The primary focus of this 9 credit course is the study of natural and electric lighting in an architectural context. The course promotes the integration of occupant comfort, energy efficiency and daylight availability throughout the design process and places an emphasis upon the role light can play in shaping architecture.
Students will learn a series of design techniques from rules of thumb and simulations to high dynamic range photography and physical model building. Throughout the course students will work in groups and apply these techniques to a semester-long course project. The course projects will be determined in discussion with the instructor. In order to develop a feeling for the physical quantities related to light and daylight, students will initially measure, simulate and evaluate the daylighting in a local space. Students will then build a massing model of their project and test it in a heliodon. The simulation environment used throughout the course will be a Rhino plug-in for daylighting and energy analysis called DIVA-for-Rhino. It is based on Radiance, Daysim and EnergyPlus. Students will need a copy of Rhino V4.0 SR or higher to use the plug-in on their personal computer. The course format will consist of two weekly lectures and a series of voluntary workshops during which the different design techniques will be practiced. A series of guest lecturers form the Harvard Medical School as well as from practitioners and scholars in the field will broaden the students’ understanding of light and its impact on human health and performance.