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041
# 50
mondo*arc’sinternational survey of 50 Lighting Design practices...
When the idea of asurveyof LightingDesigners was first mooted the responsewas extremelypositive. Like anyfledglingprofession there
is alot of mysteryabout the sizeofpracticesacrossthe world, the amount of turnover generated and, during this economic turmoil, what
projects are on the go at the moment. Whilstfiftyis hardlyacomprehensivesample, it does giveusafascinating snapshot of the Lighting
Designprofession at this moment in time.Ataroundfiftyto sixtyyears old, the role of the Lighting Designer is stillsome waybehind the
Architect as arecognised activitybut it is growing in stature and is well represented globallybytwoprofessionalbodies, theIALD and
PLDA.This surveyhopes to legitimisethe professioneven furtherbypublishing figures relating to turnover and staffing levels. Indeed, it
was mandatoryfor practicestodi vulge this information in order t otake part. Whilstnot an ideal tool andopen to interpretation ( there are
quite afewapproximations and ranges of income provided bythe practices), the turnover questiondoes relaythe bestindicationofsize
and activityof theprofession.
In approachingthis feature, wehavetriedtobeaseven handedaspossible to giveafair reflectionofthe state of the profession. Forthis
reason wehaven’t onlyconcentratedonthe superpowers of the Lighting Designfraternity(although manyof them are present).Instead
wehaveincorporated abroad church, from thefreelancertothe 50+employee, multi-office practice. For ease of comparison, weonly
approached practices that are independent of big engineering or architectural firms, hence the absenceofthe Arup Lightingsand Hilson
Morans of this world. Where there is some crossover with other organisations wehaveonlyconcentrated on the individual practice.
The results are fascinating so let’sget to the crux.Out of the 50practices approached, the average turnover is around $1.6 million (around
£1 million or €1.1 million) with an average staffing level of fourteen per company.What is immediatelyevident from the figures is the
amount of women employed -itisavirtual 50:50split -making it, quite rightly,afair and equal profession. The number of practices where
women outnumbered the men or were equal came to 28 out of 50.The number of femaleprincipals however, onlycame to twelveout of 87,
making a7.25% share. Out of the 50,there are 24 practices that havemore than one office withseveral operating in different countries in
order to be better placed to tackle local markets where having a‘person on the ground’ is adefinite advantage.
Oh, and 0out of 10for originality.Among general optimism for whatlies ahead including the growing recognition of the Lighting Designer,
more daylightingand energyefficient design, fiveout of the 50said ‘thefuture is bright’!
So,read on to find out aboutsome of theLighting Design practices that make up ahealthyindustrythat appearstobewithstanding the
worsteffects of therecession...
Every effort has been taken to ensure the information in the survey is accurate. However, as Goethe once said: “error is to truth what sleep is to walking”. Information
was submitted by the companies and only companies that responded to the survey are included. mondo*arc does not independently verify the information and
there is no guarantee the survey is accurate. mondo*arc would be pleased to be informed of any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and will publish any corrections
in the next available issue.
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