I use light as a medium to selectively detail architecture and landscape.  Most frequently, the light source is concealed so that it is invisible. The light is manipulated on surfaces to accentuate architectural structure, form, and space. In natural surroundings, light is selectively focused on the elements of the landscape–the structure and material of trees, rocks, paths, and steps. 

Richard Kelly, the well-known lighting designer who advanced the theory and technique for lighting modern architecture, coined three important lighting effects: “Focal glow, ambient luminescence, and the play of brilliants.” (Richard Kelly, “Lighting as an Integral Part of Architecture,” College Art Journal, 12, No. 1 (1952), 24-30.)  I strive to balance these qualities in my work.

I begin with a dark canvas. Within a dark environment, light is introduced to detail essential formal and structural elements in architecture or nature. Light is manipulated on vertical surfaces. The surface material determines the quantity and quality of light. Light grazes surfaces leaving some areas in shadow. The quality of light is only as beautiful as its complementing shadow. This phase provides the “focal glow” or the primary focus of a space. 

Once the lighting for detailing architecture has been designed, light for space is introduced. Multiple sources of light, both direct and indirect, with varying distribution are employed to create a diffused luminance, or in Kelly’s words, “ambient luminescence”. Most often ceilings and vertical surfaces are lit. Layering of light on surfaces creates richness and warmth for each space. 

Finally, accent and task lighting are introduced. Objects are highlighted with accent lighting. Task spaces are studied and discreet light is focused on the task area.  “The play of brilliants” is often realized with this lighting effect.

Lighting glass buildings provides optimal conditions to detail architecture and landscape. Low illumination in the interior allows for a deeper vision into the exterior, especially when selected natural forms receive light. Exterior lighting is a process of deciding what should be lit and what should not. 

In daylight, the transparent, glazed wall separates interior and exterior space. At night, to preserve the seamless division between interior and exterior space, the light output from both interior and exterior sources should be fairly equal. From the exterior, the light from within enhances the architectural form. (The lit building becomes a floating lantern.) From the interior, the exterior lighting provides the setting.  

When interior and exterior lighting interrelate, light seems to disappear, creating a subtle and delicate reciprocity.