Let There Be (Natural) Light

Let There Be (Natural) Light

RNL’s lighting design team is at the forefront of the latest lighting design research and looking at the application of different types of natural and artificial light and the impact on the occupant. No matter the project size, our lighting design approach is rooted in a desire to create spaces that are good for people. This concept of ‘good’ manifests in several ways, but always comes back to one concept: health and wellbeing.



Last month RNL hosted a Project Pipeline workshop for a group of 12 middle school students from a number of Denver Public Schools, along with their Denver Kids mentors, to explore the idea that they can each be a voice for change in their own communities by starting to think about the spaces and places in their neighborhoods, and how they are influenced by design. 

Efficiency is Beauty

Efficiency is Beauty

You’ve heard the adage, “Beauty is only skin deep.” Turns out that concept applies to the built environment as well. There’s a common misconception out there that you have to sacrifice beauty for efficiency or vice versa. The truth is you can have both. 

A Streetcar Named OC

A Streetcar Named OC

Over the past several months, we’ve been working with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on the conceptual stop design for a streetcar system that will transform the community and small-business landscape of Santa Ana and Garden Grove in Southern California. In a way, it’s like a revival of the old streetcar that ran from LA to downtown Santa Ana—but in a new era of transportation!

Because Three R’s Are So Old School

“Are buildings in danger of becoming just another consumer good in our disposable society?"

Given how difficult it (still) is to convince clients to look at long term cost benefits instead of initial costs, it certainly seems like most of today’s buildings are the fast food of the built environment. A recent RIBA article describes a series of approaches to building design and construction that helps them see the 3R’s of waste management and raises them another 3 as a shift to the circular economy:








The figure above summarizes circular economy principles specifically for buildings, found in the RIBA Publishing book,  Building Revolutions .

The figure above summarizes circular economy principles specifically for buildings, found in the RIBA Publishing book, Building Revolutions.

design principles mentioned:

Build in layers.
Design without waste.
Design more adaptable buildings.
Design for disassembly.
Carefully select building materials & products.

"Creating buildings that people love & value is a proven way to ensure longevity."

Another principle is to move away from the linear economy model of purchasing products. Instead, consumers can become users, with ownership replaced by stewardship. Customers purchase performance instead of products, which encourages manufacturers to take a vested interest in designing products that can be maintained, upgraded or recycled. This approach also helps secure a future supply of components and materials.
Applying circular economy principles to buildings uses fewer resources, enables adaptation for different uses and can even provide healthier environments for people to live and work in. But they also create an opportunity to design buildings that are not simply consumable goods, leaving a positive legacy for future generations. - RIBA Journal

*Speaking of waste. Here is a sobering thought:
The amount of plastic wastes on the planet today is enough to cover the planet with plastic.

Video: Capturing the Essence of Division 13

Our friend and photographer, Chang Kim, has released his final video of Division 13. The $120M bus operations and maintenance facility is a slick example of how a giant bus lot can make an impact on the built environment through sustainable technologies, pedestrian acknowledgement and a collaborative integration of art and architecture. We weren’t able to put a camera on the front of a bus to film the facility, but are still very happy to share with everyone!