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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2008 (PC020404.07) ➔ Story in Light: Acknowledging the Implication of Lighting Effects on Narrative Structure in Science Fiction Film


Related people/organizations

Siriphot Manoch (designer)
Alexa Griffith Winton (thesis advisor)
Enrique Peiniger (thesis advisor)
Margaret Maile (thesis advisor)
Nathalie Rozot (thesis advisor)
Peter M. Wheelwright (thesis advisor)




Inspired by the lighting effects that create a sense of utopia and dystopia in science fiction films, and their ability to visually enhance a movie’s set design as it relates to the narrative, my thesis project explores how movie set design and cinematography methodologies can integrate with architectural lighting methodologies to seek for an alternate way to transcend the boundaries of traditional architectural lighting design. By combining movie lighting techniques in two-dimensions with architectural lighting technique in three-dimensional space, the diversity of both methodologies inspire me to think opposite from the traditional architectural lighting. I believe that traditional architectural lighting approaches architecture as an art piece that will be highlight by lighting on each selected detail; however, what I discover during my design process is that in order to use lighting to give a feeling to the architectures, I rather approach the lighting effect and the color scheme of mood of the whole space first, then the architecture details will be the elements that use to enhance the lighting effect and feeling of the whole space.

My choice of Ellis Island, an island built as an immigration station to process immigrants entering to New York City during 1892 to 1954, is based on its historic role as the alternately utopian or dystopian gate way for immigrants hoping to enter to United States, perceived as a land of promise. For my exploration, I proposed a lighting intervention call “Story in Light at Ellis Island” as my experimental case study to investigate the cross-disciplinary possibilities in combining those two lighting methodologies., The two utopian and dystopian worlds experienced by immigrants during processing in Ellis Island will be use as an inspiration to design a lighting scheme that will enhance the experience of nowadays visitors. The lighting scheme that I create will relate to the historic story of each space and their effects will be deriving from the blending of movie and architectural lighting technique. As my goal, the result and issues that arise during design process will provide various possibilities for blending the two methodologies together, which will in turn open an alternate gate way to go across the boarder of the today traditional architectural lighting design.



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