Master of Design Science (Illumination Design)

This professional program welcomes students from diverse backgrounds, including architecture, engineering, computer science, human factors, interior design and psychology.

Our entire visual experience depends on light. It has a profound impact on both the function and aesthetics of architectural spaces. The Illumination Design program offers strong technical education in human visual perception, methods for quantifying light, lighting technologies, and issues of sustainability. This field is enjoying rapid and exciting technological innovations and this program emphasises the knowledge and critical thinking skills to enable students to adapt to, and even lead, future changes.

Upon successful completion of this master's coursework program, students are qualified for full membership in the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand, subject to the required practical experience.

Unit of study table

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Illumination Design Stream

Core units

DESC9167
Light and Vision
6    N DESC9085
Semester 1
DESC9166
Photometry and Colorimetry
6    N DESC9072
Int April
DESC9164
Lighting Technologies
6    N DESC9063
Int August
DESC9201
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
6      Semester 2
DESC9165
Architectural Lighting Design
12    N DESC9064
Semester 1
The following unit of study may also be counted toward the core requirements, but may not be recognised for Illuminating Engineering Society membership:
DESC9200
Introduction to Architectural Science
6      Semester 1

Optional units

DESC9154
Lighting Design Software
6    A Lighting design fundamentals
Semester 2
DESC9169
Daylight in Buildings
6    N DESC9106
Semester 1
DESC9040
Electrical Services
6      Int May
IDEA9106
Design Thinking
6      Semester 1
DESC9192
Energy Code Compliance in Buildings
6    A Undergraduate architecture or engineering degree
Semester 2
DESC9111
Energy Management in Buildings
6      Semester 2
DESC9152
Lighting Design Masterclass

This unit of study is not available in2014

6    A Lighting design fundamentals


This unit of study is offered in even numbered years only.
Int June
DESC9153
Graduate Internship
6    A Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work

Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
Semester 1
Semester 2
DESC9049
Financial Decision Making
6      Semester 1
DESC9074
Project Management
6      Semester 2
DESC9147
Sustainable Building Design Principles
6   

Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
Semester 1
DESC9148
Sustainable Building Design Practice
6   

Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
Semester 2
DESC9300
Research in Arch. & Design Science
6    N ARCF9001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
ARCH9031
Research Report
12   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
Semester 1
Semester 2

