A Didactic Concept for Training Architects and Interior Decorators

The twentieth anniversary of the Light Laboratory in Detmold serves as an opportunity to look back. Two decades in a period of rapid technological development is a long time, during which furnishings pass or fail their trial period. The organizational structure of the Light Laboratory which includes room lay-out and appliances has continually expanded since 1977 although the theoretical approach has not changed. Even the ideational structure of the Light Laboratory, without which an organizational structure would be worthless, has proved to be workable and effective as didactic concept. The didactic concept is based on the interdisciplinary midpoint between a technically basic understanding of light — a combination of abstract knowledge and experience gained — and its design-related application. Design-related application inevitably assumes an analysis of the subject, interior design. Interior design today can no longer be confined to the principles of the historical influences of stylistic models, but has to look for elements which appeal to the senses, namely the criteria of room lay-out and room perception. Room lay-out and room perception are corresponding terms which are mutually dependent. Room lay-out means that a volume must be metrically defined and enclosed. The enclosure or shell is usually substantial and contained. But even open confinements, such as alleys and glades are perceived as rooms, at least from an appropriate line of vision. Activated by experience, the inborn ability of dimensional imagery which flows to the three information levels enables us to complete missing ideation. Thus, contour antecedents, light and color contrasts which are linked in al real room situation, also rouse dimensional associations in their own right. Line systems, light-dark patterns and color sequences are unconsciously understood in dimensions as soon an they are visible. Volume filled with light does not require a rigid shell to be recognized as a room of light. A sufficient number of the finest particles or dust particles are adequate if they are only illuminated. Therefore, light is a necessary medium for visual perception, starting with a metrically defined volume, continuing through to the texture of the shell and ending up as an architectural room which can be enjoyed. The didactic concept of the Light Laboratory blends with a dualistic method of procedure. On the one hand, a receptive antecedent should reveal an insight and convey methods. On the other hand, a constructive conclusion must arouse that which slumbers and cultivate beginnings which have been found. The moment when dealing with light begins to fascinate lies between the antecedent and the conclusion. A report on the dualistic method of procedure will be presented.

Full-scale Modeling for the Lighting Design of a New Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The research which is presented in this paper is related to a lighting topic and part of an architectural project for a pavilion at the Biennale of Venice, used for modern art exhibitions. The building is located along a Venetian canal: the roof form is curved in a way to allow daylight, reflected by the water, to penetrate in the lower part of the building, determining the atmosphere for the sculpture exhibition. In the upper part of the building, where the rooms have a barrel-shaped roof, we want provide good diffuse lighting to emphasize the quality of the materials and colors of paintings. The project which will be presented, consists in the study of an element to diffuse and reflect the direct light from the sky, coming from a slot at the top of the barrel-shaped roof. Starting point is a study of lighting techniques related to a temporary exhibition of modern art. Special attention will be paid to some considerations concerning the question of conservation, the integration of artificial lighting and daylighting, the modeling effects of light and its color performance as well as the effect of light. The study has been carried out testing (full-) scale models in the Lighting Laboratory at the University College of London. The research explores the following details:

The project won the CiBSE competition Young lighters of the year 1994 and has also been presented in Lisboa at Plea’98, resp. is partially published in LUCE, october 1996.

Making Light Tangible: Simulation of Light Design within Architectural Education

In times where computer-assisted representations dominate the ŇmarketÓ of visual simulation, the major strongholds of simulation in true size in conveying (artificial) light configurations have been observed. Though light cannot be ŇtouchedÓ due to its material absence the human eye reacts extremely sensitively to differing constellations. In matters of seconds differences are perceived and classified. Opening up a rift between the various simulation techniques, however, would not prove wise. The normal procedure still consists of trial positioning of lighting objects on site (i.e.: 1:1 simulation at building site). Regarding the effort this causes attempts as to gaining similar results by means of (partial) computer representations are worth considering. The degree of abstraction, however, might be too significant to make for conclusive decisions. In other words: Can the gap between imagination and translation thereof into reality be bridged? This contribution deals with the experimental implementation of artificial light in the full-scale lab and its possibilities regarding the 1:1 simulation at the Vienna University of Technology, with special attention to the didactic aspects related thereto.


