The "Light as Form Generator" seminar created a platform where Studio One students could quantitatively assess selected aspects of the environmental performance of their studio designs. The seminar applied daylighting as a basis of enquiry, an area that impacts both architectural spatial quality, and the physical performance of buildings.
Students departed from facade components developed in the Fall semester in Studio One (Instructor: Ron Rael). After assessing the daylighting performance of the components previously developed in studio, students parameterized their components in Grasshopper, exploring design alternatives closer to their daylighting goals. These initial studies were developed in a restricted test cell environment. The improved designs were then applied to the Spring semester Studio One projects, in a continuous dialogue between the evolving studio design, and the daylighting and facade components.
Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed. Quantitative analysis was based on simulations of Daylight Factor, Illuminance (Radiance) and climate-based metrics such as Daylighting Autonomy (Daysim), using DIVA for Rhino. Students also had the opportunity to test the performance of individual facade components at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and physical models of the architecture projects in the artificial sky at UC Berkeley.
Qualitative analysis was both based on Radiance renderings, and on movies demonstrating interior solar patterns throughout the year, using MODO (due to faster computational times). Genetic Algorithms were used for generating alternative designs, at later stages of the course, including movies to display the evolving generative design process.