The week that was 23-27th March

Perth, weekend 28-29th March 2015

Monday 23; Perth – Architects of time
This morning the world and Singapore specifically woke up to the news of the passing away of Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the architect of Singapore, he was 91. Singaporeans had been well prepared to the news as his worsening state of health had been meticulously communicated over the last few weeks leaving little doubt that his death was not far away. It definitely signifies an end to an era and how this legacy will live on and most of all how todays generation will pick it up and run with it is yet to see. It is without doubt that in life he was still hovering above every decision and direction made in and for Singapore. He commanded enormous respect throughout the world and his achievements are there for everyone to see. Now that he has gone the future for Singapore may lie in a different direction, but which one is difficult to predict at this stage. It is for sure that the little island state with one of the highest per capita income in the world has an excellent business environment, one that I have enjoyed for many years now and that I hope will continue for a long time. I consider LKY to be an architect of time, someone who leaves an indelible imprint in our society. I like to think that we as lighting designers are (on a mini scale I guess) little architects of time as well, with some of our projects leaving little imprints in our society here and there…

Kilometers of queues formed in Singapore to say goodbye to LKY…



Tuesday 24 Perth – Dimming…again
It is without doubt that dimming of LED’s is one of the key issues that plague us lighting designers the most. It is therefore with eagerness that I engage with anyone who may have the key to resolve this. Today I met with one of the leading LED developers who happened to be in Perth and within the shortest of time our discussions came down to the dimming issues that we face today, specifically in the retrofit market. As a company we now try t stay away from specifying, let alone approving (!), retrofit LED lamp installation specifically when they need to be dimmed, we have been burned too many times over the last few years. Point in case, in one of our recent projects we even had to resort in overturning the earlier decision to put retrofit LED lamps in existing ceiling chandeliers and revert back to the use of new generation halogen lamps simply because after many times testing and trying we couldn’t get it to dim properly. You would think that with all the experience we have we should be able to make it work, but no…we couldn’t; within the constraints of availability and budgets we could not get it right. But I know how we could get it right but it needs some out of the box thinking from the LED manufacturers with our help, so I really jumped on this occasion today and look forward to further discussions as I think we are on to something!

For those of you into music even Bill Haley sung about it: Dim, Dim the lights by Bill Haley and the Comets:



Wednesday 25 Perth – Keeping our skills current
To keep my design skills and experience current with creative impulses from cross application ideas I do once in a while dive into the art scene of light festivals. I have participated in ILight Marina Bay and have been developing ideas for other light festivals as well. Today is the last day for the submission of one of those in Europe and I have been working with an artistic friend of mine to develop our submission. What I find particularly interesting about doing this,, is that it challenges me to think differently about lighting, outside my daily routine of my more or less run of the mill projects. It forces me to think out of the box, think about human interaction, think about perception and human behaviour, all while keeping the principles of light and lighting relevant and applicable to the theme and intent of the festival. On top of that these are generally temporary installations so our way of going about design and specifications are different. I have no great illusions that we will be selected (better keep your expectations down and be happily surprised) but the exercise by itself is worth it and keeps my mind sharp and fresh…


Thursday 26 Perth – Going to church
Today I literally went to church as we got appointed to light up three historic churches in the centre of Perth. All three are owned by the same congregation and all three are in dire need for a major upgrade in their interior lighting. Two of them will also get an exterior face lift so that the churches will be seen and admired at night. In some of the interior areas it is even tough to read the bible or music and with the increased engagement of the public in events and others, it becomes more important than ever that not only the public is comfortable in the church when attending service but also that the stage is “set” to performances and presentations. Besides that the churches are also often the background for exhibitions and artwork expositions and possibly a whole flurry of other activities; hence the lighting design will face a multitude of challenges from functional performance based lighting to special event lighting. All that against the background of a heritage listed building fabric that will need to be taken into consideration when we develop our lighting design concept. The idea of packaging the three churches together is of course economy of scale, not only in design, but specifically also in future operation and maintenance. I am looking forward to the challenge…



Friday 27 Perth – Visa trouble
I am not really in trouble, this relates more about the trouble and planning we have to go through to get our visa’s when we travel. As you well know I travel a lot and in order to minimise my visa worries I generally get one year multiple entry visa’s so I have peace of mind for a year and I can hop on a plane in a moment’s notice. But visa’s are generally not obtained overnight and for countries like India and China it normally takes 3 to 5 days. So you need to be able to make sure you are on a location for about a week to allow for the application to be processed and the return of your passport (without which you obviously can not travel!). This week I finally got to renew my India visa, for which I had not found time since February! Luckily nowadays you can prepare most of the application on line and the actual time at the embassy or consulate is reduced to a minimum through actual appointments, but you still need to plan and schedule ahead and make sure your clients provide you with invitation letters, that you have your headshots done, etc, etc…today I just received my passport back just in the nick of time as I am off this Sunday again…




Have a great weekend, the week that was…

28. March 2015 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, light and art, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting applications, lighting design, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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