Lighting Laboratory at the Institute of Building Science

The Daylight Laboratory consists of an artificial sky and a movable artificial sun. The laboratory is constructed in order to study daylight in scale models. It is possible to study how the overcast sky distributes light into the rooms of the scale model and where the sunrays fall at a certain time and place. The sun which is freely movable over the model, is mounted in such a way that it can be moved manually to all positions and sunpaths, from sunrise to sunset at any given time of the year and for nearly all locations on the Earth. In this way it is possible to check out shading shields without difficult calculations, you just have to look at the model of either the room or the shielding while moving the sun. By imitating the characteristics of the physical surroundings in the same proportion as the scale model - and by making all surfaces similar to real reflectance, it is possible to get a very true picture of the light in the rooms of the model.

The 1:1 study rooms are two identical rectangular rooms with many purposes and especially designed for light studies in full-scale. It is possible, very quickly, to create and change various light situations, and then study how light influences the understanding of the room and how the different light situations affect people. Having two rooms "easy to go to"- without any disturbing technical functions - it is easy to change the room to see and understand, how light works - daylight or artificial light.

Daylight is experienced by covering parts of the glass facade with standard pieces of corrugated paper. The paper also works vertical and even when cut into pieces in special sizes and forms. In this way it is possible to study several kinds of light distribution from this particular facade. Furthermore there are two skylights to be closed in the back of the room. The light coming from the skylights can be studied alone or combined with the light from the facade.

Artificial light can also be studied very easily by hanging fixtures on movable slides placed wherever needed and then connected to the nearest contact on the wall. The contact panel makes it easy to switch between different set-ups and light situations.

The system of movable slides can also work as curtain rails when the curtains serve the purpose of changing the shape or reflectance of the room.

Openings and Natural Light: Experiences in Full-scale Models

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Application of Spatial Design Ability in a Post Graduate Course - The Use of Full-Scale Modeling

Spatial Design Ability (SDA) has been defined (Abadi,1983) as the capacity to anticipate the effects (psychological impressions) that architectural spaces or its components produce in observers or users. This concept, which requires the evaluation of spaces by the people that use it, was proposed as a guideline to a Masters Degree Course in Architectural Design at the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes in Mexico. The theory and the exercises required for the experience needed a model that could simulate spaces in terms of all the variables involved . Full-scale simulation ,as has been tested in previous research (EFA), offered the most effective means of experiment with space. A simple, primitive model was designed and built: an articulated ceiling that allows variation in height and shape, and a series of wooden panels for the walls and structure. A series of exercises were carried out, mainly to experience cause -effect relationships between space and the psychological impressions they produce. Students researched into spatial taxonomy, intentional sequences of space and character. Results showed that students achieved the expected anticipation of space and that Full-scale Simulation , even with a simple model, proved to be an effective tool for this purpose. The low cost of the model and the short time it took to be built, opens an important possibility for Institutions involved in architectural studies, both as a research or a learning tool.

Working on Icons - Learning from Simulation

This contribution aims at making simulation understood as an interpretable medium . To this end the individual components of simulation are regarded as three-dimensional icons, which issue a "blurred" and thus interpretable image when put together. The title-providing learning potential has been developed in line therewith by the author.

The Experience of Space in Full-Scale Models and Virtual Reality

Do we experience the size and character of virtual spaces in the same way as real spaces? What impact has the meaning of a space, i.e. furniture and other clues to the use of a space, on our experience of it? The paper describes an experiment where the participants could navigate through a space, first on desktop-VR, then in full-scale VR (in a CAVE) and finally in a full-scale model. In a first phase the space was empty and only defined through walls, windows and doors. Lateron furniture was added as well as colors and textures. The experiment showed that the participants used building components like doors and windows and furniture in the presentation on desktop VR for their estimation of the size of the space. In the CAVE and in the full-scale model the participants bodies were the measure for their estimations. The experiment also suggested at that color and texture had an impact on the experience of size.

