Perth, weekend 2-3rd September 2017
I am in Perth this week for a very special reason…my son Ingmar, who re-joined the company recently and now looks after our business development, officially graduates from Curtin University as an urban and regional architectural planner. While he finished the study a while ago, the official graduation ceremony is only once a year, so glad to be able to be there! These are milestones in your kid’s life and being there is important…I have missed too many of them over the years due to my business and travel commitments…
This week I am in Perth to work with Ingmar and the rest of the team to further develop our business in Australia which, with the apparent (slowly) growing economy, can use an extra impulse. At the same time we are working on revamping company introductions and our company profile to follow in the footsteps of the launch of our renewed website and corporate video. While the majority of our new projects comes through word of mouth and existing business relationships, we can never take things for granted. There are many new and innovative lighting design companies emerging and obviously the market is getting more crowded offering our potential clients more choice! Specifically the culture in Western Australia is hard to break through. People understandingly use people they know but also follow ways they have been used to and particularly in WA we find that either our potential clients work with lighting engineers rather than professional lighting designers or for some reason pay much more for overseas or interstate designers, who then at a later stage have practically no involvement in the implementation because of restricted travel budgets, leaving the local contractors to figure out how to install aim and program the lighting. We are aware of several “disasters” in and around Perth as a result of that situation. Your design is as good as the final implementation so being able to go to site frequently and supervise and assist the contractors in the final installation have always been one of the keys to a successful project. But we can see that the culture is gradually changing, which is an encouraging sign!
Registered Lighting Practitioner
As most of you know I am passionate about sharing my knowledge to further and improve the quality of our industry and therefore whenever I can will participate and support events that aim to create a better awareness of the benefits of good quality lighting and lighting design. This week the local IES chapter organised a talk about the lighting language for dark skies an interesting talk by one of the ERCO representatives as part of a general IES meeting and awarding of lighting certificates to those who successfully attended and completed the IES lighting programs. The event also saw WA’s first Registered Lighting Practitioner (RLP) certificate being issued to Mervyn vd Linden, well done. It made me think that while I am an IALD member, I probably should engage in obtaining the same. The RLP certification is something that you need to maintain to show that you are actively involved in the industry. On top of that we will see more and more requirements for projects to have RLP registered lighting designers to better ensure the quality of lighting design and protect the industry against “rogue” lighting designers. It was a well-attended event and offered a great opportunity to network. I had invited the president of the Chinese Lighting Designer’s Association, Lear Hsieh, who happened to be in Perth, to the event and he had the opportunity to meet Trent Dutton, the current president of the IESANZ, who had made the effort to come to Perth for this event. After all we all have the same goals with the various associations so exchange of ideas and cooperation can only further help the industry!
Finally I want to share a bit of fun…after all we need to enjoy our job and taking the time for a little bit of fun is important. While I was in Xitang, a historic little water town near Shanghai, China a couple of weeks ago, we had a few hours free between our morning meetings and the night time lighting inspections we were due to do. Xitang is famous for a scene in the Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible 3 movie, where he runs over roofs, over bridges and along the canals guided by his side kick Simon Pegg back at HQ, who tracks and leads him via his computer GPS satellite system to the designated location. We decide to use our free time to re-enact parts of the run with the end destination being our project site. I took on the role of Tom Cruise and Grace, my project manager the role of Simon…It was great fun and Kyra, who already did a great job with our corporate video, managed to edit it in a very funny video…for good measure we added in the Chinese translation…
Have a great weekend!