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A Machine for Light: The Building as Luminaire


Jeremy Steinmeier, Architect & Lighting Designer, Gensler
Clifton Stanley Lemon, CEO Clifton Lemon Associates

What if a primary purpose of architecture is to deliver light? An examination of historical building practice answers this question in fascinating ways. As a "service" provided by buildings, light has a primary role, often determining or significantly impacting siting, massing, fenestration, materials, height and structural systems. History provides many examples of effective strategies for maximizing daylight (and firelight), evolved over millennia in a wide variety of cultures and climates. This seminar will demonstrate how light remains a driving force in architecture, and will show how lighting designers and architects can collaborate to create better lighting and better buildings.

This talk will cover: how rich lessons from the past can help to build the future; how to make the role of lighting designer more relevant and how to improve building design through a better understanding of lighting; how traditional architectural design strategies for mitigating glare and providing proper light distribution and views are often preferable to relying on electric lighting and complex control systems and can contribute to higher LEED scores, reduced energy use, and occupant health and comfort; and ways to question current practices, have more impact on early stages of building projects, and defend design ideas with historical precedent.

LightShow West, LA Convention Center