LIT: A Survey and Design Research Seminar of Light and Lighting (Module 1)

What makes for a good luminous environment? What distinguishes a good luminous environment from a bad one?  This course surveys the many shades of light and luminous environments through history, effects, metrics, tools, technologies, and logics, with the goal of understanding how to craft environments that equitably support people’s biological and psychological needs, bring us joy, and minimize harm to other humans and non-humans.

Open to anyone interested in light, students will choose to either experiment with a lighting design project or a research project.  To pursue the design project, recommended prior enrollment in 6122 Environmental Systems (or similar course). You are encouraged to continue your projects into Module 2 “Data Science for Building Performance Simulation and Architectural Design Optimization”. Students interested in industrial ecologies may select to pursue design research into the manufacture of lighting hardware which will support the forthcoming revised IES ‘Lighting Practice’ document “Sustainable Lighting – An Introduction to the Environmental Impacts of Lighting”.

Each session will include lively discussion, interactive lecture, and workshop practicum. There may be a field trip to a local manufacturer and/or an evening walking tour in Cambridge or Boston TBD based on scheduling and COVID realities.

Assessment will be based on engagement in class, occasional quizzes, efforts, and work product.

Understanding Goals
By the end of this module, you will understand….

  • …Fundamental metrics, terms, and language used to describe the qualitative and quantitative aspects of light and lighting relative to the built environment.
  • …Conceptual methods for engaging in the process of lighting design for both daylighting and electric lighting
  • …Core concepts for tools and models of light available to anticipate lighting design solutions, confirm compliance with codes and regulations and provide for the safety and welfare of building occupants.
  • …How to interpret results from lighting simulations/calculations/visualizations, and use results to inform the design process
  • …How to see.

Up to six seats will be held for MDes students, with priority given to EE Area students.

This course will be taught online through Friday, February 4th.