Lighting and materials
Singapore 14th February 2012
Valentine’s day…another commercial day. I am not sure about the origin and history of this day but it surely has been commercialised. You are branded a cool, inconsiderate @#$% if you don’t sent your love some flowers or take him or her out to dinner. Talking about creating peer pressure. I do have some affinity with the date though as my oldest daughter is called Valentine…as it happened her mother and I met on Valentine’s Day.
At the office we had a mixed day of typical office work, for me some office admin, client chasing, teleconference calls, emailing, site visit reports and actually some design work. Specifically the teleconferencing lately safes me a lot of time and money (travelling!). In our design presentation in the afternoon we presented the exterior lighting design for a residential project and one of the issues always is the understanding the materials you are dealing with, in this case the architectural finishes of the building façade. During the discussions it became clear that some façade elements were actually glass and not aluminium as we had assumed. Obviously a transparent material reacts differently to light than a polished reflective material.
By this change of materials suddenly the whole complexity of interiors and exteriors became a new factor in the design approach. From just being an “exterior” experience we now have to deal with an “indoor-outdoor” situation where people outside can see inside and vice versa. This requires a totally new thinking hat…
Light & Learn 3-5: Understanding materials and how they interact with lighting is another crucial component of good lighting design. With that understanding not only can we make better decisions in regards to our lighting design but we can also better advise architects and interior designers about the potential side effects that their material choice will have in an illuminated environment. It allows us to avoid, anticipate and even more use the material characteristics in our lighting design concepts. Below some basic material interactions with light.