Expectations were high for the first official Saturday group activity. We had an interesting programme planned for us beginning with daylight engineering lectures and workshops, and they did not disappoint. The lectures were greatly insightful, with content fusing the technical and practical aspects of both engineering and human biology. We learnt about the electromagnetic spectrum and radiation principles, particularly around the light frequencies surrounding the visible spectrum. This had particular relevance in gaining a full understanding for the motivation for providing natural lighting in a building to the benefit of human health.

The most interesting aspect of the morning lectures for the engineers (such as Bogdan and Gavin) were the clarifications of technical units of sunlight intensity and flux (for example, illuminance, luminance flux and intensity). With this knowledge at hand, it was easier for students with an engineering background to find a foothold in the multidisciplinary nature of the program.

From the beginning as we walked through the doors of the institution, we were inspired by the vibrant styling of the building interiors, putting us into a perfect frame of mind for the afternoon workshop. We were assigned to groups of four or five and were given tasks to design a building façade matching a set of criteria to explore light distribution effects within a room. We felt this was a valuable experience that helped us to see how our potential team members operated in groups and approached the task of design. It was clear that the strengths of individuals complemented each other as a whole: the process first involved discussing creative approaches to the task, followed by sketching and then a hands-on implementation of assembling a 3D cardboard model. With a high level of cooperation and team spirit, the activity was completed in approximately one and a half hours, culminating in a demonstration of the lighting dynamics for each group’s design in a daylight lab.

Conveniently, our lectures were held in the quaint little town of Krems on the outskirts of Vienna. It was in the interest of many of the program participants to explore this town which we had the chance to do following the daylight lab experiment. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were unable to go on the planned sightseeing tour through Krems, but nonetheless had an enjoyable time meandering through the main street mall. It was a perfect sunny day for sightseeing and ice cream, so we did both.

A wonderfully comfortable bus and an exhausted team was the perfect recipe for a dreamy, sleepy bus trip home back to Vienna. After we all had awoken at the end and refreshed ourselves, we caught the metro to Donaustradtbrücke where we walked to a beautiful pontoon along the river, where we swam to the backdrop of a vivacious sunset.

 

Text / Photos: Bogdan Antonijevic & Gavin Ke Huan Ong