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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2015 (PC020404.14) ➔ Contrasting The Way


Related people/organizations

Monica Jose llamas Smith (designer)
Nathalie Rozot (thesis advisor)




Signs, graphics, and text are primary elements for users’ way finding and navigation within built environments. They are used in buildings to communicate information about space layout and program, to guide users to their destination, and they are effective for way finding. However, signage focuses on delivering a set of instructions to inform users about space, and misses the opportunity to stimulate and transform users’ movements between spaces into what I call an experience. Light, on the other hand, can arguably give legibility to spaces, and support the construction of cognitive maps and creating experiences. Through the proposal for an existing academic environment and the study of tools such as contrast ratios, surface luminance and color, this thesis argues that signage should be supplemented by light. Moreover, it argues that light can communicate information to aid users in getting a comprehensive understanding of space configurations as they learn to orient themselves to support legibility of interior spaces. This can transform users’ movement into a navigation experience that triggers memory and cognitive mapping.



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