TIMELIGHT - A THEORETICAL INVESTIGATION by Federico Favero
School of Technology and Health, The Lighting Laboratory
Time-Light is a theoretical investigation on the relations between the person and the environment in the temporal and spatial dimension. It analyses a series of questions: What is our relation to time? How does light make time visible? And finally: How do these conditions impact Lighting Design and our well-being?
Time is a substrate and basic condition of all life. Light is the most important source of life on the planet and is the energy that makes the heart of the world tick at its daily, seasonal and yearly rhythm. In the natural world one is the element that provides all the information about time: day and night, represented by the cycle of light and darkness. Light variations are thus the basic agents of transformation of the environment and we have been exposed to these conditions for millions of years. Researchers in the lighting field have only recently placed man in the spatial and temporal context.
The point of view of this paper is that proper lighting conditions in the future must be conceived in space and in time. The entrainment to the natural cycle of darkness and light, of night and day, is essential for the wellbeing of the person. It is possible that most of the issues related to light exposure, starting from S.A.D., are a consequence of a de-synchrony between the person and the environment. This de-synchrony could be connected to the “conditions of exposure” in the space. The person experiences reality through frames that are both physical (space and time) and cultural, and these frames change the way we experience reality. Thus the environment and the modality of interaction have a major relevance in the perception of events and in the creation of the personal self. A vast series of cultural and biological differences can be explained by exposure to different conditions of the environment. Future investigation on these frames (conditions of exposure) is necessary in order to create better work and living spaces.
The research outlines the relations between man and his environment (Background) and the basic feature of time in our physical world (SunTime). Circadian rhythms and the study of body and mind synchronisation (Entrainment), are based on research in chronobiology and neurobiology. Three cases exemplify different attitudes toward the design of Architecture connected to temporality.
Federico Favero, KTH-STH Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan – School of Technology and Health, The Lighting Laboratory, Sweden.