The week that was 13-17th March 2017
Perth, Australia, weekend 18-19 March
Working from my Perth office this week, it provides me really with different perspectives. Each country has its own culture and way of working. I guess being able to move and work in different countries is one of the many ways to create perspective in the approach to design and most of all communication. Doing a presentation in Asia is definitely different from doing one in Australia. Communications are more direct and straight forward. This week was set against several new client encounters and presentations are very much part of expressing our expertise. This week Jordan shares his experience as one of our latest recruits. In just a short time he has made his skills very valuable to our team! Here is Jordan’s blog…have a great weekend!
Thanks to Martin for giving me the opportunity to share my experience in this blog. I am another first-time blogger so bear with me. I’ve been with KLD for just a few months now and it has been a very enjoyable experience. Initially, I was convinced that I was hired to replace the water bottle on top of the cooler every time it ran out – but I hope I’ve also been able to contribute in other ways more related to lighting design and our projects. All kidding aside, in the short time I’ve been with the company I’ve been able to soak in so much from our experienced senior staff, my fellow junior colleagues and Martin, working with and observing them on some very interesting projects. Today I’d like to blog about my transition from Landscape to Lighting and about the emergence of 3D visualization within Lighting Design.
Landscape to Lighting
Prior to my time at KLD, I was a Landscape Architect consultant, first in Canada and then briefly in Singapore for a total of 4 years. I’ve had the pleasure of working on many exciting projects in two very different parts of the world. Although there are many differences in the types of projects I was involved with between the two countries, the challenges related to client management and coordination between multiple disciplines are very much the same. In Canada, many of the projects were municipal, so the budgets were always very tight, and when something had to be cut from a project due to budgetary constraints, Landscape Architects usually took the hit as opposed to the architect or engineer. Consulting in Singapore has been a nice change. Working on hospitality projects in Southeast Asia, the budgetary constraints aren’t the same as with government projects in Canada, which is really refreshing.
Lighting has always been a part of my life, as my father owns and operates a retail lighting company in Canada. Having worked there during my secondary school years, I was able to assemble and install many different lighting fixtures in the store show room. I was always impressed with the different lighting effects that could be achieved. Before attending University I was able to work in landscape construction, implementing residential landscape designs. Having the connection with my dad’s lighting store, I also offered landscape lighting design and installation. Having a first-hand look at how a landscape can be transformed by lighting was really inspiring.
After moving to Singapore and working in Landscape Architecture, I started to get an idea of the different consulting companies in the area. In Canada, Lighting Design consultancies are few and far between, so I was surprised to see how many existed in Singapore. I think it’s safe to say there are more Lighting Design companies here in Singapore, then the entire country of Canada – by a long shot! The more I looked into the different Lighting Design companies and the types of work that they were doing, the more interested I became in Lighting Design.
I looked into how I could start practicing lighting design and found a distance education Master’s program based out of Germany (Wismar). The program is done online with weeklong seminars every semester in Germany, so you’re able to work while you complete it. I got accepted and started looking for lighting designer positions right away. Luckily after applying to KLD I was asked to come in for an interview. Eventually, after meeting Martin two more times and pestering him with emails, I was able to convince him to let me join the team. My persistency paid off! Having completed one semester of school and almost 5 months at KLD, I can say with confidence that I am hooked on lighting design!
3D visualization has always fascinated me – being able to replicate a design and represent it in an (almost) life-like rendering or fly-through is such a powerful tool when you’re attempting to gain approval for your design from a client. In some cases words aren’t necessary, as a fly-through video has the ability to tell the entire design story and also provide the ‘wow’ factor the client is anticipating. From a client perspective, I’m sure it’s an exhilarating experience to see the vision come to life and being able to accurately imagine the end result.
3D visualization and animation has been part of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture projects for quite some time now, however it as equally as powerful in lighting design. With the ability to import IES files directly into many 3D programs, creating an accurate representation of lighting effects is the new reality. The greatest part of using 3D visualization as lighting designers is that the Architects and Interior Designers typically do most of the heavy lifting by creating the 3D model of the project. Lighting Designers can place their IES files and instantly view the result.
This brings me to my next point. 3D visualization is not only a tool to impress the client, but it can also be used as an excellent design tool for lighting designers to get a real-time view of their design. Good lighting design isn’t always created after the first attempt. 3D visualization allows lighting designers to design in real time, viewing the results almost instantly and ensuring the end product will be something successful. Of course, not every company has the mind-set that 3D visualization is worth the time and resources, but in my opinion the forward-thinking companies that do invest in using 3D visualization’s in their projects now will constantly have the upper hand on those that don’t. It wouldn’t surprise me that in the near future, client presentations will be performed by handing the client a pair of virtual reality glasses and allowing them to explore the space right from their office!
Luckily for me, KLD is one of those forward-thinking companies that invests in 3D technology, so I’ve been able to hone my 3D skills and learn a few new programs along the way. Most recently, we completed a 3D fly-through video of a superyacht project and a hotel resort project, both in China. Creating these was both fun and challenging, as a lot of work needs to go into it to make sure it’s worthy of presenting to a client. We’ve still got a little ways to go before we find our groove as far as 3D representation goes, but I believe so far we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with 3D visualization at KLD!