LIGHT AND SHAPE: EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF LIGHT DURING THE PRODUCT DESIGN PROCESS
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Skulberg, Harald
Institution: The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway
Section: Assessment Methods in Design Education
Industry’s increasing expectations for optimization within product design are clearly evidenced today. Designing physical objects for mass production involves a range of critical considerations. As part of these considerations, shaping the external surfaces of a clay model, a mock-up or a final model intended for mass production often constitutes complex considerations, where visual qualities such as shape, surface structure and texture must be assessed. Light constitutes a critical framework for aesthetical assessment during this process. This paper explores in particular how light may be utilized - as one critical resource - in order to enable the designer to build control and insight through visual observations during the act of designing an artefact or product. During a series of experiments where different shapes with different form characteristics have been exposed to different light sources, light’s capability as a form-analytical tool has been assessed. These experiments have produced a body of knowledge and a growing awareness of the essential role of light as a form-describing tool during the design process. This paper explains our ambition to develop an approach for a form describing tool when designing products. Our intention has been to describe how the conscious use of light may contribute as an important and valuable asset as a form-analytical tool for both product designers and design students during the product design process.