Member to member
From Jennifer Veitch, recent research in lighting at National Research Council of Canada [we are re-running this article because the first time it appeared the embedded links weren’t live]
One recent project was a literature review and research agenda concerning the effects of daylight and view through residential windows. Here is its abstract:
A 2004 report from the International Commission on Illumination introduced the concept of a necessary daily light dose that contemporary life in industrialized countries does not deliver, but to which better use of architectural daylighting could make a valuable contribution. Nearly a decade has passed since the last substantive reviews of the health and well-being effects of daylight and windows, making it time for a renewed examination of the literature. Moreover, there has been scant attention paid to the role of daylight in residential buildings, which is the focus here. This review identified three broad processes through which residential windows and skylights can affect people in their homes, for good and ill: visual processes, acting primarily through light detected at the retina by rods and cones; non-visual ocular processes, acting primarily through light detected at the retina by intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells; and processes occurring in the skin. This qualitative review revealed that there is no shortage of research questions facing photobiologists, psychologists, architects, lighting designers and others in the broad lighting community, whether their interests are general or specific to daylighting for residences. The report includes a detailed research agenda aimed at furthering the use of daylighting and windows in the service of human well-being.
You can read a short summary of this work (written for construction industry professionals) in my organization’s quarterly newsletter, or you can download the full report (PDF, 1.17MB).
From Ann Devlin at Connecticut College
Following up on their course work in Environmental Psychology (Psychology 320) last spring, a number of students are continuing their research by doing individual studies and honors thesis work. One student is using his study abroad experience in Sweden to collect cross-cultural data on college students’ perceptions of control and satisfaction in dormitory rooms with different levels of amenities and regulations. Students are beginning to use Amazon Mechanical Turk (mturk) to collect data, which opens up new possibilities AND challenges. A number of students from the course are also submitting their research from last spring as posters for the upcoming edra conference in Providence (edra44).
Ann’s website at Connecticut College describes her work: “Professor Devlin teaches courses on cognitive processes, industrial and organizational psychology, and environmental psychology . . . . Her expertise lies in environmental psychology, particularly in the creation of more humanistic environments in housing for the elderly and psychiatric hospitals. She also specializes in way-finding, the study of the manner in which environments (through their design and layout) and people (through their creation of maps and other tools) provide cues to help people navigate from an origin to a destination. Recently she has been using a touch-screen computer to conduct research on the types of cues (maps, photographs, written directions) that users find most helpful. Two articles using this technology, “Interactive Way-finding: Use of Cues by Men and Women,” and “Interactive Way-finding: Map Style and Effectiveness,” both co-authored with a student, were published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology . . . . Her most recent book, from Cambridge University Press (2010), titled What Americans Build and Why: Psychological Perspectives, examines five areas of Americans’ built environment: houses, healthcare facilities, schools, workplaces, and shopping environments. Synthesizing information from both academic journals and the popular press, the book looks at the relationships of size and scale to the way Americans live their lives and how their way of life is fundamentally shaped by the highway system, cheap land, and incentives.”