Tag: articles

Branding with light: When change is more important than continuity

The success of corporate design guidelines ends with holding on to past values while
the environment has changed dramatically. Numerous retail brands de ne not only their furniture and materials but also their lighting. While the standards focus on good visibility, interior designers have recognised that lighting can be a powerful medium to communicate the core brand values. Focal glow, creating brilliance and drama helps to emphasise the exclusive and high-end character of a brand. In contrast, di use brightness of light lines underlines the equality. This warehouse look is typical for low budget supermarkets, where accent lighting could confuse the consumer’s expectation for a bargain.

Branding with light: When change is more important than continuity. In: Arc Magazine. 2019. P 50-51.

Urban Data as Light – From Sensor-Driven Media Facades to Data Communication Through Visual Light

Software-driven LED media façades provide new capabilities for projecting dynamic visualizations of data onto buildings as an integral part of the architecture and urban appearance. Although this trend with luminous facades including dynamic content is often linked with commercial signage and advertising, it has revived a longstanding critical debate about the roles of architectural ornamentation and iconicism. Yet media façades are becoming more than a canvas for static and repetitive brand displays. Some installations integrate sensors and interfaces to heighten their dynamism and social engagement. Using smart networks, their luminous performances are no longer restricted to a single building, but can include several buildings simultaneously. Furthermore, intelligent networks can link façades around the world. Due to these developments, designers, as well as users, need to gain experience in order to meet the challenges of connected cities, participatory models and visualization techniques. The spread of responsive surfaces will lead to new forms of urban communication. Their design will determine if we will encounter superficial monologues or long lasting memories. The following overview of sensor technology reveals the extent to which media façades react dynamically. In addition, this relatively new technique of visual light communication introduces LED light as a data transmitter.


Urban Data as Light – From Sensor-Driven Media Facades to Data Communication Through Visual Light. In: a +u (Architecture + Urbanism). 2014, 530, p.56-61.

ArchDaily: Light Matters

The column “Light Matters” on ArchDaily explores the development of contemporary light patterns, technologies and visualisation techniques to detect historical influences and to critically discuss the progress of light and architecture. Since 2013 the articles have presented for example masters of light like Tadao Ando, Louis Kahn, Norman Foster or Zaha Hadid. Talking about sustainable approaches regarding daylight, illumination or outdoor lighting are an essential part of the column as well.

ArchDaily has become one of the 1,000 most visited websites on the Internet, according to the latest Alexa Internet ranking in 2020. More than 360,000 users visit the flagship English-speaking platform every day, which when combined with the network of Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese sites, creates a daily global audience of 650,000 people: the most visited architecture network in the world.


ArchDaily: Light Matters
ArchDaily Brasil: Light Matters
ArchDaily Mexico: Light Matters
ArchDaily China: Light Matters

Lighting your way to the top

The lift as an entrance

Elevator technology has been perfected to such an extent that a ride in a lift has virtually no tangible side-effects. The elevator cabins, or cars, have become more compact to fit more effectively into buildings, but lighting can contribute towards rendering the dynamic quality of an elevator system more legible and enhancing the quality of the compact space as well as achieving more comfort for users.

Professional Lighting Design. Gütersloh 2007 Nov-Dec No. 58, p.42-45.
Verlag für Innovationen in der Architektur.

At the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, visitors using the lifts to travel up to the spheres in the Atomium were exposed to an impressive spa- tial experience. The roof of the lift ca- bin was glazed and there were lumi- naires mounted on the cabin roof and directed upwards, allowing lift users to follow their journey upwards through the lift shaft. This kind of spatial experience is rare nowadays. When lifts were integrated into stair- wells, and the cabins allowed views of passing floors, the gradual journey up or down a building was visually evident. Later, when lifts became enclosed in lift shafts, and the walls of the cabin became solid and opaque, the visual perception of movement was limited to the display of the floor numbers.

Tourists travel to the Top of the Rock through a kaleidoscope of coloured light and projections. Cinematographers from Bob Weis Design Island created this project.


