Cool light? A study of modernist studios

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The interiors of many contemporary design offices are becoming generic solutions defined by the internationally recognised style of white minimalism (Simmonds, 2018). As office systems such as architectural lighting conform to standardisation, regulation and homogenous solutions, are we losing the opportunity for designers to define their individual design identities?

Through analysis of archival photographic design office “portraits” of 4 key modernist architects’ studios: Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Paul Rudolph and Ray and Charles Eames, this paper demonstrates how the lighting of design studios in the Modernist era was integral in supporting the design style of architects. It seeks to characterise these styles and expose how light and lighting was used to support not just the tasks undertaken, but also the identities of the designers. Key office design principles will be identified and the practical application of lighting and luminaire design to address these will be proposed.

This presentation provokes the contemporary designer to reflect on the expression of design identity through the manifestation of their own and their clients’ lighting design aspirations in workplace environments. Not only will this allow participants to question how we currently see lighting and style in relation to office spaces, but will suggest methodologies for change. This presentation proposes how lighting design can be adopted in today’s office environment, to support a greater diversity in interior style, through promoting the expression of the individual personalities of designers and clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPLDC 2019 Proceedings
PublisherVIA Verlag
ISBN (Print)9783982134802
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2019
Event8th Professional Lighting Design Convention - Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 23 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


Conference8th Professional Lighting Design Convention


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