be long and tedious not in the least place for the suppliers who sort of follow your “hunches”.
Tonight we did some light up tests for some artwork, façade finishes and water elements. Within a few tests and try-outs I knew what it had to be…but 30 years back when I started out as a lighting designer this process would have taken much, much longer. Not only the testing on site, but also the whole process of figuring out what light fittings to use. And that’s why you pay much higher fees for experienced lighting designers…:)
Light Watch 4-8: Some pics from the tests…