Class Notes 10/16/08: Lauren Pritchard

16 10 2008

In today’s lecture we had two guest speakers.

The first speaker of the day was Dr. Shauna Mallory-Hill. Dr. Mallory-Hill is a professor for the interior designs master program. She spoke to us about lighting. What I found most Intriguing abut Dr. Hill’s lecture was her discussion about the difference between artificial and natural lighting, and the importance these two lightings play in design. In ancient times designers had only natural sunlight to use as lighting for a space. Structures then were designed and positioned with the natural environment in mind. This use of natural sun light in design can be seen in the Pantheon, Stone hedge as well as many other ancient structures.  With the discovery of electricity, designers were able to reduce the emphasis on natural lighting and focus on artificial lighting. Both lighting systems have good and bad qualities. Artificial lighting allows the space to be functional at all times of the day as well as in all weather conditions, natural lighting however is variable and changes throughout the day, making it an unreliable light source. Artificial lighting is also able to be controlled, allowing one to dim, brighten, and arrange the lighting to their preference. A drawback of artificial lighting is that it consumes great amounts of energy, much of the time this energy is wasted in the heat the light generates. There is also proof that exposure to artificial lighting can have damaging health effects.  Considering the information I attained listening to Dr. Hill’s lecture I have come to think that the best use of light in a space would make use of both natural as well as artificial lighting. I believe there should be more thought put into a built environments relationship with the sun, in attempts to take advantage of possible  natural lighting. In addition to the use of natural lighting, I think designers should consider the best options for artificial lighting, perhaps using LED lights that consume less energy, and are more efficient long term.

Todays second guest speaker Daneil Petrak,  spoke to us about his thesis on digital day lighting, as well as his work with digital design programs. I found the research of Mr. Petraks thesis very interesting. I believe more emphasis should be placed in a buildings placement in relationship to others. Many times we will see a building being constructed in the middle of an already developed space, and I wonder, won’t this buildings presence overpower the existing structures?  Mr. Petrak’s thesis looked at a future buildings influence on the surrounding area, looking at the possible design options in which it could be constructed to allow natural lighting to continue to reach the existing structures.

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