Tag Archives: Light

Defining Shadows and Darkness

“It is necessary to return to the point where the interplay of light and dark reveals forms, and in this way to bring richness back into architectural space. Yet, the richness and depth of darkness has disappeared from our consciousness, and the subtle nuances that light and darkness engender, their spatial resonance – these are almost forgotten. Today, when all is cast in homogenous light, I am committed to pursuing the interrelationship of light and darkness . Light, whose beauty within darkness is as of jewels that one might cup in one’s hands; light that, hollowing out darkness and piercing our bodies, blows life into ‘place’.”

– Tadao Ando (1990)

AWA Lighting Designers project: Cyber Hub

AWA Lighting Designers project: Cyber Hub

 

Symbolism of Light

Apart from the philosophical connotations that light posses, it also is utilized throughout many cultures around the world as both a literal and metaphorical symbol. The Yin and Yang is one of the best examples of this concept as discussed previously, but there are many others as well. When different world religions are analyzed from a lighting perspective, it can be seen that different cultures and religions view light through its symbolic nature. Several global holidays use the symbolism of light as a marking of celebration. Following are some holidays which use light for its symbolism.

In Buddhism light is used as a symbol in the ritual of the eight offerings where it plays a central role. Apart from Buddhism, Islam also uses light as a symbol, most visually through its interpretation of ‘the lamp’ in the Qur’an;

“God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp
the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star
Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the West,
whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it
Light upon Light! God doth guide whom He will to His Light
God doth set forth Parables for men: and God doth know all things.”

Another symbol commonly used if the candlelight as a symbol of wisdom. In our physical world we see things through the medium of light. If we do not have sun or electric light, this world is so dark that we cannot see anything. In our spiritual and mental world the physical light cannot help us to see. We see only through wisdom. We may stumble many times in daily life because we lack ‘light’ and ‘wisdom’. Light in this sense can also be translated into a more eastern sensibility through the term ‘enlightenment’. Jung writes in the foreword to An Introduction to Japanese Buddhism;

“This strange perception is called Satori, and may be translated as “Enlightenment”. Suzuki says (see page 95), “Satori is the raison d’etre of Zen, and without it there is no Zen.” It should not be too difficult for the Western mind to grasp what a mystic understands by “enlightenment”, or what is known as “enlightenment” in religious parlance.”

Religion:

• When different world religions are analyzed from a lighting perspective, different cultures and religions view light for its symbolic nature. Several of the global holidays use the symbolism of light celebration. In the images that will be shared in the talk, the following are the different holidays which use light for its symbolism.

Symbols of Light:

• Obon Festival [Japan]

• Hanukkah

• Loy Krathong [Thailand]

• Diwali

• Paper Lantern Festival [Singapore]

• Christmas

• Ramadan

• Cathedral of Light 1936

• Tribute in Light, New York

• Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong

• SRBS Bridge, Dubai

Lighting for the Elderly

Lighting for Elderly

UNDERSTANDING THE AGING EYE

The human visual system deteriorates throughout adult life and is considered “young” until it reaches 40 years of age

As the visual system ages:

  • Less light reaches the back of the eyes
  • Pupils decrease in size
  • Lens becomes thicker, so that it absorbs more light

DESIGNING EFFECTIVE LIGHTING SYSTEMS FOR THE ELDERLY

  • AMBIENT LIGHT LEVELS: Should be increased by 50% versus those used for younger people. Ambient levels should be at least 300 lux
  • TASK LIGHTING: Light levels should be at least 1000 lux on task areas to see fine details
  • CONTRAST: The contrast of objects such as stair edges, curbs, ramps, or doorways should be increased by using paint or other techniques
  • COLOR PERCEPTION: Can be improved by using high illuminance levels and high-quality fluorescent lamps versus incandescent lamps

SLEEP QUALITY IN THE ELDERLY

Between 40-70% of people over 65 suffer from chronic sleep disturbances

Sleep disturbances result from a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s lighting research center [LRC] have demonstrated that blue light is the most effective at stimulating the circadian system

This light must be combined with the appropriate light intensity, spatial distribution, timing and duration

LRC researchers tested a goggle like device to improve the sleep quality in older adults

A marked increase in daytime lighting levels can counteract the age-dependent losses in retinal light exposure

Color Mixing and Connotations

ADDITIVE MIXING

  • Mixing colors of light
  • In absence of color the result is black
  • Presence of all three primaries is white

SUBTRACTIVE MIXING

  • Mixing colors pigment / CMYK
  • Absence of color is white
  • Presence of all three primaries is black

Color Mixing

MEANING OF BLACK: DARKNESS
How the color black affects us physically and mentally?

  • Feeling inconspicuous
  • A restful emptiness
  • Mysterious evoking a sense of potential and possibility

Darkness

MEANING OF GRAY: SHADOW
How the color gray affects us physically and mentally?

  • Unsettling
  • Expectant

Stormy Sky

EIGENGRAU (GERMAN: INTRINSIC GRAY)

  • The color seen by the eye in perfect darkness
  • Eigengrau is perceived as lighter than a black object in normal
  • Lighting conditions, because contrast is more important to the
  • Visual system than absolute brightness.

Eigengrau

MEANING OF WHITE : LIGHT
HOW THE COLOR WHITE AFFECTS US MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY?

  • Aids mental clarity
  • Encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
  • Evokes purification of thoughts or actions
  • Enables fresh beginnings

Sunrise

 

AWA Archtober Event Tonight at 6pm!

