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Quotations and Thoughts About Light

Quotations and Thoughts About Light

Posted by Jim Morrison on May 21st 2018

We just love these insightful observations regarding the nature of light by some of the world's greatest architects, designers, and writers.

"In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually."
Joseph Albers - artist, educator

"The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light."
Matthew Arnold - poet and critic

"Light should not interpret architecture; it must transform it!
Light should not enhance space and form; it should empower it!
Light is the life-force of man-made structures.
It is through light that events become meaningful.
Light marks our presence as alive and self-aware.
Burned in memory, light is profoundly experienced."

Edward P. Bartholomew - professor of architecture

"There was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned home the previous night."

Arthur Henry Reginald Buller, Punch, December 19, 1923 - botanist

"Light is the first element of design; without it there is no color, form, or texture."
Thomas E. Farin - educator, lighting consultant, entrepreneur

"Light is the insubstantial foundation of our world."
Felice Frankel - photographer, research scientist

"Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, 'More light.' Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light."
Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider - writers

"Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building."
Thomas Fuller - historian, clergyman

"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see a whole lot better."
Ellen DeGeneres - comedienne

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in."
Arlo Guthrie - singer, songwriter, author

"Children always turn towards the light. Oh that grown-up people in this world became like little children!"
Julius Charles Hare - writer

"Light is life!"
Motoko Ishii – lighting designer

"We are born of light. The seasons are felt through light. We only know the world as it is evoked by light."
Louis Kahn - architect

"Just think, that man can claim a slice of the sun."
Louis Kahn - architect

" . . . visual truth lies in the structure of light."
Richard Kelly - lighting designer, architect

"Our human nature is profoundly phototropic. Men obey their deepest instincts when they hold fast to light."
Gyorgy Kepes - artist, filmmaker, architect, sculptor, educator

"The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light."
Le Corbusier - architect

"Light belongs to the heart and spirit. Light attracts people, it shows the way, and when we see it in the distance, we follow it."
Ricardo Legorreta - architect

"The principal person in a picture is light."
Edouard Manet - French painter

"Light can be sensual; it can be comforting; it can even be dangerous. It goes beyond science or nature, or even art - it is as potent as life itself."
Ingo Maurer - designer of avant garde light fixtures

"Architecture which enters into a symbiosis with light does not merely create form in light, by day and at night, but allow light to become form."
Richard Meier - architect

"Hail holy light, offspring of heav'n firstborn!"
John Milton, Paradise Lost - author

"Light has not just intensity, but also a vibration, which is capable of roughening a smooth material, of giving a three-dimensional quality to a flat surface."
Renzo Piano - architect

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
Aaron Rose - photographer

"Because light alone among the designer's tools is constantly changing throughout the day, with one light source capable of expressing so many different moods, it is the home's fourth dimension."
Alexsandar Rublek – lighting designer

"We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates."
Junichiro Tanizaki - author

"There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates and the glare that obscures."
James Thurber - author, humorist, cartoonist

"Light is a powerful substance. We have a primal connection to it. But, for something so powerful, situations for its felt presence are fragile . . . I like to work with it so that you feel it physically, so you feel the presence of light inhabiting a space."
James Turrell - artist

"I like to think of decorative lighting as architectural bling."
Randall Whitehead - residential lighting designer

"More and more, so it seems to me, light is the beautifier of the building."
Frank Lloyd Wright - architect