The week that was: 19-23 January
Singapore, weekend 24th January 2015
Monday 19; Singapore: Traffic jam
I am slowly getting back in the groove; for some reason it really took me a while to get over my jetlag. This Monday was a busy day with many meetings, suppliers, project coordination, at one point of time we had about 15 visiting people scrambling around our office at the same time, including a furniture supplier delivering and putting together a new meeting table, badly needed. With our new and bigger office we can now much easier accommodate meetings, which we gladly initiate, the advantage being that we do not have to go out and minimise our time. The downside being that sometimes when timing is not well coordinated or people are late that it results in a bit of traffic jam as was the case today. We manage though and got a lot of things done…Matt also had come back from KL and had a beautiful areal shot from the top of our project building overlooking the KL skyline. The views from this building are going to be stunning.
Tuesday 20; Singapore: Expert opinion
Besides meeting another supplier and attending to some regular project design issues, my day was pretty much consumed in putting together my expert opinion in regards to a sports lighting project. Several years ago we developed a sports lighting master plan for this city council and have been involved ever since, off and on, in its implementation. This particular job is quite sensitive as it entices the assessment of a sports lighting installation put together by the main contractor. The city decided to only give out the performance brief and leave the design to the contractor. Now the submission is reviewed by us for compliance to de design brief and the required lighting standards. And therein lays the tricky part. Knowing that you can manipulate lighting calculations to provide the lighting results that you want, I needed to dissect these and look at the proposed installation not only for its calculation results (which not surprisingly seemed to comply with the applicable standards) but also on its qualitative and visual aspects. My assessment was pretty damning, basically sending the contractor and its manufacturer of choice back to the drawing board .
Wednesday 21, Singapore: The Chinese Lighting Design Association
Over the last year I have become increasingly involved with the CLDA, an association that was incorporate about 6 years ago in the wake of the ever expending PLDA activities in Asia in general and China in particular. In 2012 it signed MOU’s with both the PLDA and the IALD to work together in promoting better and sustainable lighting design and specifically between the PLDA and the CLDA, many initiatives were started. Now with the demise of the PLDA, the CLDA finds itself filling the void left behind by the PLDA with many of former PLDA members now part of the IAC, the International Advisory Council that overlooks and supports CLDA’s development and growth. It is for that reason the Lear Hsieh, it’s president visited me in Singapore to discuss the plans and exciting projects for the year ahead. CLDA aims to be platform for bilateral relationship between Chinese lighting designers and foreign lighting designers, active (or wanting to be active) in China. One of the key events for its promotion being the Declaration of Green (DOG) lighting design which is planned monthly throughout on location in China but now also over the border. Late last year we had the first such “overseas” DOG event at the Hong Kong Autumn lighting fair. It was very successful and more is to follow this year! Jo-Ann Alicia from Lighting Today magazine was on hand to interview us for a feature in a next issue of the magazine.
Thursday 22; Singapore: The meaning of Lux
What stood out today for me was the visual assessment of a nearly completed project; a renovation/ upgrading project of a corporate office here in Singapore. I blogged about it last week, specifically about how management want to see lux measurements to assure themselves that the design is up to scratch without really understanding how we see light and how meaningless (relatively speaking)
plotted lux levels on a piece of paper are. I had yet to go to site at night to “see” it for myself and today (before a review meeting planned tomorrow Friday) I thought I better go and have a look so I can provide my project manager with an informed opinion. I came a bit earlier so I could witness the last bit of daytime as well as the full night time and I was not disappointed. Considering the limitations, scope and brief I think it looked great and above expectation. The targets set out for the design, improved lighting levels (visual
brightness) on arrival and in the lobby, as well as an enhanced sense of arrival in the drop of area (cars and taxi’s come and go dropping off/picking up people all the time) through a better light up of the 3-dimensional space (artwork, walls, etc) came out as conceptualised. It showed me again that lux levels don’t tell much of the story, seeing is believing…
Friday 23; Singapore: The difficult client
A day where diplomacy and careful manoeuvring was required. On several project fronts we are dealing with difficult clients or project managers who, if not managed in terms of expectation and principles, could potentially turn our life to “hell”. It feels strange to say that as the company is known for its professional attitude and cooperation, but at times our serviceability is mistaken for gullibility and when that looks like happening I need to step in, as I had to do today. We are professionals, who are paid to deliver creative, qualitative and considerate solutions to our clients and in that process we want to be respected as such and not be taken for a ride because of other project members short comings. We need to stand our professional ground and front up accordingly. I had to deal subsequently with unreasonable travel demands, unacceptable alternative light fittings that were “imposed” into the project (budget of course) and contractors/suppliers not assuming their end-responsibility by misdirecting the client to manufacturers and consultants (including us); in fact taking their hands off (the ”it wasn’t us!” attitude). I personally cannot stand people who do not own up and hence had to come in action a few times today to “redirect” the clients attention where it is due. All that with diplomatic and considerate moves backed up with professional reasoning…oh the joys of running a professional practice!
I leave you with a proof print of the IGuzzini ad that will appear in the upcoming issue of Scoop magazine, featuring our award winning art wall…