Unit of study descriptions

Illumination Design Stream

Core units

DESC9167 Light and Vision

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Semester 1 Classes: Five day intensive (9am-5pm) Prohibitions: DESC9085 Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
In lighting design, the primary function of light is to facilitate visual perception of the illuminated scene. User-centred lighting design requires a thorough understanding of the biological link between light and vision. In this unit, students learn the fundamentals of the human visual system and the physical properties of light that impact perception. Specific topics includes an overview of visual anatomy, the behaviour of the photoreceptors, and post-receptoral processing that leads to colour perception. The spectral, spatial, and temporal characteristics of the different visual processing pathways are also covered. Important visual phenomena, such as chromatic adaptation and contrast effects, are discussed. The link between fundamental knowledge of the human visual system and the practical application of lighting design is emphasized.
DESC9166 Photometry and Colorimetry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Int April Classes: Five day intensive. Prohibitions: DESC9072 Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Measurements of light based only on physical properties are of limited use to the lighting designer. Instead, the tools to measure and communicate the characteristics of light sources and illumination consider the impact of the physical attributes of light on the human visual system.
This unit covers the photometric measures related to the quantity of light and illumination and the colorimetric systems used to characterize the colour of lights and objects. The calculation methods underlying these measures are included, with an emphasis on useful simulation techniques. The derivations, meanings, proper applications, and limitations of these measurements systems are discussed. An overview of physical instruments for photometric and colorimetric measurements is included. Students learn to apply knowledge of photometry and colorimetry to evaluate lighting products.
DESC9164 Lighting Technologies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Int August Classes: 5 day intensive. Prohibitions: DESC9063 Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit covers the technologies employed in generating, distributing, and controlling light in illuminated environments. Students learn the advantages and disadvantages of different hardware options for various lighting applications. A brief history of lighting technologies and the physical processes involved with electrically generating light are included in this unit. Practical characteristics of currently popular lamp types, as well as emerging lighting technologies, are presented. The effects of integral luminaires and other light fittings on the resulting illumination are covered, as are the electrical requirements of different lighting technologies. The selection, operation, and implications of lighting control options are included. The underlying principles and practical implications of the different characteristics of various lighting technologies are emphasized to enable students to independently evaluate future innovations in lighting technologies.
DESC9201 Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Lab-based assignment (40%); Exam (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Humans' thermal, visual, auditory and olfactory senses determine the perceived quality of a built environment. This unit analyses built environments in context of these human factors. This unit relates human experience of buildings to the main dimensions of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ): thermal, acoustic, lighting and indoor pollution. This understanding of human comfort perceptions is contextualised by an understanding of the various approaches to the evaluation of built environmental performance. You will study post-occupancy evaluation tools and workplace productivity metrics. Regulations from Australia and abroad will be explored to understand their impact on acoustics, thermal comfort, lighting, indoor air quality and ventilation. The unit also pays particular attention to sustainability rating tools from around the world, including GreenStar, NABERS, LEED and BREEAM. This unit gives students extensive hands-on experience in laboratory- and field-based methods of IEQ research and building diagnostics. A recurring theme will be instrumental measurements of indoor environments, and how they can be analysed in relation to perceptual and behavioural data collected from occupants of those environments.
DESC9165 Architectural Lighting Design

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Semester 1 Classes: 10 day intensive (9am-5pm) Prohibitions: DESC9064 Assessment: 4 assignments (4 x 25%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit focuses on the development of lighting solutions for a variety of architectural and outdoor spaces. With an emphasis on the decision-making process, students explore strategies to create functional, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, and energy-conscious illuminated environments. This unit includes discussion of the standards, regulations, and building incentive programs that impact lighting design. Manual design calculation methods are included to determine relevant measures of light, energy, and money. Students learn to assess the visual tasks of a space, identify challenges and opportunities posed by the architecture, and consider client requirements when developing a lighting plan. This unit also addresses the aesthetics of lighting design and uses of light not associated with visual tasks. Layering light, creating ambiance, and enhancing other design elements of spaces are discussed. Techniques to highlight architectural features of buildings, divert attention from undesirable areas, and influence the movement of people throughout a space are also covered. The integration of technical knowledge and ability to critically evaluate unfamiliar lighting situations and technologies are emphasized.
The following unit of study may also be counted toward the core requirements, but may not be recognised for Illuminating Engineering Society membership:
DESC9200 Introduction to Architectural Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Assignment (40%), Exam (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit aims to explore the scientific concepts of heat, light and sound, and from this develops foundational principles and methods applicable to buildings. It is divided into five topics: climate and resources; thermal environment; air movement; lighting; and acoustics. Students will gain an understanding of the terminology, physical values and metrics in each of these topics, and how they apply to the design and function of buildings. Theoretical models to predict key physical values in buildings are presented and used in assessments. Learning is supported by measurement exercises.
This unit has a focused pedegogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science. It is a common core unit for all of the programs (Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Students within these programs should undertake this unit in their first semester of study if possible.

