Light in the Natural and Man-Made by Cory Odell
Looking at us, as humans beings both anthropologically and biologically we are dependent upon light. It grows the very plants we eat, it also feeds the animals we farm and hunt who are also dependent upon these plants for nutrients and substances to survive. It makes active various vitamins and minerals to uphold or health and immunity to the various illnesses around us, and without it, we would die.
With such a great need for this solar energy, it is no surprise it has such a powerful and affecting effect on us in the spaces we design and create as social beings of art, culture and architecture. In many religions, light stands for the holy or the powers of wisdom and all knowing. In art the various studies of light and how it affects different settings depending on both time of day and time of year, it can also set a mood or emotion of a given piece. In architecture or design, it can allow for a space of place to do the same thing as it does in the field of art.
In the reading “Light Revealing Experience” the term Genius Loci, refers to the idea that the most memorable spaces, light was a large playing factor. We remember the spaces that make us feel welcomed, but we shy from the spaces that make us feel cold and closed off from the world. I believe it makes us feel like we have moved from the natural world we know and love, and feel so much comfort in, and moved us to a place that makes us feel disconnected and against all we know to be natural.
The way the light hits our world allows for a wide arrangement of climates and habitats that makes the planet around us a unique world of variance and splendor. This vast arrangement of location allows for places to vary in the effects that the direct sunlight have upon them. Some places can feel warmer and more inviting or welcoming, even though nothing has really change about the space, only the way the natural light plays off of it, and how the location upon this very earth we live upon can influence that. The tropics can still feel warm and exotic even if they still are spending their days in winter months.
One thing that has always grabbed my attention is how lighting effects depending on the time of day can influence a certain area or place, or even in the design realm, a space. The way an afternoon light can be so more inviting and welcoming than the same space can be at high noon. The placement of windows can seem to make a place neutral at certain parts of the day, and magical at others. This allow connects to the natural world and how the sun can connect with certain elements within the architectural world we have created in society.
Light has everything to do with what we call beauty and creativity in the world. It has created some of the most influential pieces of art we know to the famous spaces and places we have seen both historically and in the age of modern innovation. Without it we could not live, and now more than ever that I have personally seen, we cannot live without it in the world we know to have so much meaning and beauty. It is a sculpted piece of work that has been with us since the dawn of time into the age of modern logic and reason. We spend our lives around it, and as much as we play into an influence on and from it, we play a powerful and meaningful connect to it that we can never truly change, only mold to fit how we understand it to be. It truly is what is both aesthetically pleasing and crucial in our survival and existence.