Exploring daylight - new learning technologies in lighting education

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


The resurgence of an interest in understanding daylighting design in architecture is a result of many factors including the need to meet ever increasing environmental energy saving targets in building design and recent research into human factors linking daylight and health. As part of architecture and interior design education, most students are introduced to daylight, daylighting techniques and prediction within their discipline. The majority of our current student group have been exposed to and are familiar with computer technologies, mobile devices and digital media.

Considering these factors we have proposed and tested changes in curriculum and pedagogy related to lighting design education, trialling new technologies with groups of undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh. Our
students were given the opportunity to experience daylight modelling and create light theories appropriate to architectural design studio and practice through virtual simulation and a new educational daylight mobile and web app called “Edenapp”. We developed the app with site application in mind; that of a real-time measurement of an actual building or physical model. It was our goal for students to understand the daylit environment as a consequence of viewing the space in parallel with the numerical lighting metrics associated with it.

Further to two years of trials, we have exemplar studies showing implementation of the theory that current design students are digitally aware and flourish when introduced to daylighting design through new technologies with which they are somewhat already familiar. This paper provides evidence of our study examining the use of virtual simulation, 3D modelling and “Edenapp” on site and in studio. In conclusion, it proposes ideas for further implementation and advancements in the field of lighting and more specifically daylighting education to meet the demands of students entering into the evolving profession of lighting design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPLDC 2015 Proceedings
PublisherVIA Verlag
ISBN (Print)978-3-9811940-3-6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015


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