Optional units

DESC9154 Lighting Design Software

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assumed knowledge: Lighting design fundamentals Assessment: 2 assignments (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Modern lighting design practice requires the use of computer software to create design plans that can be easily modified, shared, and presented to clients. In this unit, students learn the basic operation of two popular lighting design software packages, DiaLux and AGi32. This unit discusses the advantages and limitations of different calculation models used within lighting software. The fundamentals of rendering, importing and exporting data, selecting calculation modes, and interpreting outputs are included. Students gain hands-on experience modelling the effects of different lighting technologies within various architectural spaces. The use of lighting design software as a tool in the design process, rather than a replacement for it, is emphasized.
DESC9169 Daylight in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 1 Classes: Five day intensive. Prohibitions: DESC9106 Assessment: Assignment (30%), Assignment (70%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Daylight can be used in buildings to reduce the energy spent on electric lighting and create aesthetically appealing interiors. Design decisions that affect the success of daylighting in a building span every phase of the design process, from site selection to the application of interior finishes. This unit discusses the role of daylight in indoor illuminated environments. Calculations to predict the quantity and distribution of daylight in spaces and predict the effects of shading devices are covered. Students learn about the local and global variables that influence daylight availability, recognize the challenges and opportunities with daylight in interior spaces, and the appropriate use of daylighting technologies. The integration of daylight with electric light is emphasized.
DESC9040 Electrical Services

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: John Roche/Prof Richard de Dear Session: Int May Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 2 Assignments (40%) & (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The aim of this unit is to present basic principles of electricity and magnetism as necessary for an understanding of the application of electrical services in buildings; to introduce students to the applications of these principles to electrical distribution in buildings; to outline the principles of electric motors, transformers and switchboard design; and to introduce elementary principles of illumination and daylighting. An understanding of electrical services is an essential requirement for building services practitioners involved in the design professions and the construction and building management industries. The unit is designed to provide an introduction to these services for recent graduates or diplomates in engineering, architecture or science, and for people involved at a professional level in the building industry who do not possess a background in electrical engineering. By the conclusion of the unit it is expected that students will gain basic knowledge of components of the electricity generating and distribution network external to, and within buildings; the types and use of cables and enclosures in and around buildings; methods of assessment of loads and cable sizes; principles of operation of transformers and motors and the design of switchboards and earthing, emergency evacuation lighting and early warning information systems; an introduction to the fundamental principles of lighting design for interior and exterior applications; and a basic understanding of data transmission via copper wire and optical fibre. Assignments will test acquired skills in electrical load estimation and the design of simple electrical distribution and artificial and day lighting systems.
IDEA9106 Design Thinking

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Lian Loke Session: Semester 1 Classes: Seminar 3 hrs/wk Assessment: Design exercises, research report, oral/visual presentations (90%), Participation in class activities (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) Day
This unit of study aims to introduce students to design thinking and how it can be productively applied to different design situations, in both traditional design contexts and to the broader issues faced in contemporary society. Students will acquire the following learning outcomes:
1. An appreciation of the role of design thinking and strategy in traditional and cross-disciplinary contexts
2. Theoretical and practical understanding and application of design theories, methodologies and methods, with a particular emphasis on human-centred design
3. Demonstration of ideation and concept development to innovate solutions to complex problems
4. Awareness of design processes and cognition in collaborative, inter-disciplinary teams
5. Demonstration of persuasive oral/visual communication techniques
DESC9192 Energy Code Compliance in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assumed knowledge: Undergraduate architecture or engineering degree Assessment: Assignment 1 (40%); assignment 2 (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The aim of this 5 day intensive is to provide the students with the knowledge to prepare a BCA Section J - JV3 modeling exercise suitable for presentation to a principal certifying authority thus demonstrating building compliance.
Students will explore the BCA procedure and sections dealing with alternative solutions, deemed-to-satisfy prescription, verification methods, specifications, and also utilize the GREENSTAR and NABERS Energy computer programmes.
DESC9111 Energy Management in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Alan Obrart/Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 45%); presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The objectives of this unit are to give students an understanding of energy consumption issues in buildings through both design and operation and to give students an awareness of energy auditing and current energy conservation techniques.
This unit is primarily concerned with the management and control of electrical power delivered via the grid. We start with the commercial electricity sales environment; the rental of transmission lines, the rental of the utility company's infrastructure, the non-fossil fuel obligation, and tariff structures. We will concentrate on the processes and the considerations involved in undertaking an energy audit, which will also be the focus of Assignment 1. The options for demand management, including outsourcing will be examined. Passive energy design, which 'locks in' future energy usage will be presented. Active energy systems and their fundamentals: lighting, air conditioning, hot water, ventilation, vertical transportation, and machinery, will be reviewed. Finally methods of assessing energy performance including computer simulation will be covered.
DESC9152 Lighting Design Masterclass

