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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2010 (PC020404.09) ➔ Lighting Experience with Architecture


Related people/organizations

Sabrina Wu (designer)
Nathalie Rozot (thesis advisor)




Light talks. Light infuences how you experience and, more importantly, how you move through a space. Light illuminates not only these environments but these spaces. It tells you whether these areas are welcoming or not, or gives you clues about how long you should stay. Light not only creates different atmospheres, but can also be used as a way to guide people and make them move through different spaces.

Light can def ne boundaries in spaces, sometimes to separate spaces and sometimes to connect spaces. Light can be used as a sign for personal interaction in many different ways. The relationship between light and architecture is like that of a story and storyteller. At La Tourette, light creates a series of sequences for people to follow so that by the end of the sequence, visitors understand the building by having followed the light. Light and textures create different atmospheres and provide different experiences as well. The architects of the American of Folk Art Museum play with light and texture throughout the entire structure. Visitors understand the building by seeing the textures. Light helps reveal architectural form. Light and shadows can also be used as a tool for emphasizing or diminishing form. It creates brightness, darkness, gradients of surfaces, gradients of shadows, or shapes the edges of shadows. Variations in brightness emphasize architectural form, as shown in Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal.

Light gives buildings different def nitions and brings us different experiences. I chose the Whitney Museum as my site. The exterior of Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum has a very strong architectural language. However, this architectural language somehow ends once you reach the main display area because the museum’s functions become primary. I believe that light can highlight architectural moments and create a new series of sequences to help people to better appreciate the building while enjoying the art.



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