Day-Lighting Buildings

The primary focus of this course will be the study of lighting in an architectural context. The course will stress the integration of electric and natural light sources during the design process and place an emphasis upon the role light can play in shaping architecture. During the first part of the class we will follow an occupant-centered, \'inside out\' approach towards lighting design. Following an initial review by guest lecturers from the Medical School and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology on recent research on visual and non-visual effects of light on human wellbeing and alertness, students will learn how building occupants operate their lighting and shading controls to stay comfortable. During this part of the course the students will also acquire a range of daylighting design analysis techniques ranging from rules of thumb to state-of-the-art, physically-based computer simulations and high dynamic range photography for glare analysis. The main simulation programs used will be Rhino, Radiance/Daysim as well as some Ecotect. The physical assumptions underlying these programs will be discussed in detail and we will be applying the techniques to the Gund Hall studio trays. Based on our analysis we will be developing design recommendations for the upcoming renovation of the furniture in the studios.During the second part of the class students we will start adopting an \'outside in\' approach towards lighting design exploring how the concepts developed during the first part of the course can influence overall building shape and programming. This part will more resembles the approach that is generally being taking in a design studio. The students will work in groups of 2-3 on a lighting concept for a project of their preference. All projects will require the approval of the instructor. Project scopes may range from individual buildings to whole neighborhoods. There will be an expectation for all projects to go beyond currently established daylight evaluation techniques and explore new ways of how daylight can add to the aesthetic appearance, occupant wellbeing and/or energy balance of a space. Students enrolled in this class are expected to participate in a three full-day workshop and conference on advanced lighting simulations and glare analysis using Radiance that will be held at the GSD on October 21 to 23 (http://projects.gsd.harvard.edu/radiance2009/index.html). Students will be able to attend the event free-of-charge and will not need to formally register for it.