This unit of study is not available in 2014

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Int June Classes: Intensive studios Assumed knowledge: Lighting design fundamentals Assessment: Projects (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: This unit of study is offered in even numbered years only.
This is a studio-based program of advanced lighting design conducted by experienced practicing lighting designers. Application of lighting knowledge to the design of a lighting solution and its presentation in a form suitable for non-expert clients.
The student will learn how lighting design is conducted in a studio environment, from the brief, to understanding site conditions, to preliminary design, to the final design and client presentation skills.
DESC9153 Graduate Internship

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Dean (Education) Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Fieldwork Assumed knowledge: Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work Assessment: Log book signed by practice supervisor and 2,000 word report on the benefits of the internship (100%); pass/fail only Mode of delivery: Professional Practice
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
The aims of the internship are to provide a direct link between the academic core of the course and the disciplines and methods of practice; to enable candidates to experience aspects of practice and provide the opportunity for them to work in areas of the field outside their specific expertise; to enable candidates to observe, analyse and comment on the interaction between theoretical and practical issues of their Program as it is practiced, and to establish connections between practice and the development of relevant research programs. The internship is intended to provide the opportunity for students to work in various situations in their Program's area. A secondary intention is that students use the opportunities of placement to broaden their own experience beyond the limitations of their chosen discipline. Candidates must find a suitable professional placement. Permission to enrol is given after the proposed placement has been approved by the Program Director. The host organisation will nominate a supervisor for the student for the internship. The student must complete at least 120 hours of full or part-time experience, supervised by a practicing designer (or other professional depending upon the field). A log-book of each day's work, signed by the supervisor must be submitted on completion. A 2,000-word report on the benefits of the internship must also be produced. At the end of the internship the student will: demonstrate that they have completed a program of work (through a log-book); present a report; analyse their experiences and compare these to the theoretical content of the units they have completed, and suggest appropriate research directions so as to improve the complementarity of theory to practice.
DESC9049 Financial Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 3 group assignments (2 x 40%, 1 x 20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Facilities management is a subset of business management: As such, no 'management' can be exercised without first matching the need for resources against the resources available. This necessarily involves the financial and accounting information systems of the organisation, and the 'tools' necessary to extract information in order to make informed decisions.
The unit is in two halves: The first deals with management accounting. Students will learn how to interpret the standard historical information regarding organisations via the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast. Students will gain an appreciation of the underlying assumptions behind these performance measures and will learn how to interpret this information in order to recognise under- and over-performing businesses. The second half examines cost accounting, i.e. the internal generation and flow of management information for financial control. Students will also gain an appreciation of accounting as a forward-looking managerial tool for controlling the conduct of an organisation. This will include an understanding of the budgeting process and how it can be utilised to achieve the Facility Management mission. The unit will also cover the principles and issues of building, finance and their impact on life-cycling costings.
DESC9074 Project Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Two assignments (1 x 40%, 1 x 60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Project Management is specific form of establishing, programming, and coordinating an activity having a specific start point and end point. This body of knowledge - as for example in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) - needs to be understood in general terms. Initially project managers must identify and define the services that are needed, (scope) and that their employers are willing to endorse. The activities requiring to be carried out need to be sorted and sequenced; the materials, labour and plant required need to be estimated and procured. Projects involve the management of information, and communications. This unit will develop the student's ability to ascertain and document the scope of a project, schedule a programme, and understand the difficulties in directing it. This unit approaches the profession of Project Management as a cooperative undertaking rather than adversarial: It promotes the adoption of soft-skills rather than that of forceful command and supervision.
DESC9147 Sustainable Building Design Principles

