The week that was 4-8th July 2016
Singapore, Weekend 9-10th July 2016
What, no travel this week? Yes and that is largely due to the end of Ramadan, which brought us a public holiday midweek to celebrate EID, the end of the fasting period. Best wishes and happy celebrations to all. Many people were on leave, including some of my staff and overall there was little action going on in this part of the world, a perfect time to catch up on projects and other things.
Singapore’s URA are calling a limited tender for this year’s Marina Bay 2017 New Year’s Eve countdown, an interesting project for which I was asked to participate. I spent some time developing the potential lighting concept; submission is due in the next few days. The last few years the City used to cover Marina Bay with 20,000 floating balls which were illuminated by floodlights. This year they want to change the concept…challenging because we are talking about an area as big as about 4 soccer fields and on the water…this won’t be cheap! However I relish these kind of challenges as they are out of the box from our regular architectural lighting projects. These projects are not done for the money, but for the honour of doing it…
I-Light Marina Bay 2017
Also being called are entries for next year’s I-Light Marina Bay, an event were lighting designers and artists are invited to come up with an eco-friendly lighting installation that, if selected, will be displayed for 3 weeks around Marina Bay. Manuel and me are considering participation (we submitted in the past but were not selected) and spent some time brainstorming possible concepts. Unlike for the countdown, the budget to develop your “artwork” is very low, only SGD15,000.00, way down from the budget that was proposed at its inauguration a few years back in which I participated with my whirlpool installation. In comparison to big city events like Lyon Light Festival or Vivid Sydney, the budget here is unneglectable and therefore nothing spectacular can be expected. From what I saw from last event (with the same low budget) it was not great, nothing really spectacular or memorable. Nevertheless the process of brainstorming and creation, even if we have little hope of getting selected, is still exciting and stimulating, hence we will challenge ourselves to come up with something and submit. Due soon too!
Amongst others I had some time this week to dedicate to my activities as a member of International Advisory Council who mentors the Chinese Lighting Designers Association. We are in the midst of finalising an event as part of the Shanghai International Light Fair end of August, which include finalising sponsors and organising speakers for the event. Quite a tedious and time consuming undertaking but I am doing it with pleasure gratefully using my worldwide network of trusted and respected relations in the lighting industry. Supporting this cause is really a passion and mission; there is still a lot of unawareness (especially in Asia in general and in China specifically) about the benefits of good quality lighting design, so sharing years of knowledge and experience (like I am doing through my blog) is an important thing to do for our profession. Raising the awareness and understanding is key, not only towards the design community (architects and the like), governments and developers but also within the ranks our own lighting designers (teach the teachers!) and last but not least the manufacturers themselves. While I am critical of manufacturers and suppliers in my presentations I always find a very appreciative response and acknowledgement that they could do better!
Inspiration and motivation
Finally I would like to pay homage to all my loyal followers and readers. I do not always realise how many of you find inspiration in my writing and the sharing of experiences from my life as a lighting designer but when I do get the feedback it gives me the motivation to keep going! Thanks Gerardo Fonseca, an architect who gave up his profession of architect to become a lighting designer very much inspired by my blog, to come all the way from Brazil to visit me in Singapore. I treasure these encounters, it validates very much my efforts in writing and sharing and most of all it stimulates me to keep going with my blog. Thanks to all of you out there!
Have a great weekend.