A model based on mA-style Architects’ The Light Walls House located in Toyokawa, Japan
Project Details
MY ROLE: Designer, Visual Literacy and Design (DEA 1101) Student
TOOLKIT: Physical Product Design, 3D Design
Design Research
For my Visual Literacy and Design Studio, I constructed a 3D model inspired by an existing interior space with a visually interesting light effect. The purpose of this project is to explore the relationships between sunlight, shadow and the marking of an occasion as part of the process of place making.

The light is uniformly distributed through the wooden beam ceiling. Although there is a strong sense of uniformity in the house geometry, there is visual diversity in the way the light is directed into the space. Depending on the position of the sun, the light can create a beautiful step effect — the light is then diffused by the smaller rooms in the house. The walls have panels, creating dents in the wall, which beautifully break light beams and make it more visually interesting.
To emulate The Light Walls House lighting effect, I researched the orientation of the house by finding the north direction relative to the house’s geographic location. The  two-storey house that shadows The Light Walls House is on the south side. Based on the map to the left, the house is angled 73° degrees away from north. Using this measurement, I decided that light should hit perpendicular to the house’s south wall. This sunlight would be 163° degrees away from north; this is the azimuth angle.
Finding meaning
I selected February 3, 2019 to be the day for my light effect. February 3 is Setsubun, the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, The name literally means "seasonal division". I chose this specific date because this house lets the outdoors in; the start of spring is the start of letting the outdoors in after a long winter. Parallels are drawn between Setsubun and New Year’s Eve, so this day is accompanied by a special ritual called mamemicki (bean scattering). As such, I created two containers in the model that contains sesame seeds, which represent beans to scale.

The house is located in Toyokawa, Japan, which has a latitude of 35° N and a longitude of 137° E. Based on the house’s orientation, the sunlight should have an azimuth of 163°. According to the sun calculator, in order to have the lighting effect on February 3 at a latitude of of 35° N and an azimuth of 163°, the effect must occur at 11:10am at an altitude of 36°. When the light hits the north wall at an altitude of 36° at 11:10am, the rays are positioned directly on the slits between the panels. Although this particular lighting effect is not present in the actual house, I incorporated it to emphasize the occasion because at any other time, the same pattern would not occur.