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Unraveling challenges in collaborative design

Unraveling challenges in collaborative design


Lighting design plays a crucial role in the overall functionality and mood of a building. So how can design professionals collaborate effectively to ensure a space is cohesive, well-lit and exceptionally designed?

Like never before, lighting design is playing an important role in the design of buildings, interiors and public spaces. Yet there are still issues when it comes to lighting professionals achieving effective cohesion with designers and architects.

At last week’s Light Space Design conference ADR heard from a number of lighting experts about how the A&D industry can best collaborate with the industry.

Donn Salisbury, director, Electrolight
As lighting designers, too often in the past, and until at least about ten years ago, we were seen as the cherry on top and we were brought in at the end of a project to make it look beautiful.
But I think in the last decade we have matured from that and generally, the design industry is experiencing just what we can put to projects at an early stage.
So we are more than just lighting designers now, we are planners of space and the visual aspects that you experience in volumes and architecture and that makes collaboration an essential component of the process. And we need to be involved early. Whether it be with architects or interior designers, collaboration is a key component of anything we do. If we can’t collaborate and design correctly you’re not going to get results.
David Bird, director, 2B Designed
I spend an awful lot of my time not so much doing design work but teaching and educating clients, architects and the rest of the design team on the value of what we do and resolving what the issues might be if the architecture needs to be modified slightly.
A really very simple issue I’ve found with interior designers is that they will pick out some table lamps but not turn them on, so they have no idea what it does, it just looks pretty.
What we try to say is, ‘yes it’s a really nice light fitting but this is what it is going to do, if you choose another fitting this is what it is going to do. Do you see the value in changing it?’
So a lot of my time is spent educating.
Robert Hamilton, associate, Webb Australia Group
Real collaboration in design is between all of the parties. It involves trust, a reason and ability to imagine. You have to be clear in your own mind why you are recommending a light installation and you need to listen to what others [involved in the project] are saying as well.
If you’re clear in your own mind, and you understand what the principles are then you can achieve them. You also need to know how the human eye operates: lighting design isn’t just about being pretty it’s about lighting vertical surfaces or creating an atmosphere or giving a bit of glare, but only enough so a space sparkles.
If you explain to the client why you are doing something and the way that it works then hopefully they will have the trust to let you do the real daring stuff to really achieve something.
ADR is a media partner of Light Space Design 

Main image: Hotel Alila


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