The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 64 credits. No credits may be transferred. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in timely manner.
First Year / Fall
|PGLT 5001 Studio 1: Light, Vision, and Representation||6|
|PGLT 5115 Luminaire Design||3|
|PGLT 5111 Principles of Light 1||3|
|PGAR 5113/5115 Issues and Practices of Modern Architecture 1: Lecture and Recitation or
PGAR 5041/5041 Modern and Postmodern Architecture
First Year / Spring
|PGLT 5002 Studio 2: Natural and Technological Light||6|
|PGLT 5143 Daylight and Sustainability||3|
|PGLT 5146 Light: Critical Issues||3|
|PGLT 5112 Principles of Light 2||3|
Second Year / Fall
|PGLT 5003 Lighting Studio 3 or
PSCE 5201 Design Studio 3: Integrated Studio
|PGLT 5126 Thesis Seminar||3|
|PGLT 5116 Systems Technology||3|
Second Year / Spring
|PGLT 5004 Studio 4: Thesis||7|
|PGLT 5102 Light, Perception, and Culture||3|
|PGLT 5125 Professional Practice||3|
The two-year full-time Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design is a 64 credit curriculum composed of 25 studio credits; 30 credits of required seminars involving cultural, historical, and perceptual aspects of light; and 9 departmental electives where students choose courses that pertain to their particular interests.
The studio experience, in which students learn to envision form and space in light, is the core of the curriculum. Its goal is to help students develop personal ideas, theories, and working methodologies of design through the process of technical problem solving. Design problems are formulated, guided, and evaluated by faculty composed largely of working professionals from the New York City area. Design projects, which are presented in model, drawing, and digital formats, involve research, case study analysis, precedent study, conceptual design development, technical analysis, and include the consideration of social ethics and energy management strategies.
Studio I explores fundamental design components involving spatial composition, color, form, contrast, pattern, material, and texture in conjunction with electric lighting and interior space. This study begins with two-dimensional hand drawing and proceeds through three-dimensional model studies to full-scale environmental mock-ups and digital simulations. In the context of this initial investigation of electric light as a design medium, students discover various means of representation, including photography, hand and computer rendering, and computational analysis.
Studio II focuses on the massing and orientation of architectural form and fenestration to integrate daylight with interior space and programming. Electric lighting is addressed as a secondary complement to the primary focus of natural light. Particular attention is given to the relationship between diurnal patterns, qualitative aspects of habitation, energy conservation, solar heat gain, and illuminance requirements.
Studio III combines deeper intellectual inquiry and technical analysis of light and architectural design through engagement with an existing urban site in New York City and the proposition of new design interventions. Students explore large-scale urban conditions, circulation patterns, and outdoor landscapes along with more challenging architectural spaces. This studio also unites lighting students with graduate students from other disciplines so that they can measure, evaluate, and propose new design projects; the proposals stimulate debate about aesthetics, energy conservation, and social ethics. Students employ a variety of techniques, including computer visualizations, physical models, and full-scale mock-ups.
Thesis Studio (Studio IV) completes the studio experience and is supported by a thesis seminar, in which students learn research methodologies, formulate a design argument, and work with a site in New York City in order to apply and defend their argument. Students work in a self-directed manner with faculty advisors, conducting research, writing papers, and developing their theoretical designs. Students may collaborate with Architecture or Interior Design students on a final project.
Principles of Light surveys technical and practical aspects of lighting design applications, including the physics of light, lamp technology, optical design, luminaire typologies, photometric analysis, calculations, and health effects of light.
Architectural History is a core course that integrates graduate architecture and lighting design students. Depending on their previous education, students enroll in either Modern and Postmodern Architecture or Issues and Practices of Modern Architecture. The former is a survey of movements and theories in architecture, landscape, and urban design; in the latter, students apply a case-study methodology.
Light, Perception, and Culture I examines how lighting design is influenced by the human physiology and culture. The need to control the quality and quantity of light has profoundly affected the organization of architecture and public space. Students develop an understanding of how human beings react to and interact within light by exploring contemporary theories of perceptual, somatic, and aesthetic responses to light.
Daylight and Sustainability, a companion lecture course to Studio II, trains designers to observe, analyze, describe, manipulate, and evaluate daylight and its effect on interior spaces. Topics include methods of calculating and predicting solar motion, the interaction of daylighting with building orientation, interior finishes, window configuration, control devices, and interior and exterior shading. Students are introduced to the impact of lighting strategies on energy consumption, which is central to sustainable architecture.
Critical Light: Twentieth-Century Theory explores a range of approaches and methodologies that have driven architectural and design theory from the late 19th century through the 21st century. In particular, this seminar considers the role of light as a protagonist in many influential design theories and discourses.
Luminaire and Systems Technology explores material and fabrication aspects of the equipment used in lighting interior and exterior spaces. Major topics include electrical theory and practice, codes, control systems, energy management, and ballast technology. The course also covers thermal issues, including luminaire performance, regulatory requirements, overall building performance, and systems integration.
Luminaire Design explores the design and historical evolution of lighting fixtures, including aesthetic and technical forms, as well as the influences of fabrication and mass production on both decorative and architectural luminaires. Full-scale model building and functional mock-ups are used for study and for presentation.
Light, Perception, and Culture II covers subjective and objective responses to light, the psychological aspects of lighting design, and the impact of energy ethics on lighting decisions. Architectural photography is used to develop students' ability to observe light. Study of light in performance (in its theatrical and postmodern expressions) helps students understand evolving cultural perspectives and contemporary representations of identity and social practice.
Professional Practice, the final lecture course of the curriculum, explores the business of lighting design, including ethics, project management, business structures for design offices, legal issues, contracts, fees, codes, specifications, and construction administration protocols.
Please note: Students are advised to refer to the current applicable program catalog for degree completion requirements and to confirm their progress in satisfying those requirements with their advisors.