Undergraduate Degree




DR3004 Designing With Light

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: DR2001; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

This course introduces to the students a practice-based introduction to designing with light and how dramatic effects and emotional ambiences can be sculpted by its informed use.


This course is an examination of light as a form and material that is capable of being designed and sculpted in the service of the creation of emotional ambiance. Different forms of lighting effects will be examined and an experimental approach to the subject will be encouraged.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• Observing incidental effects of natural and artificial lighting, and visualizing, prospecting interesting outcomes. Recording observations.

• Sourcing materials and lighting implements, and constructions to experiment with light as a material.

- Project : Critique 

- Project: Play – Further experiments and variations. Recording observations and findings

- Project: Tutorials 

• Drawing and surveying aesthetic response to initial lighting effects and phenomena


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

- Project: Form to Formless: De materializing and Design of physical light structures

• Model Making of the final concept

- Project: Design Development & Refinement

- Project: Tutorials

- Portfolio production: photography\video recording results and effects

- Project: Tutorials


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will be aware of light as a constructed form. The students will have a developed understanding of the emotional and expressive potential of lighting design.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 40%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 60% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. James Turrell, Geometrie des Lichts (Geometry of Light), Hatje Cantz

  2. Michael Govan, Dan Flavin, a Retrospective, Yale University Press

  3. Peter Weibel, Light art from Artificial Light: Light as a Medium in the Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries, Hatje Cantz Publishers

  4. David K Lynch, Color and Light in Nature, Cambridge University Press

  5. Spencer Finch, What Time is it on the Sun?, MASS MoCA