The week that was…12-16 January 2015
Singapore, weekend 17tth January 2015
A new year and a new look for 2015.I had been a bit reluctant to restart my blogging now for a 6th season as I was also getting used again to not having to blog every day. Not that I don’t like it, but after blogging daily for 5 years in a row I feel it’s time to tep back a bit. Relieve myself of the daily “pressure” to upload my blog. I have many other interests and obviously 4 years of blogging materials that I wish to somehow convert into books 2 and 3. I have the first concepts in mind, they would be different then my first book but would draw on the same contents so tediously built up over the years. I will share this with you when my plans are bit more concrete. For now I have decided to step down a gear an blog on a weekly basis. No longer a day in the life of light, but the week that was, a reflection of the past working week, illustrated with one single picture a day that sort of sums up the mood or event of the day, so here we go!
Monday 12; Singapore:
My first day back in the office after a really enjoyable holiday spent with my family and friends in Holland and France over Xmas end New Year. Having arrived back the day before I was obviously still jet-lagging but most of all still very much consumed with the events of the week before in Paris. As it happened I was only a few hundred meters away when the terrorists attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine happened, having lunch in a restaurant near the Place de la Bastille. While we saw the police coming and going my daughter (who studies in Paris) assured me that it happened all the time so we did not really pay much attention as did no one else in the restaurant. Later we walked passed the blockades to our afternoon destination, the newly renovated Picasso Museum (beautiful by the way!) also just a few blocks away, again no-one seemed to know or care. Only later in the evening when we were back in the hotel and friends and family started to text us whether we were ok we switched on the TV to learn what was going on! The morale…while the whole world is glued to the TV following the dramatic events unfold, life just around the corner goes on as if nothing happened! As a blogger and someone who expresses my opinions publicly, this of course did affect me. Otherwise my first day in the office was mostly spent catching up with the team and bringing myself up to speed with all the latest project developments.
Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Jakarta:
Only a day in the office and off I had to go again this time to Jakarta. This was already planned before Xmas and one of the main reasons I was back in the office on Monday. This trip around all key consultants (interior, lighting and operator) were present to iron out all outstanding issues and set a target date for the soft opening. It has been a long and winding road this prestigious hotel project, that is for sure. Started in 2006 (!) we are now finally having the finish line in sight but with still quite some hurdles to take. We have passed the finger pointing stage and our now all pulling together to make the best out of it. Poor workmanship, shortcuts and unapproved “alternative” specifications have created quite a challenge for the team, but it is now what it is and we are all determined to use our individual expertise to make the best of it. There is no doubt that the end product will be impressive, but as designers we all know what it could have been and I think that is what bites us most. All in all the two days were spent constructively with agreed directions to pursue. Grace and I also managed to get some preliminary testing and programming done to give us a bit of confidence that we will be able to achieve something at the end.
Thursday 15; Singapore:
Back in the office it was mostly catching up with a big back log of emails and project matters laying on my table, waiting to be cleared. Besides that we also put in our efforts to issue our Jakarta meeting minutes to provide the project management team with our input for the work necessary in the weeks to come. Still some of the same ongoing issues that keep plaguing us, the inability of the dimming system and the lamps in the ballroom chandelier to achieve nice dimming levels, we keep testing different lamps, trailing edge, leading edge, it is becoming really frustrating as the lamps also show inconsistent dimming behaviour. We are at the point to throw out all the lamps and go with the lamps that the dimming specialist recommends so we can leave the tit-for-tat communication between them with an increasingly frustrated client and ourselves trying to mediate a solution. In this way the responsibility is narrowed down. The chandelier manufacturer should also not escape responsibility; in the end he is the one delivering the end product and he has the responsibility to make sure his product works. Hiding behind the consultants and the dimming and lamp manufacturers does not show a responsible attitude. It remains a tricky situation…and all that no doubt somehow initially fuelled by the LED cowboys….
Friday 16th; Singapore:
While part of the team left yesterday for a lighting workshop in Thailand, I used the time with my key team members to look into the future. We have a distinct impression that work is slowing down with little new projects signed, though this is quite common in the lull period between Xmas and Chinese New Year. Nevertheless better not let our guards down and look ahead to potential new work. We had a great year past and certainly would like to maintain the momentum going into the new year.Key issue I dealt with on this Friday was the clients wish to see isolux plots of the actually installed installation. While we had provided these as part of our design with the manufacturers photometric data, providing these after installation based on the actual installation is a different thing all together. We generally provide spot check measurements in critical areas to check conformity of our installation with our design specifications. The spot measurements turned out fully satisfactory. However the client wanted us to execute these measurements as per our design calculation plot! After I stepped in we came to some sort of compromise with spot measurements (in an office lobby) every 2m or so; no isolux lines! I did give an explanation on how we do NOT see lux levels but reflections and that as such 100 lux on a mat black surface has a totally different appreciation then the same lux level on a glossy white surface. Add to that the fact that the human eye can hardly detect any lighting level change if the difference is less than 50-100 lux and you get the picture. We did our spot measurements at a slightly higher and more regular density which finally satisfied the client. I knocked off early with still jet lag in my body…
The week that was…