Lighting Paper (Reading 2)

Light has a vast impact on one’s health and wellness.  Science has proven that light affects the human circadian rhythm, resulting negatively for the health of humans.  Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces in order to promote or induce a feeling of sleepiness.  With lights staying on later then what your body is regulated for the production of melatonin is messed up, affecting not only your sleeping habits but also your overall health.  According to PNAS, scientific tests have proven that prolonged light at night leads to weight gain and breast cancer. 

While there are many issues associated with too much artificial light, there are also issues presented due to the lack of natural sunlight some humans face.  SAD (Season Affective Disorder) is caused by irregular circadian patterns over a long period of time.  Those working third shift or night staff often suffers from SAD.  SAD has been proven to cause an increase in diabetes and premature aging.  Third shift workers don’t often experience sunlight, disrupting their body’s natural rhythm and leading to an increase in cancer rates.  The disruption in the human body quickly leads to irregular heart rate and compromised memory. 

While many tests have been completed to discover the differences with lighting and late night shift workers, there has been some progress.  Studies show that men exposed to florescent light produced less melatonin then when they were exposed to incandescent.  The color of the light also has a large impact on one’s health.  There isn’t an easy answer to solve the problem caused by irregular light but with tests and experiments, we can hope to move forward in the fight to solve these issues.


Lighting Paper (Reading 1)

Living in a country so dependent on electricity and immediate results, the idea of lighting has been stripped down to flipping a light switch when you walk in a room when in reality there is a much greater impact that light has on our daily lives. 

As humans, we draw a strong relationship between light and place.  Without consciously realizing it, our mind relates strong, direct light with a more impersonal feel such as a doctor’s office or supermarket.  This direct light is used to illuminate as cheaply and efficiently as possible.  In contrast, a dim, indirect light is more often found in an expensive restaurant used to set a romantic or personal feel.  Eating under a supermarket light would feel cheap and awkward while shopping under a dim light would be nearly impossible.  Using the proper lighting in built environments is crucial to the success of the building or place.

Nature’s connection with light is perhaps the most obvious of them all.  It’s all too easy to recognize the sunlight put off during the day and the moonlight at night but what is often overlooked is the mood set because of it.  Sunlight in the desert seems harsh and bright while sunlight on the lake is beautiful and reflective.  Adults and children alike often enjoy shadows cast by the sunlight.  While the phrase “a moonlight walk on the beach” is cliché and all too often overused, there is something beautiful with that statement.  The light reflected off the water is a far different effect from any other form of light, manmade or natural.  Light created by nature is unlike any experience due to the constant changing and impossible recreation.

Light’s relationship with climate is fascinating.  The environment has much to do with the strength and type of light necessary.  There is a need for more interior lights in a rainy climate compared to a sunny climate because the natural light will not be as prominent.  The most remarkable example of light’s relationship with climate is aurora borealis.

Light’s relationship with time is directly connected to nature and climate.  Natural light is clearly brightest during the afternoon hours, declining in either direction the farther away time moves.  Natural light allows us to avoid the use of artificial light to an extent or altogether depending on the window and room orientation during the day.  The easiest way to track light’s relationship with time is by watching a shadow over the course of an allotted time.  The shadow will move, stretch, and fade throughout the day during different time frames.

Task lighting is commonly thought to be nothing more then the bendable desk lamp you can buy dirt-cheap from Walmart.  As designers, we are called to look past that as our only form of task lighting.  Different tasks require different lighting solutions.  The difference can be seen easily in a residential setting.  The light needed to cook would be far different from the light needed to sleep.  The relationship of light and task is fully dependent on the task at hand.

While all relationships with light are different, I have found that nature is directly connected to climate and time.  Lighting in place is directly connected to task lighting.  Everyone experiences light differently and holds different meanings to it but there is one thing for sure, there is no such thing as one light suits all.  

