What we call “light” is that part of the electromagnetic wave energy from the sun containing the frequencies(wavelengths) that easily penetrate the atmosphere; 390 to 750 nanometers. (A nanometer is billionth of a meter.) Human and other eyes have certain molecules in their cellular composition that give up an electron on receiving the additional energy of a “photon”, or “particle” of light. The movement of that electron allows transmission of a signal to the other part of the brain. In humans the eye is an outgrowth of the central nervous system, and vision is the dominant sense over sound, touch, and smell. The eye is the part of the brain that “looks” at the world.
Many ancient organisms developed light sensing ability.
Qualities and quantities of light play a major role in our ability to perceive our environment, and how we react to it. Light strongly effects our emotions, and is similar to patterns in being processed primarily in the older parts of the brain.
Light qualities and spaces are difficult to describe in words, except by reverting to describing “feelings”; the emotional content.
Light is equal to,or perhaps more powerful than patterns, in affecting the emotional response to our world. More primal.
Light qualities change with the geographic location and with the time of day. Light intensity and character have regional qualities which depend mostly on latitude and the amount of dust or moisture in the air.
Shadow and light are one thing, shadow comes with light.
Basically, light reveals color & texture, and shadow reveals form.
The way in which natural light and shadow reveal spaces in and around a building defines the architecture. Without natural light in a room, there is no architecture. Light is such a primal and awe-inspiring force in our lives that historically and to-day it plays a dominant role in shaping the concepts & patterns of architectural design.
Vermeer: “The Milk Maid”.
Light creates all color.
Sunlight contains all the different wavelengths of electromagnetic oscillation that our eyes can perceive. When we see them all blending to-gether (daylight), there is no apparent color; but when a prism or water droplets in the air bend different wavelengths different amounts, this gradates the light rays in order of length … and the human eye, with its 3 types of color receptor cells, can distinguish about 10 million different colors.
The color(s) of objects we see is a result of the fact that the object’s color are the only wavelengths of the illuminating light which is reflected, or re-emitted back to our eyes. The other wavelengths of light impinging on the object are “absorbed “, or scattered. Absorbing, at the atomic scale means that the energy of certain wavelengths of light hitting the object resonate with the natural frequency of the atoms and is converted to heat (increased electron vibration).
By sensing “color” eyes are revealing energy transformation processes at the atomic level !!!. The implications of this are profound:
“Living” things are made from molecules.
We evolved from molecular sized organisms.
Eyes started evolving at a molecular scale in these organisms a billion years ago.
Life forms with eyes are highly tuned to their environment at every scale above the scale of a molecule.
Nothing in nature is separate. It is all a manifestation of the same system, the isotropic vector matrix of quantum jitterbug energy transformations.
Small scale governs large scale. It happens at the sub nuclear, sub-atomic, atomic, and molecular levels first before “we” can see it in the visible spectrum of electromagnetic wave phenomenon called“light”
The molecular structures of natural materials are typically complex, being made up of different atoms with different natural resonance frequencies. This creates color with many hues and gradations, both reflected and transmitted, and are always beautiful. They appear more lively & and luminous not only because of their irregular surfaces, but because they partially transmit light of various wavelengths.
Paint pigments can be combined the same way. Working the same way as nature, combining many hues to create a paint color to cover architectural surfaces, will give that surface some of the same luminous qualities and subtle complexities to the light reflected to our eyes. Depending on the time of day and the changing color of incident light, the color of the surface will vary as well.