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1.

What negative effects does the author believe the introduction of electric lighting
had on traditional Japanese interiors?
Thought this book the author shows how modern light has negative effected the more
traditional Japanese/ oriental culture.
Firstly, he talks about the use of lacquerer ware; this is the traditional type of dinner ear
which is used in these cultures. He says that it is the brilliant white light which is
provided from more modern electric sources which removes the depth that the faint light
of the candles which where traditionally used. By this he means that the almost lack of
light in the room is what provides almost aura of the unknown around the food which
looking into the dark brown bowls.
Secondly, he talks about how candle light moves when encountering the draft which
may enter the room. In this way he emphasizes the connection that a person has with
their surroundings and how having a light which is affected by the flow of air in the room
is a more natural and almost gratifying sense to a user. From this it is easy to see what is
lost by a source of light which is ether on or off and that if not affected by its
environment is almost boring and unnatural.
Thirdly he describes the candle light as little rivers were running through the room. By
this he was referring to the way that a natural light moves with its surrounding producing
a more natural light. This simply cant be recreated with a modern electrical light and is
why he feels that they negatively affect Japanese culture.
Lastly, he also writes about the modern white hospitals and how these spaces are very
clinical in their appearance and use of light. He talks makes the point that these spaces
are not confinable for people to be in let alone recover in. He argues that a more
traditional Japanese style space would be more effective at making people feel
confinable and thus aid there recovery. In a sense he is showing that the modern and
harsh ways are not necessarily the best ways.
2. How has man made light (firelight, candles, lamps (oil, gas), electric) changed
how people live their lives in different periods of history?
From the earliest humans that walked the planet light has always been a main part of
their life.
Since as far back as roughly 70,000 BCE, historians have found evidence to show early
man using primitive sources of light. From what we can understand they used hollow
rocks of shells as a container to put moss into and them animal fat. It was this animal fat
which was then used as a fuel to burn to produce light.
In 4500 BC we first begin to see oil lap been used as more developed and controllable
source of light.
But only 500 years after this candles where invented and became the preferred source of
light for many people.
It was then in 900 BC with the discovery of crude oil that Muhammad ibn Zakariya
invented the kerosene lamp.
In 1792 an inventor by the name of William Murdoch of Scotland created the first gas
light. This revolutionised life as we know it.

It was in 1845 that Heinrich Gobel invented the first incandescent lamp. He passed a
current through bamboo filament to create light.
In 1878 sir Joseph Wilson swan of England placed a patent for his incandescent lamp.
Soon after in the USA Thomas Edison placed a patent for the carbon threaded
incandescent lamp with is by many considered the first light bulb as we know it.
It was in 1962 that nick Holonyak created the first practical visible spectrum light
emitting diode. This lead to the first led light becoming available to the market. But at
this point fluorescent lamps where still widely used.
In 1999, there were new breakthroughs in Light emitting diode (LED) design, which lead
to the first talk of replacing the more traditional lights with this more energy efficient
light source.
3. Consider how lighting, both natural and artificial, is used in different ways in
interior spaces. Which everyday live/work activities require different levels of
light or dark? How is lighting used to create atmosphere or mood, eg. for social
events, festivals and other celebrations? Find precedents to illustrate your ideas.
Lighting is used in a very specifically in religious buildings for example in York cathedral,
which is designed in a very gothic style uses a very large amount of natural light. There
are very large stain glass windows lining the howl building from front to back. This
buildings use of stain glass is glories to see and creates sense of grandeur in the way
that light is flooding in from all angles of building and changing in colour when it passes
through parts of the stain glass. This large amount of natural light creates a very natural
and calming feeling and is designed to represent gods house a place which in its own
right should be light and open.

Like in many religious buildings, clubs use light in a very specific way. In clubs such as
the Rainbow venues in Birmingham, it is the lake of light used throughout the space
which creates the sense of unknown and intrigue to people. But also the use of spot
lighting as a form of light which uses very direct powerful light usually of varying colours
to create a blinding show thus adding to the intrigue and also creating a area of focus
which in many spaces in the stage.
In art galleries such as the Tate modern in London, light is used in a very specific way.
There is a large mixture of natural and artificial light used. The aim of the light is to
create a fully lit space which doesnt change throughout the day. This stable lighting is
very important as the pieces should be able to be viewed throughout the day without
looking different because of changes in light. Also the type of light which is used is
specific bright but natural light is used with sunlight its self, so LED bulbs or
phosphorescent bulbs would be used as they can provide a natural looking white light
which enables the focus of the space to be the pieces on show. It is the idea that the only
variable in a exhibition space should be the work its self.
On the other hand in spaces such as the Beach Blanket Babylon restaurant, light is
implemented in a very different way. To start they use a softer light, more of a natural
light to create more of a intimate and relaxing space. They do this through the use of real
log fires and candles. The advantage to using fire as a light source is that it is a natural
light which creates of warm colour, also constantly changing creating different shadows
and light intensities. It is widely known that the use of natural light creates a relaxed
environment but it is infect his lack of light that is produced which makes it suitable for

use in this restaurant. The lack of light creates a sense f unknowing and intrigue to the
dining experience which is a large contributing factor to the appeal of the restaurant.

Now I can see that light is a very important part of any buildings/ spaces design and that
simply that lack of light can be sufficient in providing a feeling to a space. I also now
have a better understanding of the myriad of different lights and how each has different
used and strengths. Lastly, I can see that there is no one light for all spaces, but that
there are many lights whichever suitable characteristics for many environments.