A Framework for the Implementation of Lighting Design and Light Cognitive Tools in Kuwait's Design Pedagogy


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Virginia Tech


Lighting is an important design element that affects human health, comfort levels, mood, feelings, and the overall experience in spaces. Academically, light is integrated late in design education. Architecture and interior design schools usually introduce it as a design principle during the second or third year of education. As a result, students perceive it as an additive element in the schematic or design development phases rather than a concept generator from the ideation phase. If we accept that lighting design is essential in the conceptual design phase in order to create better-performing light spaces, then a new lighting design integration is needed in design curricula to encourage students to think about it from the ideation phase, enhance their understanding of lighting design knowledge, and facilitate their cognitive thinking and decision-making processes to eventually produce better performing lighting design projects. The purpose of this research was to develop a new pedagogical framework for the integration of lighting design knowledge and lighting cognitive tools in design pedagogy to invite students to use it as a concept generator from the early design stages and to aid their cognitive thinking to produce high-quality lighting environments. The framework presents a learning path to introduce lighting design in a sequence from the first year of design education according to three main knowledge domains: the tacit, the procedural, and the explicit. The research contributes to shifting the current approach to lighting design education in Kuwait as an example and in architecture and interior design schools in general.
The researcher used multiple sources of data to develop the framework. First, she reviewed scholarly work and the literature that address lighting design pedagogy, design pedagogical theories, design curricula development models, the lighting design process, and design cognitive tools to create a logical argument for the framework's theoretical structure and to develop its research methods. Second, she analyzed lighting design documents from the United States' developed lighting design programs and Kuwait University to understand the current lighting design pedagogical structure, teaching methods, cognitive design tools, and foundational lighting knowledge. Third, she interviewed current lighting design educators from Kuwait University to understand the current lighting pedagogical model and sequence. Fourth, she interviewed lighting design educators from the United States to obtain new foundational lighting knowledge, creative teaching methods, advanced design cognitive tools, and other suggestions to improve lighting design pedagogy. Fifth, the researcher transferred knowledge from the United States' developed programs to Kuwait University to develop the new framework. Lastly, she presented the preliminary framework to lighting design professionals and educators using a Delphi Method to enhance it further and to rate its implementation possibilities.



Lighting Design Pedagogy, Curricula Structure, Lighting Design Studio, Light Cognitive Tools, Digital Light Simulation Tools