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Dr Villian Lo
Dr Villian Lo profile picture
  • Lecturer (Teaching) in Light and Lighting
  • Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Villian completed her PhD research on lighting perception and architecture at the University of Cambridge in 2016. She developed novel methods for analysing the subjective attributes and objective measures of light. She conducted extensive field experiments in a historic environment, Cambridge King’s College Chapel, to explore concert lighting for churches with a view to understanding the associated lighting perceptions.

During her time at Cambridge, she was Co-President of the GreenBridge Society, Coordinator of the Martin Centre Research Seminars, and Editor of Scroope Journal: The Cambridge Journal of Architecture.

Working with Cambridge Architectural Research, she consulted on various projects for Cambridge University Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum, contributing to daylight analysis, sun patch analysis and lighting modelling.

Prior to joining University College London in 2022, Villian was Senior Architect at Benoy, a multi-award winning practice, where she worked on a range of medium to large scale commercial projects, both national and international, from retail architecture, mixed-use and residential developments to masterplanning as well as sustainable repurposing. Villian is passionate about fostering the next generation of architects and lighting designers, and empowering others. As Continuing Professional Development Champion, Environmental Design Community Champion and a mentor at Benoy, she actively encouraged and promoted continuous learning both within and across studios.

As a practitioner, she seeks to use architectural design projects as a vehicle to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge. As a researcher, she seeks to create and extend knowledge that contributes to the scholarship of lighting and informs design decisions.

Research Summary

Dr Villian Lo’s research examines the relationships between the subjective attributes and objective measures of light, and the intricate relationships among lighting quality, lighting perception and architecture.

Her belief in architecture as a beautiful synthesis of art and science lays the foundation for her research. Her research interests span various branches of architecture, including architectural science, sustainability, lighting perception, psychological experiences and physiological responses, as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Teaching Summary

Villian is Lecturer (Teaching) in Light and Lighting. She is Programme Leader for the MSc in Light and Lighting, and Module Leader for BENV0137 Light and Lighting Dissertation. She has given lectures and supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students on environmental design, daylighting, light and lighting, lighting modelling and simulation, and digital drawing.

Her six-year experience in practice following her doctoral research has provided her with a more pragmatic and integrative view of teaching and research. Her teaching endeavours to embed research and enquiry into learning. Keeping students engaged in the learning process, encouraging their critical thinking and believing in them are her teaching principles. 

Academic Background
  PhD PhD in Lighting Perception and Architecture  
  MArch Master of Architecture  
    Bachelor of Architecture (Hons)  
    Master of Philosophy in Environmental Design in Architecture  
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