Visual adaptability in architecture : a physical and psychological approach
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
This paper deals with both physical and psychological dimensions of visual adaptability in architecture. The adaptive model of environmental comfort has been studied especially from the thermal point of view. Studies revealed that, when moving from one space to another, the sensation of thermal comfort at the arrival location is widely determined by prior exposure temperatures over the whole course. As all the senses work together in our perception of the environment, the movement between spaces with different environmental conditions has a considerable effect on our overall sense of comfort. Consequently, the main objective of this study is to investigate whether the adaptive model of thermal comfort can be extrapolated to a visual adaptive model. It may seem that when examining visual comfort conditions, users’ sensation of the same stimulus is more pleasant by contrast if they come from higher or lower energy levels than if they come from similar or gradually reached environmental conditions. But this extrapolation is not immediate. On the one hand, thermal and visual environmental changes take place neither at the same speed nor at the same energy level. On the other hand, users’ thermal and visual adaptation periods are not the same. The proposed methodology is based on an exhaustive observation of individual behavior performed with a sequenced exposure to different environmental conditions with controlled visual levels. The final outcome is the production of generic physical and psychological conclusions related to the experience of changing environmental conditions, since exposure time, expectation and predicted environmental conditions seem particularly important in the final sense of comfort. The results can be applied not only to general change in environmental conditions but also while walking through transitional spaces.
CitationAlonso, C. [et al.]. Visual adaptability in architecture : a physical and psychological approach. A: International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. "PLEA2012 - 28th Conference, Opportunities, Limits & Needs Towards an environmentally responsible architecture". Lima: 2012, p. 1-6.