Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sketch Series 3

Examining Fabric Under Different Lighting Conditions

Light sketch four required our light box group to go on a scavenger hunt for different light sources and document how each affects the appearance of color and texture. We chose four very textured fabrics in warm and cool colors and photographed them with a variety of lamp types. The lamp types we used were fluorescent, LED, halogen, and HID. Not only did we document the different sources but we also documented them in daylight and night conditions.

It is clear to see how some lamp types can drastically change the color of the fabric. One of the most interesting changes is documented in the HID lamp. The green swatch (the last one) looks vastly different under the same lamp, in different natural lighting conditions.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sketch Series 4

Light Scavenger Hunt

Looking around The Gatewood Building Studio, we studied the illuminance, reflectance, and transmittance of the elevator, women's bathroom, studio desk, work table, library table, lobby floor, the bottom of the stairway, and the top of the stairway. We found a surprising range of numbers for each category.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sketch Series 2

 In the Gatewood Gallery on the 1st floor, there is mainly track lighting on a grid throughout the space, with more around the edges pointed at the wall, while the ones in the center are angled more down to highlight pieces. Natural light is also seen in the space from the lobby. Because the lights are halogen, their color is warm and dim, so there isn't any glare. The track lighting allows for a more dramatic lighting pattern in which there are spots that are very bright, and some that are dim with no light directly on it, making people focus on the art that is highlighted, rather than the parts where a light is not directed.

At P.F. Chang's at Friendly Center, there is both track lighting and individual pendant lighting. The track lighting is on a grid throughout the space, and mainly pointed at walls and murals, and at high traffic areas. The pendant lights are aligned in a row, depending on where a table is. The track lighting is halogen and the pendant lights are a warm florescent lamp. The pendant light fixtures create a sense of intimacy but both the track lighting and the pendants attract people and focus their attention. The pendants can become too intense because they have an exposed lamp from the bottom, creating a brighter light on the table, but the lamp is shielded from the around, helping to reduce any glare.

At Charming Charlie's at Friendly Center, a mixture of recessed MR16 lighting and direct light from chandeliers helps to create a well lit space. The recessed lighting on the lowered ceilings that they have throughout the space is quite moderate, whereas the recessed light from above the lowered ceiling is very intense and glary. The chandelier lighting is many for the sparkle effect and doesn't provide much light. Overall, the space is evenly lit and the light is distributed all over, which doesn't create much contrast. The lighting is drawing people into the displays so that they can look closely at them and feel contained under the lowered ceiling.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sketch Series 1

Perceptual Clarity:

The Iarc studio is a very clear and focused space because of the overall uniform lighting. The overhead lighting is spaced out so that the light overlaps and doesn't leave high contrast with the lights. Although, because the lamps are exposed, the lights can be sometimes glary and cold. The fact that the lights are on a grid makes it easy to navigate through the space without being distracted by high and low levels of light. Also, because the ceilings are exposed and two stories, the visual clarity is heightened even more, making it a very open clear space.

The lobby of the Gatewood Building is spacious because of the variety of lights that are in the space. The overhead lights, while on a grid, are not uniform throughout the space. In some parts there are pendants and in the others, there are track lighting and this allows for the lobby to be broken into smaller parts. The tall ceilings and natural daylight aid in the feeling of openness in the lobby. Also, the fact that the space doesn't have many objects relays the open concept as well as a spacious feeling.


The 2nd floor student lounge is not relaxing at all. The harsh yellow overhead light makes the space feel very tense and uninviting. The exposed lamps cause eye strain and brightness of the lamps is unbearable. The reflective white surfaces around the room do nothing but just reflect the harsh light back to your eye and causes uncomfortable glare. Although the lamp color is warm, the brightness and intensity of the lamp makes the whole room feel very tense.

The Iarc Material Library is pleasant because of the comfortable seating and the overhead lighting. The uniform florescent lighting, although cool, is not too overbearing because the light is not intense or glary. The light fixture disperses the light better than if the lights were pendants, like in the rest of the building. The surfaces are also not very reflective, so the light is just lighting the surfaces, instead of bouncing off and hitting your eye and create a glare.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Impact of Light on Human Health and Welfare Essay

