Light art in Contemporary Architectural Lighting Design

University essay from KTH/Ljusdesign

Abstract: This research focuses on understanding the relationship betweenlight art and architectural lighting design and determining towhat extent can aspects of light art be used when designingfunctional lighting for architecture.The first part of this paper looks into the historical applicationof light as a material. Light has been an important element inart even prior to the introduction of artificial light sources, butthe exploration of light as an independent material throughinstallation art only developed in the last century. Similarly inarchitecture, the impact of light on creating and shaping spaceshas been recognized since ancient times, yet it was much longerbefore the development of lighting design as an autonomousdiscipline.In recent years there is an increased need for creative expressionfrom lighting designers who are pushing the boundaries ofcommunication through light. In order to understand the extentto which successful innovative lighting schemes can drawinspiration from artwork, this research further analyses keyvisual and emotional properties of light art, as well as potentialconstraints of functional spaces. Distinction of roles of the artistand designer as well as the conditions in which they work withthe medium of light pose a challenge in relating these twodisciplines.Findings from first two parts of this research are further used toanalyse an example of an architectural lighting project, to drawconclusions about light art’s applicability to functional lighting.

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