Light is a crucial element in design by means of functionality, comfort, and experience. These passages highlight the need for light, and takes it further by suggesting techniques a designer or an architect can utilize to manipulate the light to create a desired effect. Reinhold spells out the three different types of light for design purposes: focal glow, ambient luminescence, and the play of brilliants. It was interesting to me to understand the difference in these types and their specific functions. Focal glow commands attention, attracts interest, fixes the gaze, concentrates the mind, and tells people what to look at. Ambient luminescence minimizes the importance of things and people, fills them with a sense of freedom, space, and suggest infinity. The play of brilliants quickens the appetite, heightens all sensation, and can be distracting or entertaining. [Reinhold 6] Designers desire to create a lighting effect because they have experienced the effect from natural light in some sense. They are trying to recreate it to heighten a sensation and encourage the interaction of others with that light source. “The power of these lighting effects that recall a natural lighting condition is connected with our associations with natural phenomena.” [Reinhold 16]
The reading continues on to discuss how light creates a mood and emphasizes a personality of a person or the character of the space. Color is also “used to emphasize the character of a building to accentuate its form and material and to elucidate its divisions” as Rasmussen explains in Experiencing Architecture. He provides examples of historical buildings and eras to explain that color is an important aspect to the character of the space. The theories of color do not state that there is a definite rule or direction that states good architecture is defined by it. The architecture of a building can be lacking in splendor, but through the different techniques of lighting and color, a design can expand to be effective, functional, and entertaining.