Architectural Lighting Design 

There's a beautiful statement that says: "Light creates the ambiance and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure". Well, these are not my words but, of course, those of the famous architect Le Corbusier. You can see what he meant by looking at one of his beautiful buildings — the Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp — where light is created in relation to shadows. I think that no lighting design is good, healthy and able to foster wellbeing unless it also considers darkness and shadows.

So this is how we illuminate our offices. We have codes and standards that tell us that the lighting design should be even and produce a certain amount of lux. So we create uniform lighting from one wall to the other in a regular grid of lamps. This does not mean that we do not respect lighting regulations, but can we engage people more in the lighting design projects that we create, so they really want to connect with them?

Marco Petrucci Lighting Designer
Marco Petrucci, born in 1982, graduated with a Degree in Industrial Design from the Sapienza University of Rome and a 1st Level Masters in Lighting Design and Technologies from the Polytechnic University of Milan.
Piero Castiglioni Lighting Designer
The Piero Castiglioni architectural lighting design method is characterized by the free association of the project in its context without preconceptions. Ideas are created by necessity.
Isgrò Exhibition - museum lighting design
My lighting design studio in Milan works on commission. For any information please  contact: or visit my Linkedin profile. Image: Emilio Isgrò Exhibition.

Lighting Design Projects

Nestled among majestic buildings on Chi Lin Drive in Sheung Yuen Leng, Hong Kong, is the Buddhist convent Chi Lin Nunnery, founded in 1930 and completely rebuilt in 1998. Among lotus ponds, tea plants, bonsai, and bougainvillea, the silent nuns deliver fruit and rice offerings to Buddha and Arhat. The project concerned an important part of the convent: the Pagoda. The lighting design brings to life a “Floating Pagoda”, separated from the ground and raised upwards, like the knowledge that feeds the soul and lifts the spirit, creating a detachment from material goods (philosophy of Buddhist thought).
We move from the “Floating Pagoda” to the Main Hall of the Chi Lin Nunnery. A place of meditation, pilgrimage, and retreat, this temple is the furthest part of the convent that lay people can access. The lighting becomes versatile and enables different scenarios to be created: lighting for celebrations, where a large amount of light is needed throughout the space; or a more intimate, sacred environment, where most of the light is focused on the statues to evoke their spiritual power.


Architectural lighting design gives spaces a form and function. Through research, lighting is adapted to the surroundings and activities to meet the needs of clients. Modulating illumination means that a variety of scenarios can be created: an airport, for example, needs to be bright to favor user attention and focus, while a home requires suitable light for relaxation and domestic activities.


In a museum, the lighting design should favor the one and only protagonist: the work of art. The lighting designer carefully uses light as a tool to enhance the playfulness of shadow while accompanying the viewer in interpreting the work in the most faithful way possible. In these cases, the function of the lighting design is to enhance the details while maintaining the overall architectural view.


The increasing demand for high-performance LED sources has led to the meticulous design of lamps which improve comfort while saving energy. Innovative design merges classic and new generation materials in light fixtures, which have become an essential part of the architectural project. Careful use of halogen sources can become a valid alternative to more advanced technologies.


The combined use of natural and artificial light helps to harmonize and balance the spaces, whether for work or recreation. The architectural lighting design of a hall or meeting room requires a specific study to bring a specific function to life.Luminous intensity varies, connecting the independent spaces. An essential requirement in these projects is their compliance with LEED quality parameters.


Architectural lighting design emphasizes the details of the elevations, shaping their volumes, enticing interest and amplifying emotions. The lighting design of a façade requires attentive analysis, which carefully considers, in some cases, cultural heritage constraints and the overall energy available, and in others, light pollution, etc., while maintaining an aesthetic sensitivity that adds value to the urban setting.


The lighting design of a showroom window display contributes decisively to capturing the attention of potential customers. Flexible modulation of light enables the free management of various configurations; the choice of color rendering enhances product materials and colors of products. The lighting designer’s work is fundamental for increasing sales and enhancing the culture of the brand.



This section is dedicated to design and architectural lighting design history. Through historical analysis, we try to understand present needs and future lighting design goals. We'll also talk about tenders, the doors to access the labor market, industry associations and the real downstream activities behind multinational lamp manufacturers. Enjoy your reading and feel free to leave any comments.
Black and white photo of Pierluigi Ghianda

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