Lauren Dandridge Gaines

Adjunct Associate Professor


BS, Northwestern University

Lauren Dandridge Gaines, LC, IESNA teaches lighting design here at USC. She is dedicated to expanding what is considered standard lighting education for architects and designers. The crux of her instruction is based on an innate desire for students to understand that without light, no one can see or experience their designs. Without light, there are no shapes, no forms, no mood. Lighting should never be an afterthought. In order to help guide students, she teaches a better understanding of the correlation between lighting, health and wellness and behavior, improved design techniques, the use of established and newer technologies, and practice at learning what light feels like. She uses small model building, detailing, real life project designing, and local lighting walks and tours and the lighting industry standard calculation software AGI32. She is an IES award willing lighting designer and recognizable figure in the local lighting community. Her projects have been reviewed and noted in LD+A magazine. She provides lighting seminars and classes at architecture and interior design firms in the greater Los Angeles area.

Currently Teaching
  • 499
    Exterior Architectural Light and its Effect on Community and Nature
    Exterior Architectural Light and its Effect on Community and Nature

    It all starts with an idea. That idea is brought to life with exterior lighting design, starting with the story and unfolds the plot, the characters, and highlights through illumination. While interior lighting can be bound within walls, exterior lighting knows no limit of impact to the surrounding environment or the effect on the humans that inhabit those spaces. In this class, we will explore fundamental lighting vocabulary and functions, then dive into the various types of spaces and applications that demand an enhanced understanding of lighting quality through mood, illuminance, layering, focus, and contrast. These guides will help students determine fixture choice, lumen output, color, and placement. This course will utilize lectures, assignments, projects, and live demonstrations, to help students discover how lighting intersects with crucial building systems, landscape architecture, and planning, as well as local and statewide recommendations and codes.

  • 577
    Lighting Design
    Lighting Design
    The artist, the scientist and the architect who want to understand their world are fascinated by light. Light is the medium of perception in art and in architecture. Light is also one of the most fascinating aspects of physics. As far as we know, it is the only constant. Indeed time and space warps around the constant speed of light. Examine the perceptual and physical aspects of light and learn how the design profession has used light, the tools with which it studies light, and the design principles and drawing conventions with which the profession manipulates light in buildings.
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