Over the past semester, I have been teaching a lighting design class at Shenkar College. This was an interdisciplinary course for interior design departments and electrical engineering. I collaborated with Dr. Rebeka Vital and Dr. Gabriella Dorfman on this topic. There were various objectives we wanted to accomplish through this course in order to progress the connection between design and engineering, Between the design aspect and technical aspect lighting design required.
Firstly, it was important to connect the conceptual world of designers and engineers in the field of lighting design for functional spaces dedicated to human activity. Additionally, new work methods were tested in an interdisciplinary team, which exposed the way professional content is transferred. Lastly, people developed a basic understanding and practical experience in planning and designing lighting for a number of case studies.
Unlike architectural concepts where we portray work using black pen on white paper, in lighting design, students learned how to develop lighting concepts and the distribution of light by sketching light on black paper.
For designers, learning will include exposure to quantitative measures of photometric calculations and understanding of the functionality of lighting. For engineers, learning will include understanding the importance of human functioning in relation to lighting conditions, understanding the selection process between the type of human activity, exposure to terminology that describes a verbal atmosphere (emotional, subjective), and experimenting with quantitative interpretation of this terminology.
The course included two introductory lectures that will focus on clarifying the students’ goals and creating a foundation and motivation for joint work. The various work processes in each of the fields of design and engineering that will be discussed are: The design of work is done by creating a number of parallel scenarios in a manner that requires examination of several lighting schemes at various stages of the work until the final consent is determined. The engineering design process requires development time for any scheme proposed, and without this sufficient development time no engineering solution will be achieved.
The course organized in such a way that the various work processes has been taken into consideration. The course will discussed the cultural contexts that contribute to the determination of lighting requirements in interior and exterior spaces, while understanding that cultural contexts differ significantly according to the geographical and cultural location of the project and the functional uses of the building. In addition, there are significant differences between the definition of the requirements of external and internal lighting, differences related to the definition of the amount of energy consumption required, differences of regulation, and more. we also discussed the great physiological and psychological impact of the light on users by examining various examples from the world of architecture and art, such as the “Ascension” areas at the Venice Hotel in Las Vegas where several circles of “sunrise” and “sunset” occur in a deliberate way in order to cause a loss of sense of time, or James Carpenter’s projects and artists such as Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, James Turrell and other artists. These cases discussed in a way that will critically deepen the understanding of the power of the field.
The practical work in the course focused on a number of test cases, some of which are related issues and challenges such as: dealing in parallel with different scenarios for the same space, dealing in parallel with natural lighting, energy saving, and so on. The introductory exercise dealt with the subject of lighting for the theater, allowing students to work according to a defined and linear narrative and developing a lighting solution for an isolated environment with minimal external considerations and limited functions. In addition, the practice increasingly emphasizes the question of time and variability between situations over use, which can lead to an in-depth understanding of the potential of lighting design for the following subjects: private house, work environment, banquet hall, street lighting.