A different focus
Singapore 20th March 2013
Tonight I had an enjoyable evening at the Illumni Infinity awards night organised by the in-fatiguable Tariq Qayoom, the publisher of Illumni magazine. The infinity awards are touring the world with several pit stops amongst which Singapore tonight and I believe London and New York to follow. Bringing the awards and showcasing the wining projects is a nice event but really for the lighting community here also a good excuse to get out and come together sharing our experiences and the state of our lighting design practice with colleagues in the business. It is always interesting to hear from others, as they are interested to hear from you (I assume :))…
I had two totally different discussions about how a practice focusses on the project market; one from a small but very well established lighting design practice, one from a lighting design practice being part of a big multinational conglomerate. Two obvious opposites which was clearly demonstrated by the way they focus and deal with their practice, their projects and their management. In a small and independent practice you have to be flexible and the main focus is really cashflow as there is no big financial back up. So the focus is on projects with good paymasters or countries with good legal administration systems where payments are generally organised and easy to legally challenge, like Singapore, Australia. I found out that this practice is shunning countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and India because of their very slow and difficult to chase payments. Strangely though, China was ok. I guess it all depends on your clients and the experiences you have.
The multi national practice had to deal with totally different issues, much to do with safety and security issues. Not so much in regards to the safety of travelling somewhere but more the potential safety and security threats that potential clients could yield against their company. So vetting companies legal status, financial status all seem part of a “firewall” culture to protect the international operations of the company. Also being a large multi national company everything is regulated. Unlike a small practice like ours, everything up to fee structures and amounts are regulated leaving little room to move…Interesting.
Light Watch 4-49: I don’t have pictures from tonight’s event but hopefully I can share some very soon. Meanwhile taken from Illumni’s magazine here are some of the Infinity Award winners. Respectively Optique Optometrist by Petra Kleegraefe (Architectural Lighting Design); Crown Melbourne, Eastern Façade by Electrolight; Kings Avenue Overpass by Steensen Varming and Lobby Chandelier design by Stephen Hennessy Afrt & Design. See more at http://illumni.co