One of the literary classics of the creative industry is “The Eyes of the Skin” by Juhani Pallasmaa. In the book, the author discusses how the dominance of sight across body of creative work in the design industry mutes the experience of other senses. However, we ought to start by acknowledging sight’s considerable significance on our health.
Eyes are a gateway of light, which further stimulates a small endocrine gland located in the centre of the brain. This pineal gland, often referred to as ‘third eye’, secretes a hormone called ‘melatonin’. This chemical is responsible for synchronisation of our circadian rhythm also known as ‘biological clock’ and ‘biorhythm’.
A research we have conducted on 50 people of various genders and backgrounds aged between 25 and 50 outlined how demanding modern lifestyle affects patterns of behaviour, routines and activities. It also showcased a need for a range of new interactions between people, products and spaces. But more importantly it pinpointed an arising need on the market for the design industry to meet the psychological and physiological needs of the body.
With the aforementioned facts in mind, it is fair to recognise that a design of a space, product and experience will have an unavoidable biological impact on the end user. Therefore, in an overpopulated digital landscape, skilled as well as insightful practice of design for the sense of sight has never been more important.
Combining Pallasmaa’s noteworthy observation with sight’s relevance in keeping up a biological rhythm, for ‘Materials Monday: Series 4”, we decided to investigate how we can ‘Sight Excite’ without surpassing other senses while encouraging a sense of well-being through colours, materials and finishes.
Overall, designing for the sense of sight embodies interplay of exciting factors such as emotive colour coding, pictorial depth, relation of shadow and light, aesthetic transformation throughout the day and perception of form amongst many others. Nonetheless, it all starts with light.
Light can be either natural or artificial, with both providing a different experience and having a multidimensional impact. An interesting quote to note is from Senior Marketing Manager of LED Systems at Philips Lighting. Mentioned manager stated that the quality of LED light was different and more complicated than with conventional light sources and is much different from all previous experiences consumers had.
With this notion, there are designers who creatively experiment with light and colour in order to create environments that enhance well-being. “Tocco Solare: Experience Sunlight Indoors” is a project that introduces sunlight into domestic and office environments. It explores opportunities and animates the light source to change the colour according to the time of day and mimics hues that are not only associated with it but also act as relevant stimulants to the user’s body. Subsequently, the character of the designed ambience, which changes with time, feels more natural to the body and stimulates well-being through mood elevation. It has the potential to increase productivity, ease seasonal fatigue and nurture happiness.
If you are interested to find out about other exciting opportunities for designing for sense of sight with colours, materials and finishes in mind, or you would like to book one of our London Design Festival 2018 workshops, please feel free to get in touch.
Below: “Tocco Solare: Experience Sunlight Indoors” at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016
Below: “Tocco Solare: Experience Sunlight Indoors” 24hr time laps