Thoughts & Theories with Gregg Adams – January 19, 2018

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
The most significant project I have worked on to date would be the Renovation of the 86th Floor Observation Deck and 102nd Floor of the Empire State Building (2011). This project presented every challenge imaginable and the results were spectacular. Every member of the team seemed to have a deep appreciation for the contribution the lighting was making to the project.
Where do you see the company in 25 years?
Looking into my crystal ball, in 25 years the company will have expanded into several more markets; perhaps Charlotte, Atlanta, even Europe! I see BCER leading the path to solutions for the global issues of food, water, population, and infrastructure with even greater expertise and even more keen understanding of the complexity of the issues exerting force on the challenge.
If you weren’t with BCER what would you be doing?
Lighting…somewhere. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go on a tour with a big rock n’ roll lighting rig.
What surprises you every day?
I am constantly surprised by how hard it is to achieve good lighting results in my own home. There are Bluetooth enabled electric toothbrushes but the market can’t produce a decent LED light bulb that dims nicely in the dining room.
What keeps you doing what you are doing?
Lighting is not formulaic. Lighting has to morph for every project to achieve the desired results or evoke the desired feeling. I can’t use the same recessed downlight in every lobby or the same linear pendant in every classroom. Also, if I can help someone understand the design of the lighting or have an “Oh, I see what you were talking about” moment, that’s enough to come back the next day.
What inspires you?
Great design and designers.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be inspirational to the next generation of lighting designers. I have no ego about the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired and I am totally willing to share it with anyone.
If you had 30 minutes of free time, how would you spend it?
Playing music or cooking/eating with friends…I got a 2001 Fender Stratocaster for my last birthday. I’ve never played guitar in my life but I’m having a blast. My favorite recipe to make is chocolate soufflé.
How do you want to be remembered?
This is a tough one. I hope that people remember how much I loved lighting and which, in turn, inspires someone else to pickup where I left off.
What is your passion?
Lighting. I have been fortunate to not have done anything else professionally since 1989.
What Thoughts & Theories would you pass on to your childhood self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And, by the way, it’s all small stuff.
Why did you choose your profession?
Not unlike most people, I feel I didn’t choose lighting, it chose me. As I reflect on the path that brought me here, the strange twists and turns of my career suggest a certain degree of inevitability.
What do you want to tell your building Owners?
Thanks for the opportunity to bring my skills and contribute to the built project.
What is the most rewarding aspect about your job?
Seeing a project get built gives me tremendous satisfaction especially when people only notice the lighting elements they’re supposed to.
When have you been most satisfied in your life?
I am most satisfied when I feel like I am connected to those people closest to me personally or professionally.