Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 12-13, 2019

New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

2019 The Poetics of Darkness

The Poetics of Darkness

Monica Llamas, IES Member and Florencia Castro, FLUX Studio

Tuesday, March 12
10:00am – 11:00am
Room: Nassau West
Credits: 1 AIA LU


Darkness has a transcendental and unique presence in the way we understand our world. Today our practice has stepped away from dim environments, increasing by all means the amount of light provided to achieve highly functional spaces through brightness. With this presentation, we aspire to reconcile the lighting design process with the ‘Poetics of Darkness’ by re-defining how designers might approach spatial solutions in today’s restrictive lighting environment of energy regulations.
We aim to promote ‘The Poetics of Darkness’ as a creative tool, proposing to consider darkness as a broad spectrum with multiple nuances and intensities. Our objective is to demonstrate how, by carefully crafting layers of light and dark, we can unveil physical features through contrast, suggesting a new rhythm of spatial appreciation that will ultimately impact the perceptual and embodied experience in architecture. Furthermore, we seek to spark creative design strategies that recognize the value brought into space through the intentional use of darkness; inviting designers to consider it as a relative notion and a smart strategy that will enable stronger and more compelling narratives.
Finally, this presentation will challenge and question light level recommendations and the idea that increasing brightness and adding more light fixtures equals successful environments. The higher goal is to encourage designers to advocate for the use of darkness, to fine-tune the amount of light in a space; developing balanced and successful design schemes that appeal to the multi-sensorial participation of the observer. The Poetics of Darkness’ will inspire designers to be more critical and conscious about the qualitative aspects of lighting design and to rethink it from a new perspective.


Monica Llamas
Lighting Designer, IES Member
With experience in Guatemala and New York, Monica works with light to influence people’s perception and experience in space. As a lighting designer Monica is committed to further promote discussions about light and adjacent relevant themes to educate designers, clients and users about the relevance of our practice. For her work in this community Monica has been named one of North America's 40 most promising up-and-coming young designers, 40Under40, by Lighting Magazine.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala, GT - 2011) and a MFA Lighting Design degree from Parsons The New School for Design (New York, NY - 2015).

Florencia Castro
Lighting Designer, FLUX Studio
Trained as an architect, Florencia recognizes the power of light and shadow to heighten the experience of the built environment. Her approach casts lighting design as creative, yet technical challenge; a complementary practice between daylight and electric light. With experience in architecture and lighting design in Mexico and NY, today she is part of Flux Studio lighting design team in New York City, working mostly in civic, institutional, and educational projects; to maximize the harmonious integration of light and architecture. As an active member of the community, Florencia has also lead different seminars as part of the Master of Lighting Design Program at Parsons The New School for Design where she focuses on promoting dialogue and critical thinking about light. Florencia holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Universidad de las Americas Puebla [Puebla, Mexico - 2011] as well as a Master of Lighting Design degree from Parsons The New School for Design [New York, NY - 2015].