November 9, 2010
It’s time for an update on my internship at Focus Lighting!
First bit of exciting news: I now have an email address at Focus: firstname.lastname@example.org! What does this mean for my e-mail inbox? I’m sure you can imagine …
More news: Focus Lighting now has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/focuslighting! I will be contributing things there from time to time, so you should definitely “Like” Focus to keep updated on what’s going on there.
I’ve been having a lot of fun at the Focus offices over the past two weeks. Even though my busy grad school class schedule only means I can go in to the office once a week, I’m very lucky to have the opportunity because I’ve already learned so much in such a short amount of time.
For the most part I have been working closely with a few of the staff designers (mainly Scott) on specific projects, assisting with drafting and correcting redlined drawings. (Redlined drawings, for those who don’t know, are simply hard copy drawings with corrections made in red pen to be changed in the CAD drawings.) It may seem like typical intern work, but it’s really been a good learning experience. I’ve not only had to learn the office CAD standards but also the organizational system for files, drawings, and references; and I have to say, Focus is an extremely organized office. Even though there are small piles of paper here and a few demo fixtures there (which is typical of most design offices anyway), everything that happens behind-the-scenes on their computer systems is thoroughly documented and organized.
It’s been a learning experience in itself pulling various types of information — dimensions, fixture specifications, etc — from multiple files and coalescing it into one drawing. There is really nothing that can compare with that experience in grad school because everyone works independently. It’s a whole other experience to collaborate with twenty other people to produce something that is of consistent quality and appearance every single time. The experience has also been a great impetus for me to start organizing some of the files I use over and over again so that I don’t keep reinventing the wheel every time I, for instance, start a CAD drawing.
Otherwise, I have also been learning more about the specifics of lighting design and the construction process from Scott. I’ve, for example, learned a ton about cove lighting, a topic which was only briefly touched on in one of my Parsons classes, which is frequently used in architectural lighting applications. There are also plenty of discussions that happen throughout the day about more specific applications of lighting or luminaires, about such things as a new fixture that’s just come out, or control systems for large projects, which are interesting to listen in on. If nothing else it’s just been fun to hang around a working office, observe, and chat with the staff.
I’m very much looking forward to spending more time there and learning even more. Of course, I’ll continue to post updates here (or on the Focus Facebook page) about interesting and exciting things that are happening, so keep checking back!