  • Elevators as Spaces Made of Light. In: Elevator world. Mobile USA 2008 July, p.108-111. Elevator world.
  • Lighting your way to the top. Lighting concepts for lifts. In: Professional Lighting Design. Gütersloh 2007 Nov-Dec No. 58, p.42-45. Verlag für Innovationen in der Architektur.

The illuminated lift shaft fascinated visitors to the Atomium in Brussels at the opening of the World Exhibition in 1958

Big on sports, bigger on sports stadiums

The sports arena or sport stadiums of today are no longer standing just as engineered genius when there is growing emphasis on architectural lighting. In fact, they are fast becoming colossal icons of sport, culture and pure aesthetic. Tey can be said to be themselves – landmarks in their complete right. And it might not be too far to say as well – emblems of a people altogether. Above functionality, architects and designers are making sports stadiums works of art. Specifcations to the letter for materials and lighting are tailored smartly to efect a lasting impression in viewers’ minds.

Lighting Today. Singapore 2006 No. 1, p.46-59. Trade Link Media.


  • Illuminating Stadiums. In: Futur Arc. Singapore 2007 first quarter, Vol 4, p.94-98.
  • BCI Asia Construction Information Ltd.
  • Big on sports, bigger on sports stadiums. In: Lighting Today. Singapore 2006 No. 1, p.46-59. Trade Link Media.
  • The iconographic power of stadium lighting. In: Professional Lighting Design. Gütersloh 2006 No. 48, p.44-48. Verlag für Innovationen in der Architektur.


  • Stadiums as images of light. International Congress for the Design, Construction, Modernization and Management of Sports and Leisure Facilities. Cologne, 2007
  • Let there be light! Architectural considerations in lighting design. Stadia Design & Technology. Warsaw, 2009

I.M. Pei: Cubism to Clarity

Although the Louvre pyramid, often recognized as his masterwork, created a luminous icon for presenting culture, IM Pei’s early museums were characterized by the harsh shadows of brutalism. Project by project, the Chinese-American master developed a sophisticated, open architectural language. Pei’s holistic approach for welcoming museum visitors comprises powerful symbols which utilize sunlight to its fullest during the daytime, while employing the magical glow of illumination in the evening. Whereas most assessments of the Louvre have praised the achievements of the luminous pyramid as seen above the ground, the actual design challenge laid underground, in offering visitors a successful underground space. Later, Pei transferred his language to multiple other museum projects, where light was always a key factor in defining museum experiences. In a year of celebratory events such as “Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium,” which was organized at Harvard Graduate School of Design, an examination of Pei’s use of light in museums can contribute an important cultural emphasis.


Cubism to clarity. In: Lighting – Illumination in Architecture. London, 2017, Vol 49 (6), p.18-41.

Glass pyramid entrance at Louvre, Paris
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca

Dark Sky: Less light is more

Darkness can have an abundance of light qualities every bit as interesting as those of light-flooded rooms.

Lighting in open spaces has signicantly changed in recent years. Its worldwide increase impacts humans and the natural environment. In order to minimise the negative effects of articial light in outdoor spaces, astronomers, environmental associations and manufacturers have begun to cooperate for a new awareness of darkness. They have announced a new approach to designing and planning the use of artifcial light called “Dark Sky”. Their addressees are architects designing the nocturnal illumination of facades, urban planners and landscape architects.

Topos. Munich 2018 No.102, p.36-43. Callwey.


Dark sky – Less light is more. In: Topos. Munich 2018 No.102, p.36-43. Callwey.
Available at Topos magazine

Tadao Ando: The Nature of Concrete

Tadao Ando’s buildings are elemental. They embrace natural forces, the manmade meeting sunlight and wind

Tadao Ando’s buildings are elemental. They embrace natural forces, the manmade meeting sunlight and wind. If there is any consistent factor in his work, says Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando, then it is the pursuit of light. Ando’s complex choreography of light fascinates most when the viewer experiences the sensitive transitions within his architecture. Sometimes walls wait calmly for the moment to reveal striking shadow patterns, and at other times water reflections animate unobstrusively solid surfaces.

The nature of concrete. In: Lighting – Illumination in Architecture. London, 2018. P 16-41


The nature of concrete. In: Lighting – Illumination in Architecture. London, 2018. P 16-41

Vitra Conference Pavilion by Tadao Ando