Date: April 01, 2021 | Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm - 1 AIA Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) Credit

The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space – with Sky Factory

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1 AIA Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) Learning Unit

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In this course, we will explore the impact of interior environments in human performance and wellness.

We explore the role natural daylight and perceived open space play in modulating cognitive function, and how architects and designers can engage our memories of natural environments to enhance occupant health and productivity in enclosed interiors. The course introduces a cognitive approach to design. It investigates the restorative value of perceived open space which functions as a healing attribute by engaging our biophilic memory.

Two spatial reference frames present in nature, the perceived zenith, the highest point above the observer, and the perceived horizon line, the farthest point before the observer, can be recreated in an enclosed interior space by staging an appropriate illusion to alter our perception of space.

Recreating these fundamental spatial maps through an effective illusion enables a range of wellness benefits normally associated with interiors applying more traditional biophilic design principles.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain why reducing daylight to brightness (irradiance) and color temperature in enclosed interiors can alter our perception of daylight’s inherent spatial nature.
  • Discuss the role circadian photoreceptors and retinal cones play in regulating circadian entrainment and how the environmental context in which our physiology detects daylight is as important as the light itself.
  • Describe the neural pathways that link our sensorimotor system (how we move through space) with executive function (how we think), thereby generating our sense of place.
  • Summarize the malleable nature of human perception and how bi-sensory illusions in enclosed interiors can evoke spatial memories to alter our perception of those spaces.
  • Analyze the implications of the environment of care on human health and productivity and we can use spatial memories to generate research-verified positive outcomes.

About Sky Factory
Sky Factory is the only designer of evidence-based, virtual skylights. Unlike similar products, our process is informed by neuroscience. When nature imagery is deliberately woven into architectural context, it elicits a more powerful multisensory response—the key to Sky Factory illusions of nature’s unique ability to engage spatial cognition.
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