The week that was 29-2nd june 2017
Singapore, weekend 3-4th June 2017
Travelling time zones is always a challenge, specifically combatting jetlag after a month away can be daunting. I guess I have learned to adapt myself quickly over the years as my transition to Singapore time has been relatively smooth, even after one month in a different (- 6 hours) time zone. Settling in as quickly as possible to the new time has always worked best for me. Back at work since Monday, I already feel like I have hardly been away…funnily when I arrived in France a month ago, just after a few days I already felt like I had been there for ages…My friend Warren Julian recently posted a comment on his Facebook page with the question why airlines always want you to close the window blinds practically as soon as you have taken off, specifically on long haul flights. Light is a good medicine to keep you bright and active, certainly during day flights! The real reason he postured is that the blinds are not closed for your rest but for the rest of the crew! Obviously a sleeping passenger is less demanding than an active one! I left Europe on a midday flight and until deep in the flight I was practically the only one with my window blinds still open! Food for thought…
This week we have Rara, the last team member from our (young but dynamic) Jakarta team to blog for us. It has been a pleasure to read about our Jakarta team, their road to lighting design and their experiences as lighting designer.
Introduction: Siti Bararah Nurhaqiyati, Lighting designer
Hi all! My name is Rara and I’m part of KLD Jakarta as a designer, the most senior designer after Galih actually. First of all, I would like to thank Martin for the opportunity to write on his blog. Although at first, I thought it would be very challenging since I don’t have that much experience to write about lighting, but rest assured it looks like we can write anything we want J. So first let me recall my journey with KLD briefly.
I was recruited in early 2015 (I didn’t apply though) as I was, back then, an internship student in KLD. That time, I had just graduated from the same university and with the same majors as Wulan and Adika (you can read it in the previous posts). Now I’ve been working for two years and gained so many experiences, both in project lighting design as well as in lighting industry knowledge. Lately, I’ve been wondering about how lighting design has developed in Indonesia and how it relates to the global perspective. To gain some insights about this topic, I talked to some lighting designers who have experienced both lighting design in Indonesia and developed countries. So here are some conclusion I drawn from the discussions and my experience.
Architects, interior designers and landscape designers are the few professions in the built environment that the majority of Indonesians are familiar with. But when it comes to lighting designers it’s a different story. Here lighting is considered as a simple task which usually is assigned to the electrician and has nothing to do with an advanced design process. I even heard people describing our profession as those who replace the light bulb when it is broken… lol :). It has not yet come to their awareness that those attractive shopping mall facades at night, these very comfortable hotel rooms or that awesomely lit connecting bridge, have a lengthy meticulous design process behind it with many considerations on not only how it looks but also how people experience and benefit from it.
On the other hand, in business development, lighting is widely known and used as part of their project. However, the challenge is still there but it takes a different shape. In nearly all projects, lighting design has to compete with the budget (never seems enough!) so the completed design may not be as good as what we intended. In some cases, lighting is only considered last, after the completion of architecture, interior, and other design fields, meaning that only the balance of the budget remains. There also seems to be an ethnicity preference, which I came to know from a senior designer, where property owners prefer international consultants as they are considered more prestigious and attractive to the customer rather than choosing a local one. However, I think those challenges are what makes the lighting industry grow even more creative.
Just like in business, lighting design is known in the governmental sector but considered not that important. In some region, the requirement for a lighting professional to be involved in projects is decreed but not obligatory. In some cases, lighting designers are invited just to certify the lighting requirements while the actual work is done by the M&E consultant. Also, the local lighting standards that designers refer to doesn’t comprehensively cover all application hence it does not properly cover the lighting needs of Indonesians.
Lighting design probably still have lots of work to do to get noticeable and appreciated in Indonesia, but I think, now, it is just a matter of time. It is because Indonesia has had a relatively positive economic growth and property development over time, both private and government-owned, flourishing every month in every region and providing bigger opportunities!
There is also promising signs for lighting design from the government who have put creative economic development as one of their main agenda points for 2025. One of the key visions is to develop art, culture, and tourism by having the creative sector take part and collaborate, including lighting design! Actually, I’ve been aware of this just recently when KLD was appointed for the Kuta Mandalika project, a tourist destination run by the government. I have also seen many lighting developments on various monumental and historical sites around Jakarta. It seems that we are now trying to catch up with the world…
Moreover, the awareness doesn’t only grow on tourism, but also for other types of public space. As I head our Soekarno Hatta Terminal 3 project team, I’ve become aware that the government started to demand well-designed lighting for public facilities. To achieve their high expectation, site visits and detailed analysis were made to accommodate all issues so that KLD can present them of what is important for public space such as balanced contrasts, avoidance of glare and indirect glare, good visibility and wayfinding, etc.
Briefly, I think we are slowly but surely improving, but there is still a long way to go. As a developing country, Indonesia will be more likely to incorporate lighting to boost the economic stability. However, now the world is facing a bigger issue: sustainability. I think it is only when Indonesia has reached a strong economy that we can shift the focus from economic development to the broader issue of sustainability.
Lots of work here and there are needed. But hopefully, we can boost the progress by delivering creative solutions and good designs that would stand out and raise awareness.
PS: below are two of my projects, Nipah Mall and Ancol Boulevard, that I found interesting and challenging.
Nipah Mall Facade 3D Rendering
Nipah Mall Facade Mock Up
Ancol Boulevard Schematic Design