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The Year that Became the Line in the Sand

It is easy to say you are going to do things. When you look back, there has to be the confidence of putting a tick in that box.

As we come to the end of the year, it is time to be reflective and look at how things have progressed in 2017.

In last year’s, three year school report for Michael Grubb Studio, the message centred around the fact that we could no longer be considered as a new company. Setting foot into 2017, it was our intention to become a more established lighting design company.

So did we achieve it? Have things changed? Lets share with you some key learnings from this year.

Confidence to grow

This year has represented a real confidence to progress.

Until 2017 our mission was to prove that our approach to lighting design worked. We are now achieving all the things we set out to accomplish, but at a much more assured level.

We are now delivering and advising for established brands, companies, institutions and iconic places. This includes, the Science MuseumBluewaterAmazonBath Abbey and London’sBrick Lane.

We are also collaborating with a growing list of internationally recognised architects, landscape architects, interior designers, exhibition designers and artists from all over the globe.

These are exciting times as it also represents a switch of behaviour. People chose us (and still do) because they liked what we do, what we are now seeing though is a wider role to educate and inform. We approach from a place of knowledge, where aspects such as human behaviour and legislation are questioned and then put into practice.

From the talks around the world, to the smaller group workshops, a business fundamental will always be to energise and inspire others. Inspiring people can be a very visual thing, we have that in abundance.

All this has come from being comfortable at the way we do things. To many people and companies, what we do is very interesting.

The big internal change

On an internal level, if 2016 year was about acknowledging we were not the new kids on the block, then 2017 was the year on taking ownership of the block.

The most tangible thing has been the business decision to move to new premises to house a growing team. Any move to a larger, new home, is a calculated risk. However, looking back now, this perhaps should have been taken earlier. Moving to a bigger space has enabled our ethos of think, play, produce to be magnified to an even greater level.

Last month, we welcomed our new design technician team. 2018 will be about nurturing this talent and helping them progress within the business and grow their confidence. We will all develop as a collective.

What about the industry?

Looking back on the year, it is clear to see we are edging towards becoming a recognised industry. During November’s, Professional Lighting Design Convention, in Paris you could sense that change is on the horizon for the industry.

This industry has a serious approach. Legislation, high professional and ethical standards, promoting talent and access to education will drive the lighting design profession forward to create an abundant industry.

We are already actively contributing to the lighting design movement. This year we have been delivering CPD seminars for RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). The first paper, ‘Inspired by Light’ has influenced others. This progressed to tour the UK inspiring and educating architects and other design professionals. This lighting seminar looks at how you can deliver innovative and creative solutions that address the way we perceive buildings, structures, brands and environments and how we interact with them.

Moving forward we want to support and help progress the Lighting Alliance. We believe in sharing knowledge and creating a clear career path for those in the lighting industry.

Lets round up

Whilst there has been change within the company, we will never forget our roots centred on supporting others in an approachable and natural way. Empathy is extremely important.

Looking back, 2017 has represented the year of being fearless.

We have made a step forward into places we have never been before. From team members addressing conference audiences to walking into an empty building and making every room a new professional home, there are aspects that every single team member has had the confidence to put their foot forward and to be counted.

If we have looked to prove ourselves in previous years, this year has been about drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘who is coming to our side?’ We hope you will be with us.

So, what does this mean for 2018? Well we have new ideas and big plans – but will save that for another Snacktime.

Until then thank you for all your support and look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Happy holidays!