Beckie Yohn
IAR 334
The Impact of Light on Human Health and Welfare
Although light is crucial to human life, it can also be devastating to human life if the light is presented at the wrong time or in a wrong way. Our bodies and minds are sensitive to light, and light is how we are able to tell the time of day and to know when we need sleep, among other things. Artificial light disrupts our body’s natural process and cycle, which can lead to broad health effects. As Laura Beil writes about in her article, any kind of light too late at night could alter sleep-activity patterns, suppress melatonin production, and disregulate genes. People are sleeping less and less every night due to our fast moving culture, and this can cause serious health problems.
One type of health issue that could arise from inadequate lighting is SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as talked about in Eve Edelstein’s article. This depression has to do with the lack of light that a person is exposed to that may upset their sleep cycle and circadian rhythm that happens around the same time each year. A person’s circadian rhythm is the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that happen every 24 hours and responds to the light and darkness of an environment. This rhythm can easily be messed up by not having enough exposure to light, especially sunlight, or by irregular sleep hours that some professions, like nurses or other 3rd shift workers experience.  Most of the health problems, like SAD and an irregular circadian rhythm, or any other issues caused by the lack of light, can be helped with the introduction of light in the correct ways and at the correct times. Light is something that we often take for granted because most of us just don’t know what all it has to offer us.

Light Revealing Experience Essay

Beckie Yohn
IAR 334
Light Revealing Experience
Every human’s first experience is an experience involving light. Light can shape a space into an experience and an experience into a moment you will never forget. Light is the absence of darkness and the presence of all colors; it comes in many different forms, and allows us to perceive everything that we see. Light, as we know it, has deep relationships with place, nature, climate, time, and tasks, as discussed in Marietta Millet’s book Light Revealing Architecture.
Place, as defined by the dictionary, is a particular point in space, and that space is defined by its light and the relationship between them. In the reading, Millet wrote about how a place can be defined by the particular sets of changes that take place within it over time to create distinct patterns. I know this to be true because in my parent’s house, there is a small disco ball in the living room on the mantel, and every day in the spring, just as the sun is setting, the sun hits the ball just right and fills the entire room with glimmers of light. It transforms the room from a plain living room, to the place where you are showered in light and all of your problems go away for those few moments. This strong feeling is from the place’s genius loci, which is the spirit of the place. This phenomenon relates to the patterns of light made in nature.
Some patterns from light that nature makes is the pattern of moving water, a starry sky, or the silhouette of leaves shining down onto the forest floor. In the Solar Decathlon Canopy House last year, one of my design proposes was to create a patterned ceiling, similar to the one at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh. They were circular shapes, that when light from the sun shone down onto it, the silhouette of the circular shapes, which mimicked how light would look shining through trees in a forest. Humans tend to take precedents from nature and light, and replicate it in architecture or design.
Another reason why people try to harness nature is to combat nature. When the climate of a place is towards the extreme heat, then designers try to make it feel cool, and when the climate is freezing, we try to make it feel warm, and we accomplish that through materials and light. For example, when its winter and people are bundled up in layers of clothes, after they just fought people to buy holiday gifts at the mall, while it has snowed or rained all day, nothing would lift their spirits like walking into their dim house to see a bright, warm Christmas tree. The Christmas tree washes away their thoughts of how cold it is outside and melts their heart because if it’s warm colors and warm glows. It works almost as well as a fire in a fireplace would. It is easy to tell by the climate what season it is, but it could be even easier to know what time of the day it is by the light and shadow that it casts.
Time is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds, but what if you don’t have a clock to tell you the exact time? Before clocks, people used other methods, as seen in the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and sundials. An easy way for me to be able to understand the relationship between light and time is by looking up at the skylights in my parent’s house. Just by looking at where the sun is in the sky or by looking at the angle of the shadows they cast, I am able to instinctively know around what time it is or what time of day it is. Humans are naturally sensitive to light, the way it moves, and the way it shines. This sometimes could be a bad thing, rather than a good thing.
Humans are most aware of light when there is too much or too little, or even when its too dim, too bright, or too harsh. A great example of this is in the Gatewood Studio Arts Building in the second floor lounge. The multiple bright yellow lights are too intense to concentrate on the task that you are trying to accomplish. I avoid this room because every time I enter, my eye hurt and I get a headache because the lamp shade does nothing to cover or conceal the lamp/light bulb. This room also has shadows that go onto the surface tops from different angles that make it hard to clearly see what you are working on or writing.
Overall, light is probably the most important aspect of design because without it, we would have no reason to design. Light plays a huge role with its relationships with place, nature, climate, time, and tasks. These relationships make it possible for humans to do their daily activities, and also allow it to be enjoyable if the relationship is right.