Luminous walls: From stained glass windows via modernist wallwashing to pixelated planes

Leture at PLDC in Madrid. Photographer: Andika Pradana

Luminous walls belong to the essential repertoire of qualitative lighting design. With light, spaces can be defined and reinterpreted. Illuminated walls allow us to provide orientation and to perceive the form and dimension of space. Further, their glow and play of brilliants could bestow a space with an impressing scenography. The lecture by Thomas Schielke at the Professional Lighting Design Convention in Madrid revealed a timeline to explain different lighting approaches: From backlit stained glass windows for spiritual enlightenment in the gothic period to modernist uniform wallwashing. Contemporary examples opened the view for pixelated colour changing planes based on LED and OLED technology. The talk with an overview of international projects covered lighting methods and techniques for luminous walls and their visual appearance for interior spaces. With a perception-orientated design perspective the architect could use vertical illuminance to create bright spaces and thereby also contribute to sustainable lighting solutions.

PLDC – Professional Lighting Design Convention. Madrid, 2011