Jihyun Stephanie Kang
(thesis advisor)Alejandro Mier Langner
(thesis advisor)Robert Prouse
After the invention of electricity, many different kinds of lighting fixtures have been designed. Some of them are exceptional and some of them are designed by imitation from others. Most of these lighting fixtures were designed by those who did not even know what lighting was. For instance, in designing the lighting fixtures, “Art Nouveau violated the very basis of design: in its fetish for ornamentation it has disguised the object’s function” and Bauhaus designers were more interested in how the lighting fixtures were handled by users than how light was lit in the environment and what its effects were.
However, in the period of Art Deco, the lighting fixture designers introduced the function of lighting fixtures to their lighting fixture design. In designing the fixture, for the first time, they thought about the amount of light, the logical distribution of light and the harmony of light with its environment. Indeed, Art Deco lighting fixture design has influenced contemporary lighting fixture design.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to obtain the information about the Art Deco lighting fixtures and, moreover, there are a few books which deal specifically with this topic. In short, information about Art Deco lighting fixtures tends to be scattered across a variety of sources.
Therefore, this thesis will research the Art Deco lighting fixtures. The historical background will be briefly reviewed first, followed by a discussion of how light was interpreted and what philosophy influenced lighting fixture design during the Art Deco period. Subsequently, each Art Deco lighting fixture will be discussed by providing a detailed description of its various features such as the designer, design concepts, materials used, date of design and the artistic or technical influences that impinged on it. Finally, the distinguishing characteristics of Art Deco lighting fixtures will be suggested and discussed.
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