Architectural Lighting: Designing With Light And Space (Architecture Briefs)

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Condition: UsedAcceptable. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Seller Inventory ING More information about this seller Contact this seller A big thank you goes to B. Alex Miller and Socorro Sperati for the constructive conversations we have shared, and for their feedback and general review of this book. A special thanks to Miina Matsuoka for our partnership, our closeness, and for her ongoing support. We find beauty not in the thing itself, but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.

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Architectural Lighting Designing Light Space by Descottes Hervé Ramos Cecilia

Our visual understanding of this world is defined through both material and light, two seemingly opposite phenomena inextricably linked to one another. Light is revealed to the human eye through interactions with material, while material visually exists only in the presence of light. This interdependence between material and light, form and intangible atmospheres, defines the visual environments we inhabit.

While light is by definition energy, its effects transgress the realm of the scientific, moving into that of the experiential.

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Light renders our world in an endless array of visual permutations, revealing colors, textures, distances, or the passing of time. These and other qualities of light can affect emotions and trigger memories, giving rise to specificity of place. What we often recall of a space is its feeling or sense of atmosphere, not its formal details. On a practical level, light ensures visibility, and through the definition of visual limits it can establish spatial hierarchies and sequences, or spaces of movement and pause. As architectural lighting designers, our role is to utilize light as a medium through which architectural intentions can be heightened and experiential spaces transformed.

Architectural lighting design is a discipline cultivated from a myriad of fields: architecture, art, and engineering are but a few sources of knowledge from which we draw. This pluralistic model is both the foundation and the point of departure for the emergence of lighting design as its own specialty.


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Similarly, the history of architectural lighting does not unfold in a singular trajectory. Instead, independent narratives can be woven together to tell its story, as humans sought to harness light in pursuit of spirituality, in the name of social organization, or for practical or aesthetic purposes in the built environment.

The evolution of architectural lighting design is invariably linked to the emergence of new architectural forms, technologies, and the innovative visions of many. We can look to the oculus of the Pantheon, the spinning chandeliers of a Byzantine church, or the emergence of the nineteenth-century gas street lamp as benchmarks in our complex history.

Only in the twentieth century, however, did the independent discipline of lighting design coalesce, replete with its own professional constituency. In the twenty-first century, architectural lighting design continues to practice in concert with many other fields. Lighting design necessitates a deep, meditative exchange of knowledge, and therefore it must be understood not as an interdisciplinary field but as a transdisciplinary one that traverses the boundaries of conventional thought.

With regard to this history and practical trajectory, it is necessary to underscore two vital issues specific to the methodologies of this book. First, while this book will certainly draw upon overlaps in a variety of professions, we will focus primarily on the application of lighting in the built environment and the ways in which light can create and alter our perception of these spaces. We have not written an encyclopedic book on the science and technologies of lighting, nor do we aim to tell a history of architectural lighting design—these stories can be found elsewhere.

Ministry of Health, planned by architect Oscar Niemeyer. The issues central to this publication are explored both theoretically and analytically; this duality provides the conceptual framework to our book, mirroring the relative nature of light and material.

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Architectural Lighting is thus structured as two major sections. The first explores what we call the six visual principles of light—a set of design parameters essential to the philosophies of Descottes—and the ways in which these principles can be controlled and adapted to optimally render definitive built environments.

The second section explains and illustrates six built projects, giving specificity to the previous theoretical exploration while providing our readers with concrete examples of the way in which these principles are applied to architecture. In conclusion, a brief series of appendices summarize what we consider to be essential technical and practical knowledge relevant to this discipline.

Together, we hope that these theoretical and analytical explorations will provide new insight into the work of architectural lighting designers today. Like an aviation checklist, the six visual principles provide a verifiable list of factors to be considered when lighting architectural spaces. However, while each principle is certainly of individual importance, ultimately they must operate in tandem—both with one another as well as with the surrounding architecture—to create the desired spatial. This action might not be possible to undo.

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