A graduate program of study in lighting will prepare students for leadership careers in lighting design, research and teaching by developing a graduate-level foundation of knowledge, skills and critical thinking capabilities. Students will be prepared to enter into leadership opportunities and careers in architectural lighting design, and/or teaching with academia or relevant nonprofit agencies. With the increasing interest in sustainability and low carbon architectural design, there has been a steady increase and demand for designers knowledgeable in lighting for leadership opportunities.
Within the MFA Graduate degree in design, a student can pursue focused research and creative efforts in lighting/daylighting technology and design. This could include studies in lighting and daylighting design strategies, human factors research in lighting and specialized areas including circadian and human centered product/interior design. An individually-crafted study program would include directed research at the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) as well as lighting classes and independent studies focused on developing knowledge, skills and creative thinking in lighting and design. Past graduate thesis projects include the development of evidence-based lighting design guidelines for healthcare and high-performance retail lighting exploring issues of color and industrial design. Michael Siminovitch and Kostas Papamichael specialize in this area of design research and direct the California Lighting Technology Center; visit the CLTC website to learn more at http://cltc.ucdavis.edu/
The CLTC includes a comprehensive series of labs, full-scale mock-up facilities, and advanced prototyping capabilities to assist and support graduate research and design studies. Graduate students can participate and get support in a wide variety of funded research endeavors in the area of sustainable lighting design. Some of these projects are influencing key design regulations and policy here in the state of California, influencing sustainable design practice, and designing lighting fixtures using state-of-the-art LEDs. Furthermore, our human factors research in color is driving future healthcare and related design environments.