Martina Tritthart (2016), Light Spaces: Spatial Models of Perception Phenomena of Visual Space Perception in Examples from the Fine Arts and its Potential for Architecture, Institute of Spatial Design; 1st reviewer: Irmgard Frank, 2nd reviewer: Werner Jauk; 210 pages, German.
Architecture and art share a common interest in spatial models and the perception of space. Since the 1960s artists such as James Turrell, Robert Irwin, Maria Nordman,Nan Hoover, and Olafur Eliasson have been designing aesthetic, seemingly empty light spaces in which human perception plays an integral role in the artwork. In experimental settings they explore the relationships of humans and space with light as a medium of perception and can thus be considered basic research. Drawing connections between theoretical principles from the fields of architectural theory, art history, physics, psychology, and philosophy, the work before you illustrates the development of aesthetic spatial models in the context of Western cultural history. Select traversable, light-based spatial installations were analyzed and evaluated in terms of their potentials for architecture. These artworks are spatial atmospheres as opposed to illusory simulacra. They comprise ambiguous perceptual realities which bear ties to phenomenological philosophy. Cognizance emerges in the experience of space. This implies a redefinition of architecture when it would only first culminate in the subjective perception of the user and the design potential of the user is therefore already integrated into the architectural design process. Aesthetic light spaces are exemplary illustrations of how human perception can inform aesthetic spatial models and therewith architectural design. Hence, they are well-suited in architectural education as spatial models of perception and as a basis for experiments with space.