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard Hyde Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 1 x assignment and 1 x project (100%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding and knowledge of the principles underlying sustainable building design practice, in particular those principles which relate to the environmental attributes of the building fabric, the creation of healthy and comfortable interior environments, the selection of appropriate building materials and the minimisation of embodied and operational energy consumption. Unit content: environmental and health impacts of building materials; embodied energy of building materials; understanding energy flows between buildings and their environment; the principles of passive solar heating strategies in cold and temperate climates; strategies for controlling solar and other loads on the building fabric; principles of cooling by natural ventilation; low energy mechanical cooling strategies; hybrid and mixed-mode cooling strategies. By the completion of the unit students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the relevant properties of building materials and construction elements which impact upon the environmental performance of buildings and to demonstrate their competence at applying this knowledge to the formulation of appropriate sustainable design strategies.
DESC9148 Sustainable Building Design Practice

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Michael Muir Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Individual Sustainable Design Case Study (40%); Individual Schematic Sustainable Design (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
The aims of this unit are to explore the implications of applying sustainable building design principles on design practice; to evaluate and critique the sustainability of current design practice through an examination of current theory and professional ethics and the exploration of case studies; to explore the development of new sustainable design paradigms. Unit content: the response of architectural practice to the rise of environmentalism in the 20th century; the emergence of passive solar architecture; ecologically sustainable design [ESD] and its impact upon current design practice; real and perceived barriers to a more sustainable design practice; impact of education and theory on practice; expressing the values of sustainability in built form; towards a new sustainable design paradigm.
By the completion of the unit students are expected to demonstrate an ability to critique current building design practice in relation to sustainable design principles; to demonstrate their knowledge of key recent buildings which their designers claim to be sustainable and their ability to evaluate these claims; to enunciate a personal position on the impact of applying sustainable design principles on future design practice. The unit will broaden students understanding of the principles of sustainable building design and their impact upon future design practice.
DESC9300 Research in Arch. & Design Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof William Martens Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 5 workshop sessions (1 hr/wk for first five weeks) followed by individual student supervision by an appropriate staff member (chosen according to field of research) Prohibitions: ARCF9001 Assessment: Individual project based: 1 x 1,500 word research proposal (30%); 1 x 3,500 word final written report (50%); 1 x final oral report (20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit aims to prepare students for undertaking a research project in the various sub-disciplines of Architectural and Design Science. It begins with the workshop-based presentation of foundations of experimental science relevant to research projects within these sub-disciplines. It highlights principles of experimental design and methods of data collection and analysis. Examples of previous projects undertaken by graduate students in Design Science will be presented, as appropriate, in any of the following areas: Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Although this unit has a focused pedagogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science, enrollment may be expected by other coursework students within the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, such as those undertaking the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts (M.IDEA).
ARCH9031 Research Report

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Program Director Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Independent research under academic supervision. Assessment: Research proposal (10%), 10000 to 15000 word Report (90%). Final reports due by the end of the first week of the formal examination period. Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
The report is a substantial piece of research conducted over one semester. It takes the form of report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved subject of your choice. The report is an opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills in a particular area. The objective of the report is to allow you to develop research and analytic skills by undertaking an in depth study of your own selection. The expected learning outcomes of the report include the ability to think critically about a problem and develop an appropriate research methodology or analytical approach to address it; identify and access appropriate sources of information, research and literature relevant to the issues; undertake relevant primary and secondary research; and present your findings in a way that demonstrates academic and professional competence. A report generally includes a literature review to delineate a problem; a statement of research aims or objectives, as well as research questions; an explanation of research methods; presentation and analysis of data; and discussion of conclusions. Permission to continue the Report may be subject to a satisfactory research proposal being approved by your supervisor by week 3 of semester. Reports are due at the end of the first week of exams for the semester in which you are enrolled. The assessment is based solely on the submission of your report. The report is generally marked by two examiners, neither of whom is your supervisor.