Student Work

  • Lighting Design (MFA)

    Catherine Chia

    Building Bird-Safe Cities: An Environmental Crisis

    While glazed buildings and artificial light have contributed widely to the development and advancement of society, scientists and wildlife conservation groups have observed their negative impact on wildlife, particularly among migratory birds. In a three-day study, researchers found over 28 dead birds under a single building. The problem is global, happens during the day and at night, and offers many challenges.

    In my thesis, I seek to balance lighting design for both humans and wildlife. My design strategy involves rethinking the treatment of current glazing to prevent bird collision and creating interior zoning system to reduce interior light trespass for a particularly problematic building type (the tall glazed building) that is responsive to migratory birds while accommodating human comfort and function. The aim is to propose lighting design guidelines for glazed buildings that address day and nighttime problems. As a result, the proposal will increase people’s awareness of this issue across all design disciplines, with the added benefit of ensuring the safety of migratory bird populations.