Art is the Space Between the Objects: The Relationship Between Light and Health

By Julie Whitmore and Pamela Schulze.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Just as quantum mechanics has revolutionized our thinking about the relationship between space and matter, research in such fields as epigenetics and neuroscience are leading us to a new frontier in our understanding of the relationship between light and the human body. The recent discovery of a non-visual receptor in the human eye confirms the bio-energetic link that humans have with their environment. Lack of exposure to adequate natural daylight leads to disruption of the circadian rhythms, and has widespread impacts on health and wellbeing. Currently, our knowledge of how light impacts health does not appear to affect how we light our interior environments; instead, the primary driver of the type of interior lighting used seems to be energy consumption. The authors suggest that energy-efficiency is only one of a myriad of considerations for developing optimal lighting for indoor environments. Theoretical perspectives and research findings will be explored that suggest a need for a new, holistic paradigm for indoor lighting.

Keywords: Artificial Light, Incandescent Light, Fluorescent Light, Melatonin, Melanopsin, Psychoneuroimmunology, Epigenetics

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.47-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 730.579KB).

Prof. Julie Whitmore

Assistant Professor Interior Design, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA

Julie Whitmore is an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. She is a member of A.S.I.D. and I.D.E.C. and is a professionally N.C.I.D.Q. certified Interior designer. She was educated in London, England. She received her undergraduate degree from Moore College of Art, Philadelphia and her Graduate degree in Art Administration from Temple University, Philadelphia. Her professional training also includes specialization in color from The Institute of Colour Therapeutics in England. Her research interests are lighting and the interior environment, color preferences and personality and Sustainable design. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Interior Design in the College of Health Science and Human Services, University of Akron.

Dr. Pamela Schulze

Professor, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA

Pamela Schulze was born and raised in southeastern Louisiana. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She then earned her Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Relations and her doctorate in Family Studies with an emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include cultural variations of parenting behaviors and practices, health beliefs and behaviors, and cultural differences in the uses and functions of living spaces. Dr. Schulze is currently Professor of Child and Family Development in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Akron.


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