My name is Erica and I am a 21 year old lighting design student from Sweden. I study Lighting Design at Jönköping University, and I got the amazing opportunity to do my internship here in the US with Hartranft Lighting Design, and Andrea Hartranft. In this series of blogposts you will follow me and learn about my experiences here in the US.
This has been another great week, once again. I am getting really spoiled!
Light Calculations / Perceptions of Light
My work has been focused on light calculations this week. Calculations are a very powerful tool when you plan lighting and there are several different programs that have different strengths. There are even some programs where you can type in location, date and time and you can calculate the daylight which is very valuable, especially when you will use daylight controlled lighting. There are pros and cons to lighting calculations and I think it is important to know that. When you are planning lighting there are sometimes regulations and standards that you have to follow and then it is great to be able to make a calculation to see if the lighting is meeting the standards. It is an easy way to see the different lux levels in the room and you do not have to do a full scale mock up to get an idea of how the finished product will look like. With that said, the calculation does not say anything about how the light will be perceived or how the room will feel.
As I mentioned before there are some standards that you have to follow as a lighting designer and they vary a lot. I have learned that the standards vary a bit between the states here in the US but in Sweden we have the same standards in the whole country. It can be very good to have a standard because it can make sure that the installation is good and that the lighting is adjusted for the user but that is always the case. In my education we have made installations and created spaces to evaluate the standards. We noticed that some standards are very good and that some are not created with the user in mind. It can be difficult to know when to deviate from the standards. This is something you learn on your own but I think it is important to reach out to other, more experienced, lighting designers as well.
It was a warm and beautiful Saturday so I decided to take a walk down to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument because those sites were the last things on my to do list here in DC. I had an absolutely lovely time, I drank way to much iced coffee and just enjoyed the sunshine but this actually made me miss Sweden. Sweden is absolutely amazing during the summer and every single cafe and restaurant has a big out door serving area which is crowded from early morning until late night. People will sit outside no matter what, even if it is really windy and cold you will find people who has cuddled up with several blankets because they have to sit outside.
Sources of Inspiration: Art and Breakfast
I felt that I needed some inspiration before I started to write this blog post so I headed to DC for brunch and some art. It seems like almost all restaurants here serve brunch which is great. I love brunch! Breakfast is my favorite meal because you can have anything you want and still call it breakfast so brunch is a perfect excuse for having more breakfast. After brunch I headed back to the portrait gallery because I felt that I had to see it once more to really absorb all the beautiful things there. I actually walked back to the exact same exhibitions as the last time, the modern art exhibition, and it gave me the last bit of inspiration I needed to start writing.
I wrote this blog sitting on my balcony today which is kind of amazing considering it still is February! I love the winter but now I am ready for the spring and all the changes that comes with it.