Category: Teaching

University of Wuppertal: Light, Lighting and Solar Decathlon Europe

Light not only makes better use of architecture, but also allows it to be interpreted. Both daylight and electric lighting offer a variety of ways to design interior and exterior spaces. This seminar at the University of Wuppertal teaches the basics of perception-based lighting design to introduce the tools architects can use to enhance the quality of architectural designs. Combining theoretical principles with exercises, enables to understand the interplay between light and architecture and confidently develop lighting concepts.  

The course consists of eight modules at the University of Wuppertal. Guest lectures with outstanding experts are part of the curriculum. The course for the summer term 2022 had a special focus on the Solar Decathlon Europe and analyzed the international projects in regard to daylight and lighting. The course light and lighting has been part of the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering since 2020 and is open to Bachelor and Master students.


Part A: Perceiving light

Module 1: Introduction architectural lighting
Module 2: Perception of light, lighting technology for illumination

Part B: Understanding light and architecture

Module 3: Light in urban space
Module 4: Light in interiors

Part C: Developing lighting concepts

Module 5: Daylighting
Module 6: Sustainable lighting design
Module 7: Light in museums and offices
Module 8: Presenting lighting concepts

Daylight Study

Model with direct sunlight in the morning, noon and evening

Design Anna Michelle Usslar
Design: Annika Porschen

Project analyis day and night

Design: Henry Cequena

Guest lectures

Mentoring master thesis projects

Offering new views to improve the methodology, sharing research results and connecting students to experts are essential elements to inspire students in their important phase of their final projects. Some mentored students were brought to a level where they could even present their work at an international conference.

A. Kolovea: Light as a medium for public engagement in the urban space. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2017

Selected master thesis projects

  • A. Kolovea: Light as a medium for public engagement in the urban space. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2017
  • B. Kahdemann: Shaping brand identity with light. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2014
  • H. Gong: Qualitative lighting design principles for automotive lighting. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2013
  • J. Rubenbeck: Lighting design concepts for electric charging stations. Wismar University of Technology, Business and Design, 2013
  • L. Wong: Etheral Architecture. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA, 2013
  • A. Pradana: Videography as a Tool for Architectural Lighting Design Project Communication. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2012
  • Y. v.d. Broek: Evaluating adaptable lighting concepts for fashion retail: Measuring consumer engagement. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2012
  • S. Esmailzadeh: Recycling – Compact flourescent lamps. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2011
  • 2011 M. Leudesdorff: Retail lighting for fashion stores; Compact flourescent lamp recycling. KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, 2011
  • R. Block: Luminous ceilings. The perceptual change with modern (day-)light technology. Wismar University of Technology, Business and Design, 2010
  • M. Dooney: Lighting design: The importance of vertical illumination in a holistic lighting design methodology. Wismar University of Technology, Business and Design, 2010
  • H. Neumann: The Impact of Sustainability on Brand Lighting. Wismar University of Technology, Business and Design, 2010
  • I. Kundzina: Light by Motion. Visualizing the spatiotemporal aspects of human perception in lighting design. KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Stockholm, 2008

Tongji University: Video tutorials for residential lighting in China

Lighting design students from Tongji University created inspiring video tutorials to improve residential lighting. They developed concepts to enhance the lighting quality of small apartments and introduced steps to save energy. Within the one week workshop the students analysed residential lighting in China, created storyboards for the tutorials, produced visualisations, edited the film and developed a strategy to communicate the video tutorials in Chinese social media channels. Linked annotations in the workshop film summary will take you to the final student video tutorials.

Students: Chen Yaodong, Dong Yingjun, Fu Meiqi, Ge Liang, Jin Qiying, Shao Rongdi, Xu Junli, Yang Xiu, Yin Wenting, Zeng Kun, Zhang Ji, Zhang Meng, Zhou Na, Zhou Yinan


Tongji University, Shanghai. 22.-26. April 2013.
College of Architecture & Urban Planning
Vision & Lighting Art Research Center Tongji University

Student projects

Harvard GSD: Media facades and their luminous tweets

Brands strive worldwide for distinctive visual identities in the urban landscape. At night they rely on luminous messages ranging from conventionally illuminated signs and billboards up to dynamic luminous architecture for story telling. Therefore, media facades have turned into a fascinating medium to create an architectural image in the nocturnal city. Some brands use guerrilla lighting projections for temporary installations to subversively transform urban spaces. Other companies equip their flagship stores with large LED pixel screens for high-resolution images or they consider the building façade as an interface for more artistic solutions. Often video screens appear as decorated elements competing for attention with traditional commercial billboards. Here media facades have become an interesting alternative to establish a more sophisticated design language for merging the dynamic content with the building. Whereas some luminous facades appear as monumental monologues repeating a fixed animation daily, some installations even allow people to interact with the building to receive enlightening responses. Thereby, the consumer becomes part of the urban marketing strategy to shape a vivid and progressive brand identity. The lecture gave an overview about media facades for urban brand communication and addressed questions like: Will the energy consumption of luminous facades go along with the desire to introduce sustainability? To which extent do neighbors accept obtrusive luminous content? Further, what kind of media facades will shape the future of urban branding with luminous tweets?