Parametric tools and digital fabrication for the design of luminous ceilings
Author(s)Saad, Rita, 1980-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Lawrence Sass and William Lyman Porter.
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The digital phenomena constitute a fundamental change in how designers accomplish a wide range of the complex processes of design. This thesis investigates the use of computation in the context of architectural lighting design. It particularly looks into how cutting edge computational tools -- such as digital fabrication and parametric tools -- can be combined with the Light Emitting Diodes (LED) technology to create luminous architectural elements. Work in this field is of most relevance in a moment when the implementation of LED systems is expected to establish a new paradigm in architectural illumination. Results from recent technology roadmaps show that by the year 2020 LEDs will be replacing incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lamps and will become the primary choice for general lighting applications. Because LED architectural applications are not widely understood by the industry, a successful implementation process will be highly dependant on multidisciplinary design research, where many design experimentations will have to occur. New approaches are needed where the technical advantages of LEDs - they are more efficient, have longer life of operation, are rugged and compact, produce the entire color spectrum, and are fully controllable - are used to promote better lighting design quality. It is in this context that my research takes place, utilizing advanced computational tools to explore innovative design possibilities for lighting systems with embedded LEDs. This thesis describes a sequence of experiments to design and build a system of luminous ceiling tiles made of acrylic pieces and equipped with embedded LEDs. First, I use programming to generate parametric 3D models of the ceiling tiles. A series of(cont.) variations of an initial design of the tiles are accomplished through the manipulation of control parameters. After the first set of 3D models is created, I use digital fabrication techniques to build prototypes of the models, which are tested with LEDs and evaluated in terms of their lighting performance. Finally, I develop the experiments to create an entire luminous ceiling area, and the design achieves an overall result rather than being restricted to individual elements. Advanced lighting systems enhance the quality, flexibility and cost effectiveness of light, and digital fabrication techniques improve the optimization of computer-based methods of design. The results of my experiments show that lighting systems can greatly benefit from the testing of the design and the technical performance before installation in the architectural space. In this context, parametric tools and digital fabrication technologies demonstrate exceptional wealth for both the conceptual and the optimization phases of lighting design in architecture.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 90-92).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology