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Light Rhythms

Exploring the Perceptual and Behavioural Effects of Daylight and Artificial Light Conditions in a Scandinavian Context

Time: Mon 2024-04-29 13.00

Location: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm

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Language: English

Subject area: Media Technology

Doctoral student: Federico Favero , Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID

Opponent: Professor Sergio Altomonte, Université catholique de Louvain

Supervisor: Roberto Bresin, Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID; Arne Lowden, Stockholm University; Ute Besenecker, Ljusdesign

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QC 20240405


This compilation thesis collects multidisciplinary work on the study of the impact of light rhythms on perception and behaviour. The thesis was structured to answer and discuss the questions: “How does a person feel and behave inan illuminated space?” and “Do variable light conditions influence perception, appraisal and motion?”. In order to answer the questions, I applied methods from design, psychology and behavioural science, conducted literature reviews and performed two experimental studies. In response to the first question, the outcome of the five papers included in the thesis show that light and lighting rhythms elicit specific acute and long-term effects. These effects impact on these categories of aspects: visual and perceptual, appraisal and experience, behavioural and physiological. To structure and visualize these diverse aspects, I introduce the CLAPP framework: Context Light(ing) Action (behaviour), Perception, Person. The framework highlights the complex interplay between light, environment, and human response, by displaying features related to spatial and light rhythms, effects of light on mind and body, and personal features. The framework can provide structure and direction for education and research activities within the scope of Architectural Lighting Design. In response to the second research question, results from the experimental studies reveal that, even after eliminating view and sunlight, variable daylight conditions elicit better mood, higher pleasure, and influence motion, compared to artificial light conditions. The results of this thesis may contribute to achieving the UN sustainability goals, specifically to improve the well-being of the population (SDG3), to design a built-environment that is safe and resilient (SDG 11), and to promote the uses of affordable and clean energy (SDG 7). Building on the experience gained during this thesis work, I am confident that multidisciplinary collaboration will enable to integrate the diverse aspects included in the CLAPP framework, paving the way for the design of spaces that are both resilient and supportive of health.