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Unit outline_

DESC9152: Practice of Lighting Design

Semester 1, 2022 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This studio-based unit introduces students to the practical process of professional lighting design. Led by an experienced lighting designer, the content centres on a real lighting design problem. Students complete a group project, representative of the collaborative design in practice, which culminates in a client presentation. This unit covers the interpretation of design briefs, the process of conducting a site visit, the identification of lighting design problems, and the proposal of lighting solutions. The process of preparing and revising lighting plans is discussed. Techniques for successful presentations of the final plan to clients are also included.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Architectural and Design Science
Credit points 6
At least 12 credit points of core advanced units of study in Illumination Design
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Wenye Hu,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Concept design 2
Due date: 30 May 2022 at 23:59
20 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO5 LO2
Presentation group assignment Concept design 1
Design and oral presentation
50% Week 13
Due date: 28 May 2022 at 00:00
25 pages, 20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Assessment 1: Concept design (Group work). For this assignment, you will work in teams to develop a lighting concept.

Assessment 2: Concept design (Individual work). For this assignment, you will work independently to develop a concept design for an existing heritage building façade.­­

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of outstanding quality, demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes assessed. The work shows significant innovation, experimentation, critical analysis, synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or exceptional skill.


75 - 84

Work of excellent quality, demonstrating a sound grasp of the learning outcomes assessed. The work shows innovation, experimentation, critical analysis, synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or superior skill.


65 - 74

Work of good quality, demonstrating more than satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes assessed, or work of excellent quality for a majority of the learning outcomes assessed.


50 - 64

Work demonstrating satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes assessed.


0 - 49

Work that does not demonstrate satisfactory achievement of one or more of the learning outcomes assessed.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

5% per day

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Light and life; Lighting design practice - part 1; Brief for both group and individual projects; Lecture (7 hr) LO1 LO3
Lighting design practice - part 2; Site visit; Formation of groups Lecture (7 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Lighting design practice - part 3; Case study; Group project Lecture (7 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Lighting design practice - part 4; Emergency Lighting Design; Group project Lecture (7 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Feedback on the group project; Group presentations Lecture (7 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance requirements and related policies are included in the Resolutions of the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, which are available at

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. interpret a design brief.
  • LO2. conduct a site visit.
  • LO3. develop a lighting design plan to meet the needs of the client.
  • LO4. work effectively in a design team.
  • LO5. use printed materials to communicate design intent effectively.
  • LO6. present a design proposal orally.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Based on previous student feedback, assignments in this unit have been changed.

Additional costs

Project sites are accessible by public transport, but students are responsible for the cost of transportation.

Site visit guidelines

Students are responsible for arranging transportation between the university and the project sites.

Work, health and safety

Information will be provided in Canvas


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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