As the 2015 Diwali festival approaches (November 11) and Australia remembers (Vivid Sydney) it is timely to ask: Why are so many buildings photographed at night with curtains open and all internal lights switched on? Do architects consider the exterior design of their projects for the half of their life that is at night, albeit with a smaller audience? Ponder this as the annual architecture awards process moves through each State Chapter.
Internally, when drawing boards were a norm, lumens per square meter according to prescribed standards were important for workplace comfort. Now computer screens are the normal “desktop”, but have lighting standards adjusted accordingly? Engineers are expert at delivering standards, but is conforming to standards the best result?
New technology enables changes in external daylight to be factored into delivering appropriate internal lighting. Therefore the lighting solution is even more related to the fenestration design ~ how many architects seek lighting design advice on window size and placement?
Back to the question about photographing buildings ~ external night lighting of many public (even private and corporate) buildings is just as important as internal lighting. The solution for so many projects remains poorly placed searchlights as an afterthought.
Surely the best designed lighting cannot be seen?