I chose the USE trajectory “Secret Life of Light” because of its tangibility: light is everywhere around us and has countless applications and effects. I have followed a total of four courses around the topic, granting me an official “Designing Intelligent Lighting” certificate.
Three of the four courses were theoretical, the fourth one was a project applying the knowledge. More about this project can be read at GLOW – Intermedia.
Within the theoretical courses I learned about the physical functioning of light, its different quantities, and the (biological) pathways through which it affects us. I learned about the image-forming and non-image forming effects of light (circadian rhythm, calm/aggressive behaviour). In a PACT Analysis I identified different user needs and did several technology suggestions to help overcome user problems. Several presentations throughout the courses sharpened my communication skills.
Secondly, the trajectory taught me a lot about the scientific method: from performing scientific measurements and quantitative analysis, which are less common in “softer” design research, to learning to read papers and use the knowledge within them. I did quantitative research into lighting values in a room and conducted scientific analysis on them, as well as qualitative research into user preference of lighting through cultural probes. This taught me the importance of test protocols and precise academic writing.
– Cover Photo | Logo by TU Eindhoven