Perth, 3rd July 2014
Today a look at awards…I am attending the Australian Institute of Architects Awards night as an invited guest. Not so much to do with lighting, though there is a an architectural lighting category, but it does raise the question about the value of (lighting) awards in general. Recently electronic magazine IIlumni introduced a “hit parade” of lighting design practices based on lighting awards won, attributing points to award competition winners. There is no doubt that winning awards is a great marketing opportunity and I have to say I have not focussed much on this in the past couple years simply as I have been busy re-building my practice under my KLD banner. I am aware of companies that submit projects or products simply with the intention to be nominated or mentioned, their thinking being that a listing and nomination already puts them on a higher footing and more in the public’s eye. Even if you don’t win a nomination or citation is still regarded as a great promotion…if you have been shortlisted or nominated it means that you must be good, right?
It however begs the question how truly these award competitions reflect the general quality of design. Many practices are small with small budgets and little manpower, as a result you hardly ever see these small practices participating as it does take time and money to submit your entries. Yes awards are not free; you need to pay to participate! If you look at the list of award winners they are generally big and established practices, bar the occasional exception. Here in Australia we have the IES-WA lighting awards coming up later this year and perhaps I may participate this time again. I have been a participant and winner in the past but honestly because the low participation at times you are nearly guaranteed a honourable mention or award by only participating. So the perception is a bit flawed as the greater public generally would not have the information about how many participants entered the competition in the various classes.
So in my opinion the jury is still out on this matter; but there is no doubt that if you win or are nominated that there is some commercial value for your company image and marketing efforts!
Light watch 5-108: Local lighting supplier Mondoluce was one of the sponsors of the awards night together with IGuzzini. One of the awards was for architectural lighting…