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Public defence

Viva Voce: Birgitte Appelong

Viva Voce: Birgitte Appelong

Interior Architect Birgitte Appelong will defend her research work “Light in Rooms” at the presentation of her thesis at Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Appelong’s light installation allows the composition of varied lighting states that relate to the structure of her chosen space, the Column Hall at Jarslberg Manor, and to the characteristics of the natural light.

The light installation responds to the peculiarities of natural light in the Nordic region, where sunsets are of long duration and followed by a so-called twilight hour. Appelong uses the transition from day to night, supplementing it with artificial light derived from LED technology. This she does in a room that has hitherto been without permanent electric lighting. The project illustrates how modern technology can be integrated into listed buildings.

Appelong is a fellow in the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme at the Design department, Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Evaluation committee

  • Christina Lindgren, chair, professor of costume design, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
  • Merete Madsen
  • Erik Selmer

In its assessment, the committee writes:

«The research has two main elements, the electric lighting installation in one room of a historic building, and the composition of natural and artificial lighting states. Together, these two main elements amount to a complex project with original results.

«The Committee considers it original that the lighting states are so subtle compared with the common trend towards ever more excessive lighting. Further, the Committee considers the composition of the lighting states to be of particularly high quality in virtue of their restraint and sensitivity in the calibration of tiny variations in the colour of the artificial light in relation to the characteristics of the natural Nordic light. One possible interpretation is that the delicate shades in the overall combination of artificial and natural light can be perceived as a timeless and universal composition that links past, present and future by suggesting the blending of natural light with different types of manmade illumination (firelight, incandescent bulbs, LEDs), with special reference to the Nordic light and twilight.»


  • Associate professor Vigdis Ruud, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
  • Associate professor Linda Lien, Bergen Academy of Art and Design

Research results

Read the artist’s statement in the academy’s archive.