lighting design

The Three Armed Compass

The lighting design approach will always take precedence over a project sector.

Moving on from last month that looked at the three-year school report and Michael Grubb Studio no longer being recognised as a ‘new company,’ this article looks at how we are moving forward and applying a new internal compass (that points in three defined directions).


Continued Behaviour

For many lighting consultancies (including ours during the first two years), there is the need to demonstrate an understanding of lighting across multiple sectors.

There is the belief that exposure to more industries means greater credibility as a lighting consultant – but is this really the best way to inform, educate and inspire others?

Is it time to switch the focus by showing an understanding of the approach not just the sector?


The Overlaps, The Twists & Turns

What is apparent within the studio is an overlap within industry sectors. For instance, the reason for appointment on a number of retail projects was not from showcasing other retail projects, but what we had created for museums and visitor experiences.

Yes there are some set rules per sector, but there are also many interchanging and overlapping themes that can be adopted for many projects.

You cannot put people and their businesses in industry silos. For instance, a website visitor from a landscape architect practice, will just look at Public Realm projects. So lets put everything in the Public Realm ‘box’, right?

No… what works is when someone looks at a range of projects to see other immersive experiences. The vision is for their audience to have a much better experience within a space.


Being More Efficient In Processing Information

Human attention is changing, not diminishing.

According to Microsoft we now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish. In 2000, it was twelve seconds, today it is eight seconds.

What this means, in context of the lighting industry, is that if we have managed to hold the attention of a prospective customer for eight seconds, we have a further eight seconds to grasp.


Setting A New Principle

So, what have we done?

Our intention is to help people find and not exclude.

This is why everything that we do is now centred on three simple categories.

These are interior, exterior and strategy.

We still work within the sectors from public realm to retail, but what works in one industry sector, can be significantly relevant in another.

Understanding the principles of what we want to achieve and the people we do it for, supersedes the nature of any particular sector.

When it comes to strategy, whilst a strategy exists on every project, from a 100-page document to a sheet of paper, there is a definition. We have identified strategy as those projects that have the intention of longevity beyond five years, rather than delivering a design over a period of months.

The objective for progressing our new approach of interior, exterior and strategy is to promote a discussion and build meaningful conversations.


Lets Conclude

Within the lighting design industry, we all have the support of websites and social media channels to promote and distribute. However, there is a lot of noise and clutter, that has no meaning or intent to challenge and inform others.

As lighting professionals we have to guide people to encourage the progression of a discussion. This is about taking the lead, not meander within irrelevance.

At Michael Grubb Studio we promote the idea of collaboration, discussion and community. We welcome other people to be part of it – but we all need to be better at cutting through and saying what is relevant. Lets show what is important, rather than believe that we are more interesting than we think we are.

We all need to be more efficient with how people process information. This is why we now break everything down within three categories.

The content that you present has to be more substantial, easier to interpret and provide someone else a reason to pay attention. When potential clients understand an approach, it becomes a more engaging experience.



To have a look at how our new industry compass works and how we have shaped the new interior, exterior and strategy direction, click here.