Local practice

Bali-Perth 3rd May 2013

I don’t think I have ever flown on my birthday before but I guess there is a first for everything. It is quite interesting to realise still how many firsts there are in your life.  I travel a lot; I have been many places; I have done and experienced a lot and most of all I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people in my life. But still there are so many things to do, so many places to go, so many new challenges…and you know what…it is all up to you (or me in this case). A birthday is a great time to look back, but even more to look ahead!

Yesterday I received a request if I could share my views and knowledge about the numbers of foreign and local lighting design practices operating in Asia. Fair question. Also fair considering I have been operating as a “foreigner” in Asia for more than 25 years now. But then I realised I didn’t really know the answer! Though I pitch my company for projects throughout the region I don’t always know whom I am up against. We do try to find out when we bid who our competitors are, but the clients are generally coy about it. But of course over the years I have come to get a rough idea about my competition out here. I can’t give exact numbers, but I can give some proportions based on my own experience, whether that is representative in general but I think it is a good take in the project applications I am involved in. I would say that about 80% of my competition are practices based in Asia, with the rest coming in from overseas, generally tied in with lead consultant architects.

I need to clarify that with local I mean practices with a local office in Asia; these can be practices with their HQ in Europe, the US or Australia (if we classify Australia as non-Asian), but with an operational office in Asia. There are quite a number of them. From the “local” practices I would say that probably half have their roots overseas, but like me many of them have been in the region for years. In this day and age where the economy has become critical in all design budgets, understanding the local culture and practice is imperative. Having a local office to do projects in Asia successfully is a must.

Light Watch 4-77: Every design is different and every architecture asks for a different lighting approach. Here are some images I googled about churches and arches…same intrinsic architectural approach, but so different (local) executions…

03. May 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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