BP14: Object, Space, Building, Place


As a designed object, I selected my apartment key.  I feel that this represents me as a designer because it is playful but still has a purpose.  As a designer, I like to add into a space beyond what is necessary to use.  The colors and decoration don’t make the key any more or less of a key but rather they enhance the beauty.  I also feel this represents me because there is always more to learn.  When you open the door with the key, you will learn much more about the space then the key tells you.  I feel that this is important because as a designer its good to continue to learn and never stay content with the knowledge you have.


For my space, I selected a church.  This isn’t my building because my church doesn’t have a building, we meet in a school.  Therefore to me, church is much less about the architecture and more about the space inside.  This applies to me because while I think the outside structure is important when designing, that isn’t where people spend their time.  I feel it is important to design outward.  Church is my favorite place to be and we don’t have a building.  To me, this means what works inside is much more valuable.  This also applies to me because my career will never be number one in my life.  First and foremost, I am a Christian.  I love designing spaces and objects but that will never define me; my treasure isn’t in a degree or a job but rather in Christ.


The building I selected is a modular, modern home.  This represents me as a designer because I love the modern style.  However, at home I’ve grown up around a much more contemporary atmosphere.  I have found it hard to shake what is comfortable to me for what really interests me.  Over the next few years, I hope to learn more about modernism and what makes it work in order to branch out and design in the way I truly want to.


My favorite place in the United States in Charleston, SC.  I’ve always grown up with a fascination of all things colonial and I feel that this place is just amazing.  Typically, beach towns have little to no designed elements but Charleston is much different.  Everything built (for the most part) takes into consideration what has been done successfully before and what surrounds it.  As a designer, I don’t want to put a square building in a circular community simply because I didn’t plan or have the knowledge to do better.  I want to be like the designers of Charleston and have a reason for everything I do.

Unit Summary 3

Explorations Unit 3

The unit began talking about the worlds fair and what that brought to design.  Suddenly architecture didn’t have to be something of permanence to be appreciated.  The Crystal Palace went from designed plans to the final structure in only nine months.  The use of glass and cast iron lets us know of the advancements in engineering at the time.  The idea of showcasing and bringing everyone together in a common place was a forerunner in this design.

The ideals of design began to change from this point.  Everything was changing from materiality to semi permanence design so it was only natural that design for all followed.  Suddenly architecture wasn’t for the churches and leaders only but rather the idea of good design for all took hold.  We began to see art deco objects populating the scene because they were something commoners could afford and appreciate design with.  Metal and fabric became so widely used.  However during this time there was competing interest; designers and architectures were pushing for good design for all while the “all” (general population) didn’t care.  At the same time, the advancements of the world were shaping design and architecture.  The automobile made way for a new building, the motel.  Miami Beach hotels are great examples of what architecture was during the 1920’s and 30’s.  We also see gas stations, rest stops, and diners begin to evolve during this time.

While the Miami Beach hotels are one example of modernism during this era, we begin to see multiple modernisms evolve.  Today we still struggle with the idea, what is modernism?  Over the course of time, modernism was designed in many different manners.  Le Corbusier got his start at the exhibition and led to his own modernism.  He designed around free plan, garden on the roof, free facade, ribbon windows, and pilotes.  Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus school which resulted in the Bauhaus style, one of the most influential currents in modern architecture.  The ideals taught in this school were to rethink, train in a workshop, and then go forward and receive a masters of handicrafts or design.  The other modernist way of teaching was Beauxarts.

With so many modernist styles, there are just as many reactions.  Philip Johnson said it doesn’t matter where modernism is in the world, it all looks the same.  This proposed that the terms modern and international could be used interchangeably.  The more popular the modernist style became, the more issues that arose.  Modern buildings failed to take into account humans; this problem led to the birth of interior design as a profession.  Challenges to modernism were historic preservation, deconstructionism, and the Corbu revival.  Still today, we are set in this design era with no sign of when we will move on.


I feel that this image best describes modernism because it doesn’t take into account humans but is still beautiful.  Humans wouldn’t want everyone being able to see into their house nor would they want to clean all the glass.  The heat let in by the glass would be a problem as well.

BP 12: Good Design for All

Good design for all is nearly impossible to achieve when you’re speaking in terms of architecture.  While a senior care facility might be great for elderly, it wouldn’t suit a young child.  Its much easier to design for a target group then for the population as a whole.  With that said, I don’t feel that there is a place that encompasses good design for all.  However there is an object that I think just might accomplish this, the cell phone.  Cell phones work for every age.  Toddlers can now play games downloaded from the app store, teenagers can text and surf the web, adults can keep calendar dates handy and place calls, and senior citizens…..well they have it in case of emergency.  The cell phone has changed drastically in my life time.  What I think is interesting though is that it started as a rectangle and has sense returned to that shape but now with a touch screen and sleeker form.  I feel that no matter the advances in cellular technology, the cell phone will always be good design for all.


BP 11: Modernism

When I think of modern architecture, the most famous example that comes to mind is Fallingwater.  Fallingwater is a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright located in PA.  The reason this is so striking to me is because Wright was far ahead of his time.  Today, we still don’t have modern buildings that can even come close to the beauty and form of Fallingwater.  Modern architecture today typically follows an idea of sustainability.  You could relate Fallingwater in this way because Wright built into the topography rather then on top of it.  I feel that designers strived for modernism during the 20th century as a way to break away from the normal of that time.  However, we still are able to see classical ideas within modernism.  This was not the designers intentions but it is nearly impossible to start a design period from scratch.

RR 12: Changing the NYC Skyline

The Seagram Building
~ building located in New York City
~ designed by Mies Van Der Rohe
~ designed in 1958

Since the Seagram building was designed in 1958, Mies Van Der Rohe pioneered the idea of a large skyscraper within the city context.  This building was when skyscrapers designs took their most dramatic change.  This building was designed in collaboration with Phillip Johnson and was built as the headquarters for the Canadian distillers Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.  The exterior has glass from the very second floor all the way to the top story.  It has thirty-eight stories all together, resembling a vertical box.  The outside glass covering the whole building gives it a reflective quality and reflects all that is around it like people, cars and other buildings.  The building is constructed completely of structural steel that is covered in fireproof concrete.  The outside has nonstructural bronze toned beams running from the top to the bottom, going down the facade.  The outside looks like a grid of squares because of the beams running vertically and the horizontal spandrels.  On the first floor you are able to see the real structure of the concrete encased beams of the building because it is not covered.  Some say that the building appears as the color of whisky because of the golden tint that it has.
Details of the beams and windows on the exterior
The building is much larger then those near it
the reflective properties of the glass
The exterior facade appears as a golden color.
I personally think this is a very well designed building based on the fact that the exterior is highly appealing and appears pronounced  among its surroundings.  The other buildings around it seem somewhat similar but this one stands out due to the size and unique courtyard.

RR 11: Design UndeFrank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright was born June 8th, 1867.  Throughout his life he was a architect, interior designer, furniture maker, and much more.  He is one of the most well known architects of his time.  During his career he designed over 400 houses and at least a dozen commercial buildings.  When he was employed by a client, he wanted full control over the space and nothing less.  His way of designing was revolutionary and far more abstract then anything of the time which increased his demand and popularity with the general public.  Wright is best known for the Robie House and Fallingwater.  While Fallingwater is beautiful, it doesn’t take someone with background in design to enjoy it.  The Robie House is interesting to me because of the story behind it.  When designing the Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright also designed all the furnishings.  Once the family moved in, they put his furnishings in the attic and replaced them with their own.  Unexpectedly, Wright dropped by and realized his furnishings were in the attic and made the family take them back out.  This shows the seriousness in which Wright took his work as well as the pedestal he had himself on.

Examples of Wright’s Work:

-William H. Winslow House
-Praire House
-Darwin D. Martin House
-Hillside Home School
-Charles Weltzheimer Residence
-Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright

The Robie House is now notably one of the most important pieces in American architecture.

Fallingwater was built as a weekend retreat on a remote plot of land in PA.  The house was built into the waterfall, causing water to run through the house and full take advantage of the topography.