ARTHELIO Intelligent and Energy Optimized Lighting System Based on the Combination of Daylight and Artificial light of Sulphur Lamps

ARTHELIO Intelligent and Energy-optimized Lighting Systems based on the combination of daylight and the artificial light of sulphur lamps is a three-year research programme (commencement date: 01/01/1998 - end date: 12/12/2000), EC partially funded, carried out in the frame of the Joule III — RES non-nuclear energy programme. Project partners are: Technische Universität Berlin (H. Kaase, T. Mueller), Ricerca & Progetto — Bologna (A. Mingozzi, S. Bottiglioni), Göteborg University (J. Ejhed, G. Rehm), and IKL Skelleftea AB — Stockolm (O. Delin).

Arthelio is a technologically oriented research project to improve both the energy balance of the building and the visual comfort of the interior working environment. Being an innovative energy-saving system, Arthelio is based on the effective use of daylight and artificial light with the help of new lighting technologies and "smart" electronic components. The focus of Arthelio is on the scientific research and development work aimed at optimizing the different system components and their attuning to each other.

The lighting system consists of the following components:

The expected main technical innovations of the research will be:

One of the main expected technical innovations will be the development of a new lighting system that features the combined and controlled feeding of daylight and artificial light of the sulphur lamp into Hollow Light Guides. The new system will be adaptable to many different types of buildings, both to new designed and to existing ones. One of the steps useful to the definition of the final system, for daylighting aspects, is done through scale models simulations. Two sets of Heliostat scale models have been designed and realized for a parallel testing in Italy and Sweden. The objectives of the tests are shared in order that each partner can give a specialized contribution related to his proper experience and knowledge. Ricerca & Progetto (Italy) pursues the system efficiency, while Göteborg University (Sweden) investigates the necessary requirements to achieve a high standard of visual comfort and natural light perception aspects.

Concerning efficiency, Ricerca & Progetto built up different 1:5 heliostat scale models. These models are modified in order to achieve the maximum efficiency (light output): consequently several optical materials have been tested and the dimensions of parts of the models (duct shape, collecting head shape), are varied. The testing is performed under different daylight conditions (clear sky, overcast sky) with uniform measuring methods and equipment. Tested scale model performances are verified with mathematical methods. These are very useful to change some parameters not reproducible with scale models such as different duct lengths, climatic conditions at different latitudes, different building typologies and to process the obtained results. Concerning comfort Göteborg University set up a 1:1 scale testing room to perform tests on visual comfort related both to artificial and natural light, in order to define the characteristics of the output luminaire. Based on the final design of Ricerca & Progetto, two complete Arthelio lighting systems scale 1:1 will be produced with the help of supporting subcontracts. The building up of 1:1 scale prototypes will start on July 1999 and will be performed by 3M Italia s.p.a. (R. Casalone) which is Ricerca & Progetto subcontractor.

One system will be installed and tested in Berlin at the Technische Universität and the second one in Italy in a place to be selected. The reason for producing two prototypes is to show the flexible modular construction principle necessary for integration into different building architectures and the influence of climate and system dimensions on efficiency. The system components have to be tuned well among one another. Therefore the electronic control components for the sulphur lamp and the Heliostat have to be integrated. The test programme will include the remote controlled measurement and data storing of both outdoor (daylight input) and indoor (daylight and artificial light output) light situation. The results will be evaluated considering the aspects of efficiency, energy saving, quality of light (acceptance) and economy. At present the research is dealing with scale model testing (winter season) and mathematical simulations both for efficiency and visual comfort goals. At the same time Photometer for standardized measurements of Hollow Light Guides design is in progress as well as the sulphur lamp luminaire and the electronic component system.

1:1 Simulation in Architectural Practice

Full scale mock ups have a long and successful history within the architectural profession. There is concensus that future users as well as professionals are better able to make design decisions in full scale and in real time. Full scale simulation must be implimented as part of a typical design process for the sake of our clients as well as the sake of the profession: the cost of doing anything less is enormous. Altonview believes it is possible to develop an economical, flexible and utilitarian architectural environmental system (AES) which can be used, with modifications, by all professionals. Additionally, the media needs to take an interest in the AES movement, which will change their focus from the building image to the user. American architectural schools need to increase their interest in AES as well. The AES movement can be closely linked with the zeitgeist that will define the next century as seen in further examples and references from the popular press.

Keynote Lecture

Light, Natural Daylight, Perception, Simulation, Model, Measuring, Artificial Sky

Update: 16.02.99 / Back to Conference Program