Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Light Revealing Experience

Kelsey Walker  
Lighting Paper 1
Light Revealing Experiences
One usually doesn’t take into consideration how much light affects our lives, I know I don’t.  We all need light to live but this article really made me think about how much light affects me psychologically as a person and how much I relate to light based off of my culture and experiences.  As the article stated, it is different living in such an industrialized country and fully understand or appreciate light because if we don’t receive it naturally within a building it is given to us in abundance through electrical lighting.  With reading,  I started to think about ways that I do find myself influences with light within spaces.  I know that as the long days of summer come to an end and the short dark days approach I am affected emotionally and psychologically.  I find myself feeling less productive due to my biological clock relating dark to sleep.  I strive then to be in buildings that are more lit with electricity and start to appreciate light more and more.  Also, with the shorter days comes a change in our lifestyles as people.  During the winter months I scramble to do everything  I can outside while it is still light and then having a longer relaxing afternoon indoors under electric lighting.  I become more reserved,  looking for ways to stay in under  warm lights for the colder days and this is where relationships between thermal conditions within buildings and lights come into play.  
We as people adapt our lives to light and I think it was interesting to see it from the perspective that the article put it in of the sunrise and sunset and the rituals of gathering to see the beauty of the play on brilliance of these events.  I also take into consideration the influence of water within these settings too.  As the article spoke, water is used as a reflecting agent of light to bring to life many buildings.  “Reflections in water put the sky at our feet.”  This quote from the article takes the words out of my mouth when I look out over the ocean at the sunrise or the night moon reflecting out over the water.  It helps not only light the sky but also light the ground and allows for light to dance at our feet.  This can be very aesthetically pleasing within a building depending on the usage of that building. 
The relationship between light and task is something that I could really reference myself to because of my previous work environment and design projects that I have worked on in the past.  Work wise, I work in the Forney building located on College Ave.  In the room in which I work there are huge windows that reach to the ceiling halfway down the walls in which the service desk I am behind directly faces.   It is pleasant during the day when the sun in high in the sky because enough light comes through that there is little need for the distasteful florescent lights above.  As the day comes to an end and the sun begins to beam in, hitting me directly in the eye.  An easy fix to this problem would be finding a way to diffuse the light in the afternoon by blinds or curtains. 
Light within a space really depends on the need within that building and also the user of the building.  This was something I really had to take into consideration when working with the Industries of the Blind Project second year.   Through research of the space I learned that there are all different kinds of blindness and to each case light affects the people differently. 

The Impact of Light on Health

Kelsey Walker  
Light Paper 1
Impact of Light on Health

I found these articles contradicting upon themselves in the fact that modern LED/blue lighting is both harmful and helpful.  In the modern world we live in, we strive off of electrical lighting.  It is difficult as a designer, to read articles such as this and try to think of ways that can prevent the harmful side-effects and also enhance the positive effects.  As the articles read, our body runs of our biological clocks or our circadian and circannual cycles.  Natural light works on this cycle of night and day giving us a friendly reminder that we need sleep to properly function.  Electric lighting works against this natural cycle keeping us alert and awake.  Is this harmful?  In some situations, the articles say yes and in some the articles say that moderate exposer to electric lighting can be helpful and make us more coherent.  This is where the difference of the lighting comes into play. Modern LED lights give off a blue wavelength color which is actually more harmful to our physiological health.  Geez, can we ever win!  It is hard to really work with health and deal with the light and task of within a building.  Light is needed for survival so, how do we begin to address these issues as designers?  The idea of natural dimming lights that NASA has experimented with is an interesting concept and I think could be a lead to a solution in this issue.  But as we see in these articles, with new technology that influences our natural biology come side-effects.