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Models For Lighting Design Education

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.412.1 - 3.412.13



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Paper Authors

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Salim A. Elwazani

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3606

Models for Lighting Design Education Salim A. Elwazani Bowling Green State University

Introduction While educators assure the need for equipping architecture and design students with lighting design knowledge,1 the nature of the teaching methods employed in imparting that knowledge is not easy to define. The mere number and diversified orientations of academic programs speak for the enormous proportions of such a task. However, lighting educators are familiar with one or more methods of instruction that contribute to developing students’ lighting design competency. Common among these methods are the traditional theoretical lecture, design synthesis,2 and field case studies.3 The lecture format is probably the most common, but the instructional practice of supplementing lecture with design exercises or with case study assignments can also be found. This situation engenders a look at the practiced teaching methods and the possible ways of combining them to forge viable models for lighting design education.

A set of models for teaching lighting design beyond the traditional lecture-only model are suggested. These models were developed and characterized by the author through performing three tasks: first, identifying three basic methods of teaching and producing a set of models by structuring distinct combinations of these methods; second, describing the application of the models in the context of the author’s teaching experience; and, third assessing the applicability of the models in educational settings at large.

Model development capitalized on the author’s lighting teaching experience at Bowling Green State University. In classes for undergraduate architecture, interior design, and construction students, the author planned and repeatedly taught lighting subjects in which a variety of lighting design teaching methods were used over the years. This first-hand experience provided the main body of data needed for the study.

Teaching Methods and Models The teaching methods of interest for this study exhibit contrasting but complementary attributes. Lecture, representing the classic classroom type of activity, generates the lighting knowledge background necessary for interacting with design exercises. Lectures involve a narrative mode of delivery and employ examinations as one measure of student attainment. Design synthesis, representing a typical laboratory type of activity, develops the skills and abilities for producing lighting design solutions. Synthesis exhibits prescriptive and creative modes of work and expresses its outcome in such means as drawings and reports. Case studies emphasize analyzing and researching building lighting systems, both in the field and in the laboratory environment. Case studies exhibit exploratory, reflective modes of work and typically communicate outcome in terms of illustrations-supported reports. The emphasis on communicating the design and case study projects outcomes through graphical and written means supports not only the espoused notion that communication is an essential component of lighting curricula,4 but also reflects the value of communication in professional lighting practice.5

A contemplated decision to utilize, through a robust plan of work, a combination of methods for teaching lighting design describes the concept of a teaching model. The viable

Elwazani, S. A. (1998, June), Models For Lighting Design Education Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7290

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