Light Shapes Spaces: Experience of Distribution of Light and Visual Spatial Boundaries
Light enables us to experience space. The distribution of light is vital for spatial experience but has not been the main focus of previous research on lighting. The lighting designer’s professional knowledge is to a great extent experience-based and tacit. With design practice as the point of departure, this thesis aims to explore spatiality and enclosure in relation to the distribution of light – with the intention of increasing subjects’ understanding of what can be regarded as a space, and to show how spaces can be shaped by the distribution of light. By focusing on users’ experiences and interpretations, relationships between the distribution of light and perceived spatial dimensions and experienced spatial atmosphere have been investigated. The main contribution of this thesis is to widen the base of knowledge that lighting designers, architects and customers can use as a common reference. This thesis is based on three studies: the Scale Model Study, the Auditorium Study and the Church Park Study. The thesis includes concept- and method development. The mixed methodologies comprise a range from introspective phenomenological observations to deep interviews and questionnaires. The experimental setups have also shifted from scale models to real-life interior and exterior settings. Consequently, a quantitative approach has complemented the mainly qualitative approach. Through artistically based research, patterns and relationships are dealt with in complex real spaces. The findings of these studies lead to a discussion of when, why and how patterns of brightness and darkness influence spatial perceptions of dimensions. The findings also show that brightness not only contributes to our experiencing a space as more spacious than it really is, but in certain situations brightness can actually have the reverse effect. Furthermore, darkness can contribute to a spacious impression, which has hardly been discussed in previous research. What subjects regard as a space may shift between the clearly defined physical space and the perceived space, which include light zones. Light zones can create a sense of inclusion or exclusion for subjects, which affects their sense of community and their feeling of safety. Light topography, e.g. the height of luminaire positions, as well as light direction influence the way we experience the private and the public. Enclosure can, if related to visible spatial boundaries, facilitate reassurance and safety.
Parts of work
Paper A: Wänström Lindh, U. Distribution of Light and Spatial Enclosure – A Scale Model Study. Submitted to Nordic Journal of Architectural Research.Paper B: Wänström Lindh, U. Distribution of Light and Spatial Complexity: Appearance of Five Lighting Scenarios in an Auditorium. Submitted to Journal of Interior Design.Paper C: Wänström-Lindh, U. (2010); Spatial Interpretations in Relation to Designer Intentions: A Combined Strategies Study in an Auditorium with Variable Lighting. In proceedings from Colour and Light in Architecture. International conference in Venice 11–12 November 2010. p. 258–263. ISBN/ ISSN: 978-88-96370-04-9 No. 135594. http://rice.iuav.it/215/1/08_wanstrom_lindh.pdfPaper D: Wänström Lindh, U; Distribution of Light and Atmosphere in Urban Environment. Submitted to Journal of Design Research, Accepted with revisions. Revised version.Paper E: Wänström Lindh, U. Distribution of Light and Perceived Size and Shape. Submitted to Nordic Journal of Architectural Research.Paper F: Wänström Lindh, U. (2011); A Full-Scale Light Laboratory in a Public Space. In Convention Proceedings from PLDC 3rd Global lighting Design Convention, 19–22 October, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. VIA-Verlag, Güthersloh, Germany.Paper G: Wänström Lindh, U. (2011). Lighting Design Research in Public Space: A Holistic Approach to a Complex Reality. In Proceedings from the 27 Session of the CIE. International conference in Sun City, South Africa 10–15 July 2011. International Commission on Illumination. No. CIE 197:2011. Volume 1, part 2. p. 767–776. ISBN 978-3-901906-99-2.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Konstnärliga fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts
HDK - School of Design and Crafts ; HDK - Högskolan för design och konsthantverk
Torsdagen den 13 december 2012, kl 13.15, Sal 10, Universitetets huvudbyggnad, Vasaparken, Göteborg
Date of defence
Wänström Lindh, Ulrika
Practise-based design research
distribution of light
visual spatial boundaries
MetadataShow full item record
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Performance of Light Electric Freight Vehicles in Urban Areas - Adapting the Performance Prism framework to manage CEP stakeholder relationships and improve the performance of Light Electric Freight Vehicles in the last mile Härtel, Jonas; Kulawik, Fabian (2021-06-11)Urban areas and specifically the logistics providers responsible for the last mile in these environments have become under more pressure over recent years. Reasons for that could be seen in the growing trend of economies ...
A Play of Light and Spins: Excitation and Detection of Non-linear Magnetization Dynamics using Light Muralidhar, Shreyas (2020-09-02)The excitation and detection of magnetization dynamics play key roles in the field of spintronics and magnonics. In this thesis, we investigate a contactless method of exciting nonlinear magnetization dynamics using a ...
Wänström Lindh, Ulrika (2012-11-09)Light enables us to experience space. The distribution of light is vital for spatial experience but has not been the main focus of previous research on lighting. The lighting designer’s professional knowledge is to a ...