4.493 | January IAP 2006 | Graduate

Natural Light in Design


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions over 2 weeks, 8 hours / session

Course Overview

Daylighting, or more generally lighting, is one of the fundamental components of architecture. Not only is it the key element in revealing built volumes and providing a character to a space, it must also adequately respond to our needs for visual comfort and for a healthy environment, and has to be carefully planned to be ecologically viable. Today, computer-based simulations are becoming increasingly popular, especially when daylighting and energy conservation are amongst the key goals for a project. This workshop will introduce participants to using Radiance, Ecotect, and Daysim as a toolset to carry out a state-of-the-art daylighting analysis of buildings. The analysis will combine traditional performance metrics - such as daylight factor and avoidance of direct sunlight - with emerging metrics based on dynamic annual daylight simulations. Two days of formal instruction and hands-on exercises will be followed by a day during which participants will be able to apply the concepts learnt to a design project of their choosing.


This workshop will be open to students and practitioners. It will be organized in two parts:

Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24-25: Lectures and hands-on exercises

Tuesday, January 31: Presentations, discussion and feedback on design projects

During the week in-between, each team will apply the learned concepts to a design project of their choosing so as to generate an “added value” from the daylighting/energy consumption standpoint; they will benefit from feedback during that time and present their results on this third day of the workshop.


The class size will be strictly limited; early applications will receive first consideration. Although bringing a laptop to class is not a requirement for this course, it is highly recommended. Please arrive one hour before class begins in order to install the necessary software.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2006