2014 Thesis Prizes were Awarded to Parson’s Jiyoung Bae and RPI’s Erin Ryan for their Research on Light and Health

From Left to Right: Kelly Seeger, IESNYC Board of Managers; Jiyoung Bae; Brian Belluomini, IESNYC Vice President; and Erin Ryan

2014 Recipients

Jiyoung Bae
MFA Lighting Design
Parsons the New School for Design

Jiyong Bae’s thesis, entitled “Urban Therapy,” explored a side effect of the increasing amount of time spent indoors at work and at home in urban areas, decreasing the exposure to sunlight, upsetting our natural biological rhythm. She posits that light therapy could be administered passively by architectural lighting design, particularly using natural sunlight in a way that can be replicated and incorporated into many built environments, particularly in the dark spaces that are typical of underground concourse and passageways underneath office. Her proposed design used the Rockefeller Center concourse is an exercise to transform the way light therapy is delivered, by bringing sunlight into the daily lives of people on a large scale via daylighting, to create the feeling of walking outside on a sunny day.
Erin Ryan
MS Lighting
Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Erin Ryan’s thesis entitled “The Impact of Weekly Lighting Condition on Performance, Sleepiness, and Mood,” proposes that over a week’s period of time, lighting conditions could have an impact on the entrainment of the biological clock.  She designed an experiment to test this hypothesis and showed how lighting conditions produced differences in performances in healthy individuals. Twelve subjects spent eight hours a day for a week in each of three lighting conditions - daylight, dim light, and high light. Performance tests monitoring reaction time, memory and accuracy measures were administered, sleepiness ratings were collected, and self-reports of mood was surveyed at the beginning and end of each week.



Lighting Research Center at RPI Thesis Prize – M.S. Lighting, M.S. Architectural Sciences with a concentration in lighting, PhD, Architectural Sciences Programs

The thesis project is an intensive student-initiated project using original research or design evaluations to test hypotheses. Each student works closely with a faculty advisor and committee on the development and execution of his or her thesis project. The results are presented in a thesis and demonstrate the student’s mastery of an area of lighting. The LRC has both the facilities and the faculty to support a wide range of thesis topics. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests and build on their previous academic or professional experience. Thesis topics can be geared toward a research or a design aspect of lighting. Each year the LRC has seen more unusual and imaginative thesis topics introduced, reflecting the students’ diverse backgrounds.

Parsons School of Design Thesis Prize – M.F.A. Lighting Program

The thesis project is the culmination of study in the program and is a year-long self-guided project which includes research, a written essay, and a studio based design problem in which the student completes a comprehensive analysis of a chosen topic that questions conventions, standards and applications associated with the practice of lighting design.