ARC 327R.12 / ARC 386M.13

The seminar course on ‘Light and Sustainable Design’ explores the full spectrum of light as it relates to architecture and design in general, from physical properties such as its effect on the thermal performance of buildings (including their energy and demand) as well as the resultant impact upon comfort, and ultimately the way we perceive space, color, and form. The seminar provides insight into the integrated balance of natural daylighting and artificial lighting in habitable spaces. This balance is examined from the larger scale of full building facades and urban environments to the micro scale of nanotechnology in smart materials, which allow for alterations in embedded light and color properties. The science and phenomenology of architecture is studied as integral media to channel daylight and electric light.

Reading discussions span from theoretical to technical, and draw parallels between the sustainable use of light in engineering-based technology and the fine arts, in addition to the applied arts such as architecture. Course content also addresses the consideration of light as a preliminary factor in design processes, as well approaches to retrofit existing spaces with applications which enhance its sustainable performance as well as its phenomenological aspects relating to spatial perception. Students from various programs are encouraged to work individually as well as in groups to produce research or design projects, investigating the properties and potential of light in sustainable design. The seminar ultimately strives to achieve collaboration and integration to the benefit of multi-faceted research and design approaches and proposals.

This is a required course for MSSD students.


Sustainable Design


Fall 2023