Priji Balakrishnan

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PhD Graduate

Pillar / Cluster: Architecture and Sustainable Design


Priji Balakrishnan is an environmental designer, researcher and educator. Her research expertise is in design and computational workflows of daylight, comfort and energy at architectural and urban scales. She currently works as an environmental consultant with Atelier Ten. Priji’s recent research work looked at measuring and modelling the equatorial light for strategies to design with contextual information of daylight. She holds a PhD from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Master’s from the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in Sustainable Environmental Design.

Research Statement

The distinctiveness of natural light in a built environment is a confluence of its physical features, buildings, trees, and the ground with its region-specific daylight source the sun and the sky. The colours and patterns we see around us at different scales of cities or streets is the result of these complex interactions between the physical features and characteristics of its daylight.

How do we measure, model and design for the complex interactions between the built, natural and climatic features? In my doctoral research I try to answer this question through two research projects. First to measure and model light through trees, and second measure and model interactions of Singapore’s built environment under various sky conditions typical of an equatorial climate. The first phase of the research presents the open-source program to generate a tree crown model that mimics the distribution of the measured leaves and gaps of a tree. This tree crown model, when used in daylight simulation workflows, helps predict their unique spatial and temporal transmittance and shadow patterns. In the second phase of the research, a detailed analysis of the spectral and colorimetric characteristics of the equatorial sky and its influence on Singapore’s built environment is presented. This phase provides a framework for architects and designers to compute climate and context-specific daylight information.

Selected Publications

  • Balakrishnan, Priji., and Jakubiec, J. Alstan., “Spectral rendering with daylight: a comparison of two spectral daylight simulation platforms.” Proceedings of the 16th IBPSA International Conference BS2019, Rome, Italy, September 3-4, 2019
  • Balakrishnan, Priji., and Jakubiec, J. Alstan., “Measuring Light Through Trees for Daylight Simulations: A photographic and Photometric Method,” Proceedings of the 3rd IBPSA-England Conference BSO, Newcastle, UK, September 12-14, 2016.


  • 2014 – 2019 President Graduate Fellowship scholarship for graduate studies, Singapore
2020-02-28T10:20:19+08:00February 17th, 2020|PhD Students, PhD Students ASD|