From concept to completion
Although all projects vary depending on the level of design input needed, their scale and the required speed of delivery, the design process follows a tried and tested path. At the project familiarisation phase we gather the base information about the scheme: drawings, deadlines, client vision and brief, design team/construction team roles, budget, project specific guidelines and any other background information.
We then confirm the brief to the client and client team and produce a preliminary concept document. This usually comprises a written description of the brief and images that illustrate potential design approaches. We discussed this with the client and confirm any variations in the brief. Our aim is to provide a finished conceptual vision that retains the excitement and magic of the original concept but is realistic and pragmatic in its approach.
The next stage is to develop the design further, using preliminary lighting layouts, 3D modelling and explanatory images, to help to clarify the lighting design concept to the client and/or design team. Sometimes we initiate our own 3D models for calculations, using software such as AGI32 for lighting calculations and SketchUp for modelling. On larger projects we work closely with the visualiser, ensuring any aesthetic lighting effects are conveyed accurately. Depending on the type of project we may use lighting effect demonstrations on site and procure samples. The operating hours and controls requirements are confirmed, along with practicalities such as budget and lead times for ordering equipment.
Once we have progressed the detailed concept into an approved design we then use this to produce the various packages of information required by the project team to implement our ideas and make the initial dream into a reality. This includes all the necessary specifications of lighting equipment and controls, drawings indicating lighting layouts and any detailed elements including bespoke items. At this stage, we will make any additional submissions for planning approval and listed building consent. We then issue the information package to the contractor for pricing and comment.
During the construction process we are usually involved on an “ad hoc” basis to answer queries from the contractor or to consider alternative equipment that might be proposed for budgetary or programme reasons. There may also be a need to attend site. At the end of the construction phase we attend site to supervise the aiming of equipment and scene-setting controls, to ensure that the reality lives up to the envisioned proposal.