Singapore, 15th November 2012
I am surprised how little still interior designers (and to a lesser extent architects) consider the impact of daylight in their overall design approach. It is without doubt that our sun provides the greatest source of (free) lighting energy. Yet so many people take the sun for granted (I guess you can as the sun ain’t going nowhere 🙂 !), yet so little designers really fully utilise its opportunities. As I went through some interior concept designs today for some new projects we have been appointed to, it struck me how little attention was given to the use of daylight in enhancing the interior design and ambiance. Specifically when you talk about a resort hotel for instance you would expect that the integration of daylight would be central to the overall design approach. I know that interior designers are more concerned by the overall look and feel of their designs rather than how “daylight” could complement and enhance their concept, the issue is that if there is no prior thought for it any attempt from us at a later stage will generally really be an afterthought.
I find myself often in that situation, mostly because by the time we are brought into the project, the architecture is already “cast in stone” so to speak with the interior design generally progressed to a stage where any suggestion from us to integrate a greater part of daylight faces a mountain of obstacles mostly in the form of unwillingness to redesign. What is left for us is then to advise on improvements of window treatments (either in admitting or better controlling daylight), translucencies of partitioning materials and the like. In general it is superficial. Of course we always have the full control in the way we circuit our lighting in such way as to zone areas according to their exposure to day light, use daylight sensors to maximise its use and so on. I guess it takes a solar eclipse to really appreciate how much the sun contributes directly to our environment!
Light Watch 3-176: Yesterday saw parts of Queensland in Australia in the direct path of a full solar eclipse. Many got out for this unique event, professional sun chasers and general public. It is one of those rare moments where you can really appreciate what a difference the sun makes in our daily lives! In case you missed it I found a map shwing where the next ones will be… 🙂
Video clip: http://youtu.be/XSttAEXY4X0