Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major

Architecture

Major Professor

John M. McRae

Committee Members

Scott W. Wall, Barbara Klinkhammer

Abstract

This thesis explores a design project concerned with the relationship between the person and nature in the context of achieving a state of symbiosis between the two – a state which can be reached through highlighting the relationship between the person and the rhythmic characteristics of natural light. The project originated from a concern with modern society’s constant separation from the natural environment and the resulting sense of placelessness often experienced in the spaces created. In response, a desire arose to investigate the effect that natural light has on the person and contribute to the design of naturally enriched spaces where light is used as the link between the person and the natural environment. We are constantly influenced by the prevailing conditions of light. Our biorhythms are in tune with the natural changes from day to night, the duration and intensity of sunlight and the spectral composition of light. However, in an attempt to create the optimum formula for comfort, efficiency, and productivity, we are using advanced lighting technology to create uniform interior spaces detached from the everchanging exterior environment. The outcomes of the study are to inform the practice of design and architecture and to use the findings in a beneficial manner towards the design of educative spaces. In response to the need for a secondary school in Fond des Blancs, Haiti, I want to focus on the chosen site and program, and investigate the rhythms of light and their effects as they are related to the specific location and the purpose of education. Moreover, I want to use the results to create a set of design guidelines for the specific location and function of the buildings to find out how biorhythmic design can be used for the creation of an educative environment where natural light is channeled, maximized and utilized for the goals of the learning process?

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