AIA CES Course Lecture by Abhay Wadhwa, AWA Lighting Designers
Tonight October 6th 2015 at 6pm
Location: Edison Price Lighting Gallery – 41-50 22nd St. Long Island City NY 11101
Register to attend the Lecture HERE

 

Evocative visual environments require a healthy balance between bright and dark, light and shadow. In a context where the success of a lighting design solution is often measured by the footcandles achieved, uniformity ratios and wattage consumed, are we losing the plot here? Can light truly be appreciated without shadows and darkness? Lack of a better understanding of darkness and shadows can lead to an altogether lopsided relationship with light and light alone. The absence of its contrasting partners in darkness and shadows can have a diminishing effect on the true beauty of light.

This talk examines our lighting zeitgeist and showcases methods of embracing light and dark, while conforming to the relevant code requirements.

AIA CES Course 1 Learning Unit is available for presentation anytime. If you are interested in having AWA provide this CES course presentation at your offices, please email us at newyork@awalightingdesigners.com with your information and dates interested in the talk.

Click HERE to read our latest AWA Newsflash on the Lecture

Location Details:

  • Edison Price Lighting Gallery
  • 41-50 22nd St. Long Island City NY 11101
  • Google Map Directions HERE
  • Closest Subway Lines F, 7, N, Q, E, M, or R

 

 

 

Abhay Wadhwa Speaks on  “Out of Shadows: Darkness in a New light”

AIA CES Course Lecture by Abhay Wadhwa, AWA Lighting Designers
Tuesday October 6th 2015 at 6pm
Register to attend the Lecture HERE

 

Evocative visual environments require a healthy balance between bright and dark, light and shadow. In a context where the success of a lighting design solution is often measured by the footcandles achieved, uniformity ratios and wattage consumed, are we losing the plot here? Can light truly be appreciated without shadows and darkness? Lack of a better understanding of darkness and shadows can lead to an altogether lopsided relationship with light and light alone. The absence of its contrasting partners in darkness and shadows can have a diminishing effect on the true beauty of light.

This talk examines our lighting zeitgeist and showcases methods of embracing light and dark, while conforming to the relevant code requirements.

AIA CES Course 1 Learning Unit is available for presentation anytime. If you are interested in having AWA provide this CES course presentation at your offices, please email us at newyork@awalightingdesigners.com with your information and dates interested in the talk.

Click HERE to read our latest AWA Newsflash on the Lecture

Location Details:

  • Edison Price Lighting Gallery
  • 41-50 22nd St. Long Island City NY 11101
  • Google Map Directions HERE
  • Closest Subway Lines F, 7, N, Q, E, M, or R

 

 

 

Enter the Mesmerizing World of Rainbow Coloured Maps with “Crayon the Grids”

New York City. Image Courtesy of Stephen Von Worley

New York City. Image Courtesy of Stephen Von Worley

A new series of maps by California-based artist-scientist Stephen Von Worley give colour coding an entirely new meaning. With his latest algorithm-generated project, “Crayon the Grids,” Von Worley has taken maps of ten major metropolitan areas and coloured them based on geographical orientation of the urban grid. Each street is assigned a colour specific to its orientation, varying in hue and weight depending on its cardinal direction and length. The result is a dizzying technicolor of urban planning, creating completely new demarcations for some of the world’s most recognizable cities.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Image Courtesy of: Stephen Von Worley

Article Written by: Finn MacLeod

Source: ArchDaily

The Color Inside

© Florian Holzherr

© Florian Holzherr

From the architect. The Color Inside is a milestone in The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks public art collection. Located on the roof of the Student Activity Center, the project arose from the student body’s desire for a peaceful retreat at the Student Activity Center (SAC). The SAC serves as a highly active social and cultural center with amenities that include, amongst others, a ballroom, black box theater, auditorium, conference rooms, and offices for student organizations. Through an in-depth participatory design process, students played a pivotal role in defining the programmatic functions of the SAC and the role it would play on campus. As a result, internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell was commissioned to design a “Skyspace,” one of his renowned inhabitable artworks, in order to offer a space for quiet amidst the dynamic atmosphere of the SAC.

Turrell’s work challenges the traditional relationship between art as object and viewer. Through the manipulation of color and light, the installation radically alters the viewer’s perception of the sky, seemingly bringing it down to the plane of the viewer. His work has no object, no physical presence; instead light and perception are his artistic media. As Turrell has said, “Light is not so much something that reveals as it is the revelation.” By drawing attention to the perceptual mechanisms at work in the act of seeing, he instills the awareness that subjective experience shapes our understanding of reality and the world around us. This perceptual process closely parallels those cultivated by many Eastern contemplative practices, and Turrell himself often likens his work to the Quaker practices of his own youth, in which the act of silent prayer is described as “going inside to greet the light.”

Click HERE to read the full article.

Image Courtesy of: Florian Holzherr

Source: ArchDaily

Designers Turn Shipping Container Into A Human-Scale Kaleidoscope

image courtesy of masakazu shirane + saya miyazaki

image courtesy of masakazu shirane + saya miyazaki

 

Japanese designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki immerse visitors to ‘Wink’ in a human-scale kaleidoscope, reflecting them within a maze of geometrically shaped mirrors. Set inside the confines of a 40-foot-long industrial shipping container, the installation unties both architecture and art, and intends to shift traditional structural concepts and ideas about the two disciplines. Not only an experiential creation, ‘Wink’ is also an example of ‘Zipper Architecture’: all of the interior panels are connected by detachable cords, and each singular unit can be opened and closed like a window. ‘this idea could solve global environmental problems’ the designers describe ‘because it is easy to exchange only a part with a zipper.’.

Click HERE to read full article.

Written by: Nina Azzarello

Image Courtesy of: Masakazu Shirane + Saya Miyazaki

Source: Designboom