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Lam: Perception

Translational associative abilities of the mind allow us to differentiate between structural elements and introduce stimuli caused by movement or changes in illumination.

Color: Literally color highlights moments in a building by drawing attention to itself. We perceive bright colors to be interesting. However, we also have an expectation of color at a given time of day. Direct sunlight varies through the day and higher luminosity is associated with warmth. A lack of that information, or expected situation, is visual “gloom.”

Brightness: Order in the visible environment has ties to how bright or dark and room is. In various social or work situations, a measured degree of luminosity is necessary. The direction, shape, and brightness of light dictates the level of comfort and security a person feels in a building. In regards to brightness, contrast is key in how we perceive a space. if there is a harsh edge between very dark and very bright we feel anxious or excited. If the overall brightness is a soft glow, the atmosphere is more relaxed and probably intended as a space to stay awhile.

Gradient of Light: Caused by 3 dimensional shapes enhancing or resisting light. Textures on the surface of objects or the material of objects deal with light differently. Some reflect, some create shadow, and some obscure all together. A surface can be matte or glossy, like a photo print.  Also, instead of increasing the number of lights, you can increase the quality of light to achieve the desired gradient. However, the eye adapts to the light rapidly

How we See: The experience of observation is the first way we see. It deals with the state of mind of ‘where we come from’ and ‘where we are headed.’ It depends on the individuals essence and place in their life at the time of seeing. Then many of the principles of light already discussed, such as color, form, brightness, contrast, and temperature, come into play.

The absence or presence of focus is another factor in the way we see. The degree to which it stands out is important. If the focus is obscure then we call it a distraction. Example: the Houston Astrodome. Localized lighting, instead of broad scale lighting, increases the focus. 


About katestabler

I am an Architecture student at the University of Virginia.

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