Unit Summary 2

The unit started off by talking about expressions of faith in stone and in glass.  This was emphasized in the pyramids at Giza: the Egyptian, the Parthenon: Greek temple, the pantheon: the roman cosmos, and the Shikara: the Hindu cosmos.  I learned about the evolution of churches, and the many different churches that were from that time 400-800 CE.  Also about the multiple empires, and the fact that when Rome declines, the others flourish.  The notion of surface vs. substance was introduced, the eye dances about the designs, catching the light and stories (form, space, and material).  Lastly, the Hagia Sophia was mentioned.  Some quotes were stated “I call architecture frozen music”- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) and “Architecture is music in space, as it were, a frozen music”- Friedrich Von Schelling (1775-1854).
Cognitive map: mental map: mind map.  Thinking about things and recording them and the “method of loci” which is the oldest recorded method.  Point-of-view: perception of the world.  Unfolding scenes: a world of maps.  The world map: Babylonia: 6th century CE.  I learned about the map symbols being the circle, the four parallel vertical lines, the parallel horizontal lines, and the circle with a cross going through it.  These were circles, groves, columns, and stacks.  These four things are present everywhere you look in society.  They are all around the UNC-G campus.  The Gothic cathedrals were present at this time and in Notre Dame and the Roman city.  Buildings were made to be tall and pointed at the sky symbolizing the connection of man to heaven
Florence vs. Cologne:  symbol of landmark in the city: each cathedral stands as a sign.  Circle represents divine form and the biggest dome created since the pantheon.  It refuted the dark ages during renaissance.  Circles represent divine form and perfection that man can not create.  The cross is a human centered approach with no direct reference to classical times.
 The great Eastern and Western design rule book.  Western Europe, Asia, and North America.  In 1200-1600 CE the renaissance comes to the world.  The west was in the 14th and 15th centuries.  The pantheon , Colosseum bringing both worlds together.  Churches were more important than the city itself because it is significantly larger than any other building.  All measures of things come back to human body in terms of measurements.  The goal for both the east and the west was illumination.  I learned about many places and buildings in Rome, Italy.
Colonial Expansion was the next topic in the class.  I learned about lots of places in Paris, France including the Pantheon, and the Louvre.  Also the revolution to revolution- a way for reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.  The American experience of seeing everything in different eyes as if the world is turned up side down.  The design cycle adapted from anthropology.  The Virginia state capitol, the university of Virginia, the plan for the district of Columbia, the white house or presidents house as it used to be known, the united states capitol building, the North Carolina state capitol, and the Tennessee state capitol building.  the Greek revival: the Grecian style.
For me, the connecting theme of this unit is a shift in time.  The unit begins with people changing their views on the design rules of the time but still holding mostly true to these rules.  However by the end we see that the rules are broken regularly.  People were no longer standing for anything like the past or the countries that once ruled them.My personal favorite week of this unit was architecture as frozen music.  It really made me branch out in my ways of thinking as far as the depths to which architects design.

RR 10: The Industrial Revolution Changes Society

The 1800’s brought about major changes in society due to the Industrial Revolution.  Suddenly, things became easily mass produced and the jobs within the culture began to shift.  The churches and king’s palaces were no longer the talk of the town but had been replaced by cotton mills and factories.  People lost interest in the quality of life, shown by the urban sprawl, they had once known and began to work for more and more stuff that looked just like their neighbors stuff.  It was not longer important for a child to be a kid but rather to go to work for the family.  From the 1830’s-1850’s, those in charge began to try and stop the unrest that had taken over society by improving sanitation and setting in place labor laws.  The desire for the revolution continued regardless and by the 1870’s, England controlled one-third of the worlds production.

What does this mean for design?

The women were no longer at home tending the children and keeping up the house.  Instead they were working alongside their children in cotton mills.  The time spent mending clothes and sewing curtains was no more.  Now, they worked to buy the clothes or curtains they were making.

The industry growth brought about a change in materials as well.  We began to see glass, cast iron, and steel began to take over architecture allowing buildings to become larger and brighter.

Furniture also began to change during the Industrial Revolution.  Prior to this time, furniture was commissioned and built to last.  After the revolution, furniture was mass produced due to popular demand and economical, practical, and replaceable.