Spatial Appearance and Experience of Light distribution

Ulrika Wänström Lindh, PhD-student in Design at HDK, School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg University, Architect MSA SIR/SAR

The research project is mainly based on visual observations and spatial experiments there the effect of light distribution, luminary placement and light direction are studied in relation to the room’s experienced shape and atmosphere. Moreover, concepts like room, space, spatiality, spatial enclosedness and spaciousness are explored in relation to lighting design. Additionally, the concepts of embracement, including, excluding and deepness are in focus. How room can be created, emphasized or diminished by light and shadow is studied through practical, empirical experiments. The spatial studies contribute together with the terminology development in a searching for the grammar of light as the lighting designer’s toolbox.
The research methods I use and will use is: hermeneutic reflections (Gadamer, 2004; Merleau-Ponty, 2006; Riceour, 2007), phenomenological observations (Depraz, Varela, & Vermersch, 2003; Ihde, 2000), scale modeling  and case studies combined with a quasi-experimental approach (Groat & Wang, 2002; Yin, 2003). Empiric knowledge is collected through questionnaires, deep interviews (Kvale, 1997)  and through a method where informants are sketching and mapping their spatial experiences (Branzell, 1976; Lynch, 1960). In the fall of 2010 a full scale laboratory study is planned in collaboration with the annual festival “Lights in Alingsås”, there hypothesis from earlier studies are tested through “research by design” (Grillner, Glembrandt, & Wallenstein, 2005) and evaluated by test persons.

Keywords: Spatial light distribution, Lighting design, Spatial appearance, Experience of space character, Spatial atmosphere, Architectonic experience, Design research, Research by design, Qualitative research.

Read HDK News about Ulrika's research and her article presented in July 2011 at the International commission on Illumination 

Ulrika Wänström Lindh
Arkitekt MSA/SIR, doktorand
Member of PLDA, Professional lighting designers association.

Advanced Education
1989 Art School: Grundis, Riddarfjärdsskolan, Stockholm. 1 year.
1990 Art School, Nyckelviksskolan, Lidingö, Trälinjen, Konstskola 1 year.
1996 NUTEKs lighting summer course, Lighting Research Center, Renssealer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.
1996 Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design at HDK , School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg University
1998 Master of Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
1990 Architectural practice at the Municipality of Järfälla.
1990 Architectural practice at the private office Origo Höijer/Ljungqvist, Sthlm.
1995, -96, -98 Architectural summer practice Kjell Palmeby Arkitektkontor.
1996 The interior design department at FMV, Försvarets materialverk.
1998-99 Assistant teatcher, amanuens in lighting design at Ljuscentrum, Gothenburg University
1999-2001 White Design AB, White Ljus, Light architecture
2001- Doctoral student at HDK, School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg University.
1997 For the Master thesis "Stadens ljus i rumsligt perspektiv", Byggmästarföreningens stipendie "Byggmästaren",
2002 Jarl Andersson Stipendiet, Kinnarps AB, Hedersomnämnande,
30.000 SEK.
Professional lighting design experience
1995 A luminary design, the bed lamp ”Galax” in production, AB Fagerhult .
1998 Illumination of a sculpture group, Landvetter airport, Luftfartsverket.
1998 Illumination of chimney , Husvärden AB , Krokslätts fabriker (factory).
1999 Lighting design of a town market place, Wieselgrensplatsen, Källfelts Byggnads AB.
Professional lighting design at White Design AB/White Arkitekter AB
1999 A street lighting design, Herkulesgatan, together with T. Eliasson, White Design, for Trafikkontoret
2000 Office interior lighting , Göteborg Energi AB (Energy company).
2000 Office interior lighting design, for White Arkitekter AB, Umeå.
2000 Pilot study, Lighting master plan at the campus, Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmersfastigheter).
2000 Lighting master plan, Strömsholms slott (castle), together with T. Eliasson.
2001 Lighting design of 7 Market places (Axel Dahlströms torg, Brunnsbo torg, Dr. Fries torg, Kyrkbytorget, Radiotorget, Rannebergens Centrum och Tuve torg) for Göteborgslokaler AB .
2001 Pilot study, Lighting master plan Gothenburg City, for (Traffic department, City of Gothenburg), together with Kajsa Sperling.
2001 Exterior lighting design of dwelling area, Klockarbolet, Vårgårdabostäder AB.
2001 Analysis of security in a large 60s dwelling area in Tynnered Briljantgatan, for Bostadsbolaget AB.
2001 Lighting design of pedestrian- and car tunnels, a park and streets in Kungsbacka City (Kungsbacka Municipality).


Ulrika Wänström-Lindh

ulrika.wanstrom-lindh [at]
+46708-733 573
Research student


Ulrika Wänström- Lindh

The project was done at White Design AB/White Architects AB, Built in 2003-2004. With the design I worked with the rhythm of light into interesting sequences and intended to increase the atmosphere of security.
Photographer: Stefan Lindh

Lighting design of pedestrian- and car tunnel in the centre of Kungsbacka.

The project was done at White Design AB/White Architects AB, Built in 2003-2004. With the design I worked with the rhythm of light into interesting sequences and intended to increase the atmosphere of security.