Daylight Investigations



Akshita Sadhana Valaboju


Karen J King


University of New Mexico


United States


Project Description

New York was the prime harbour for the import and export of raw materials like silk, wool. Due to its geographical location, immmigrants worked in the garment district for wages as it was a hub for production of clothes since the World War I. During 1900’s zoning resolutions were passed which resulted in “wedding cake” skyscrapers with setbacks above certain height thus resulting in dim interiors and streets. Each floor of the building had dedicated spaces for various activities. The entire process of manufacturing clothes, ranging from selecting a fabric to sewing a button is done in each of the buildings. The use of daylight in public spaces directly affects the state of mind, health, and wellbeing of the people. It influences behavior and spaces over time and seasons. For the natural light to reach the interiors of the building that are overshadowed by the tall structures in the surroundings, a carbon fiber façade is designed which holds the optical fiber within them. This prototype represents the intricate details of a woven fabric signifying the garment district. The sunlight is captured by the solar collectors which are placed on the roof. The optical fibers then carry the captured sunlight through the strands of carbon fiber which are then accumulated at the window surface. This light can be manually controlled depending on the required lighting lux for the interiors as they further run along the ceilings. This overall design also reduces the consumption of electricity in the buildings. Also, these carbon fibers act as a street installation, illuminating the shadowy streets.