How does one teach lighting to beginning design students? Numerous educators have written of the difficulty of teaching lighting. (Ray-Barreau, 1983; Theodorson, 2006; Cleveland, 2007) Light is considered an Element of Three-Dimensional Design, alongside line, plane, volume, mass, space, texture, color and time. (Stewart, 2008. p 180) Light is the only Element of Design (besides time) that does not have a physical boundary. It behaves more like water than like an item to be specified by a designer. Its properties and its interactions with other contents of an interior are very complex. Yet lighting texts skip over this basic information and begin with a description of how to achieve specific lighting effects or goals. (Karlen & Benya, 2004; Winchip, 2008) This paper describes a series of exercises incorporated into a first year college interior design studio, intended to familiarize students with light as an Element of Design. This approach helps students to understand how light behaves – how it interacts with objects and spaces in an interior. Understanding this behavior, they are better prepared to deal with the specifics of how light is produced and directed. The exercises also build students’ skill in rendering light in their drawings of interior spaces.
|Keywords:||Lighting Education, Interior Design Education, Elements of Design|
Assistant Professor, Department of Interior Design and Merchandising, College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
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