Aug 16, 2017

The seminar entitled “The Waltz of Light and Architecture” began with just that—a video clip of a waltz from the Richard Gere-Jennifer Lopez film Shall We Dance. The clip linked the waltz—“the most elegant dance,” says Sunny Ghataurah—to the interplay of architecture and light in which one partner “always makes the other look better.”

Ghataurah and co-presenter Victor Quezada used a case study format to demonstrate this interplay, whether it be the use of columns to frame light in some Louis Kahn buildings, or the nearly invisible integration of lighting into trusses within a natatorium.

“Healthcare for Life” speakers Mary Alcaraz, Karen Murphy and Karen Lee.

On a more technical note, a panel discussion with speakers (Karen Lee, Karen Murphy and Mary Alcaraz) integral in creating IES RP 29-16 on healthcare facilities described the changes from RP 29-06 to the new document. New trends in healthcare include single-patient rooms, hospitality design and the emphasis on preventative care. The overview of the new RP 29 emphasized Part 1 of the document, including the new focus on “task needs” versus “room needs.”

A futuristic look “Reimaging the Travel Experience Through Light” was the topic covered by industrial designer Bernadette Berger of Teague/Boeing. Berger’s mandate is “radically reimagine your future flight experience.” Easier said than done, however, given the limited space and safety considerations that hamper aircraft design. One avenue for a better flight experience could be personalization through virtual reality, whether that’s immersion in an outdoor garden or a sneak peek at London, for example, if that’s your final destination.

Another movie clip served as a departure point for architects Rick Dahl and Don Thomas in their talk “Beyond Circadian: Leveraging Light for Health in Care, Work Environments.” They reached back to Tom Hanks in Joe vs. the Volcano, stuck working in a basement with a fluorescent light that gives him a migraine. Using a case study approach, they profiled a school, office and healthcare facility to show how architects can integrate lighting into their projects early during the design process.