Architectural Vocabularies: exploring the analogous relationship between light and water

Judy Theodorson

Keywords: light, architecture, analogy

This article seeks to expand architectural vocabularies of light through examination of literary narrative. It finds that writers often describe conditions of light with language analogous to water. Through analysis of creative writings, a verbal taxonomy is constructed. The taxonomy is further developed with visual vocabularies in the form of creative photography. The light-water analogy provides architectural designers a conceptual device that leverages an understanding of water characteristics to expand the ability to work with light, an invisible and intangible substance.