The week that was 26 Feb – 2 March 2018
Weekend 3-4th March 2018
The interesting thing about our lighting design profession is that no week is the same, nearly no day is the same and most of all we can hardly predict how the week will unfold. I believe this holds for many in the design or consultancy industry. Project demands fluctuate due to economic aspects, site issues, local requirements, bureaucracy, unexpected delays, weather conditions, I can go on with a whole list of potential factors influencing the progress of a project. Likewise, decision making about new projects is unpredictable. We have times were project RFP’s are scarce and we have times when they just pour in. This is one of the big challenges of a design practice being flexible to accommodate these fluctuations and have the ability to adapt to these unexpected changes and demands. Time is money and hence time and its management is the commodity that we trade in.
This week saw a mixed bag of all of this. Sudden requirements to travel to site, accelerated kick off meeting for a project after appointment…you never know how long it takes an owner to conform your appointment…let alone letting you know you got the job. So we got another one confirmed this week and surprise, surprise please come for a kick off meeting straight away…
My Steering Committee work for PLDC Singapore kept me busy as well, engaging with government and scouting for potential venues for our Gala dinner. If you look for a venue that can accommodate up to 1000 persons which is not a hotel ballroom, you soon find out there are not many! Like MBS being an iconic venue for the convention, we really would like to find a location that will be a bit out of the ordinary. Everyone so far will remember the film studio’s in Rome for instance…we visited a few this week, but while being nice locations, not fully suitable. We are eyeing a potential venue now that I will visit beginning next week, but I will keep that under wraps to keep the surprise element. I also had further meetings with the government in regards to preconvention meetings and by the looks of it we have 2 out 4 key note speakers confirmed…I will leave it to announce them in due time by the PLDC team.
Mid week saw me going to Jakarta to follow up on our World Traced Centre (WTC 3) project that is nearing completion…the devil is as always in the details so in order to resolve some site issues of potential glare and reflection the architect and my self met on site with the client to make decisions. You can talk about it for hours but one hour on site together and we resolved / decided on what needed to be done to everyone’s satisfaction. Solutions are most of the time compromises, lighting wise as well as architecturally. Architects who like to use reflective stones like marble don’t seem to understand that you will see the lights (their brightness) reflected…an age long discussion…this particular project has highly polished marble on both walls and floors so you can imagine the dilemma. I think we resolved the situation as good as we can given the materials used through aiming and the use of louvres…
While in Jakarta I decided to stay at the Raffles Hotel (a project we completed 2 years ago) to see how it was looking and meet with the GM to get his feedback. The current GM had replaced the one that managed the opening at the time and as is often the case he had no knowledge of the history and was trying to fix issues that we had pointed out at hand over. The owner had refused to spent more money on fixing it and now the current GM is holding the hot potato…My local Jakarta team will follow up to fix these issues which to no surprise are related to badly dimming LED (client induced cheaper alternatives, which we had not approved). Hopefully we can now finally get that right. Otherwise the hotel looks great and to no surprise is receiving much acclaim. See a short video clip of the typical guestroom here.
MNC Plenary Hall
Money, money, money…its always about the dollar’s and cents. With still part of our contract (the final testing and commissioning) outstanding, I decided to make a cold call to site to see where the project is at. The unfortunate thing in this project was the unexpected shock passing away of the project manager resulting in total breakdown in communication. As luck had it on arrival I bumped into the big boss, who was happy to see me but totally unaware that we had yet to properly commission the project. We visited the venue, a purposely build plenary hall design in theatre style allowing for up to 2000 people to be present at live reality TV shows. We had free hand in designing the ceiling and stage layout. While the venue is already sporadically in use for shows, there are still some lights missing and programming is yet to be done. My spontaneous visit resulting in a commitment to invite us as back soon as possible to finish the job…the implication being that I can then finally close the file and bill for the final part of the contract…
Finally for those who are in Jakarta regularly you would know the traffic jams we have to endure at times to reach our destinations…below some pics of a typical backroad we sometimes take to avoid these jams…adventurous at times. What struck me along the high ways is the desolate state of some of the billboards. The good old-fashioned billboards with their protruding floodlights are now mostly disused having made way for modern day LED billboards. See some pics below. On arrival back in Singapore I noticed an even more sophisticated bill board a double dynamic moving LED screen welcoming travellers into Singapore…progress?
Enjoy the weekend!