Lighting design and live event technology students at the University benefit from a great reputation and excellent industry links, resulting in many of our graduates working in the profession.
James Siddle, who graduated last year from the BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology, completed his placement with Ideaworks, a lighting design and installation company specialising in high-end homes, boutique hotels and superyachts. He now works full-time for the company and was delighted to come back to the University, with current placement student, Josh Bell, to talk to second-year students about the benefits of doing a placement, and to give an insight into the industry.
We caught up with James and Josh, to find out more about what inspires them to work in this diverse industry and what advice they would give to others who hope to follow the same path…
Q. What inspired you to get into the field of lighting design and technology?
A. James After lighting my first school theatre show, I realised the power that lighting has to affect the mood of a performance, and from then on, I decided to do this as a career.
Q. Why did you decide to study this course?
A. Josh This course is unique, as it’s very broad and gives you a full understanding of the physics and principles of light. The fact that you become qualified to The Institution of Engineering and Technology 17th Edition Wiring Regulations also appealed to me, as this also improves your understanding of electricity, and ensures that what you learn meets industry requirements. I’ve also enjoyed being able to put theory into practice by using The Cube, an on-campus space that allows you to play around with your ideas.
A. James I liked the fact that the course content allows you to go into any area of the industry, rather than being restricted to one particular area.
Q. Josh, you’re currently on placement with Ideaworks, what are you enjoying about this experience?
A. Josh Despite getting hands-on experience at university, there’s really nothing like just getting out there and learning by actually doing it for real. I’m getting to do live projects for professional and commercial use, on a much larger scale than is possible on-campus. I particularly enjoy the ‘puzzle’ element of lighting design, and being able to get on-site and take part in installations has given me an insight into how each design impacts the role of the engineer, and this is now aiding my decision-making in the design stages. I’m currently getting to work on a project for a superyacht, which has even given me the opportunity to travel as part of my job!
Q. What did you enjoy the most about your time on placement, James?
A. James Doing real projects with real clients and getting to see real end results – you can’t beat seeing the reaction on a client’s face when they see the design come together. I use my degree on a daily basis, and this knowledge, combined with the experience I got on placement, has enabled me to progress to this full-time role. I’m now looking forward to building my own team.
Q. James, now that you’ve graduated, what advice would you give to anyone else considering a career in this industry?
A. James Consider all your options, don’t restrict yourself, don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to get as much experience as you can early on. For example, if you’re at school, just ask your drama teacher if you can help with the school shows, like I did. Most importantly though – study what you love. If you love lighting, then you should study lighting!