Designing with Light explores role of lighting in architecture

For architects and designers, light is a dynamic and ephemeral tool that shapes spaces like no other. Frank Lloyd Wright called light the "beautifier of buildings."

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust will consider the role of light in architecture when it presents Designing with Light at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. This free symposium, 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 in the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, is part of the Trust's ongoing signature series Thinking Into the Future: The Robie House Series on Architecture, Design, and Ideas.

Designing with Light explores how practitioners, historic and contemporary, have used light in architecture. Following illustrated presentations by the following speakers, participants will join Trust curator David Bagnall for a panel discussion and audience questions.

• Author, photographer and historian Mark Hertzberg considers Frank Lloyd Wright's masterful use of glass and natural light at the SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin.

• French lighting designer Hervé Descottes, cofounder of L'Observatoire International, New York City, discusses the importance of lighting in the public realm. Descottes' firm is currently working on a lighting plan for the renovation of Chicago's Navy Pier.

• Thai Architect Kulapat Yantrasast, founding partner and creative director at the Los Angeles-based design firm wHY, shares his experiences with light in designing museums, art galleries and installations, including permanent collections galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago and Skylanding by Yoko Ono in Jackson Park.

Taking Frank Lloyd Wright's forward-thinking philosophy as expressed in the Frederick C. Robie House, the Thinking into the Future series engages leading voices in conversations about design issues in contemporary society. Designed in 1908, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House is considered one of the 10 most important architectural works of the 20th century.

Thinking into the Future is presented in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, American Institute of Architects (AIA Chicago chapter) and UChicagoArts. Register at

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is a leading national Frank Lloyd Wright nonprofit organization based in Chicago, where the largest number of original Wright sites is located. Dedicated to preservation and interpretation of Wright's design legacy, the Trust operates public tours at five Chicago area sites and offers both in-school and on-site programs for youth, families and adults.

The Trust owns and is the preservation steward of Wright's Oak Park Home and Studio (1889/1898), where Wright established his career and created the Prairie-style of architecture. The Trust also operates the iconic Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10) in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, and offers public tours and programs at Unity Temple (1905-08) in Oak Park, The Rookery Light Court (1905) in the Chicago Loop and Emil Bach House (1915) in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. For more information, visit

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