One of the laboratory’s focal points is perception, investigating how people perceive their surrounding environment. In the field of daylighting, this research refers to the impacts of luminous conditions on the aesthetic and emotional evaluation of space. LIPID’s research in this domain aims to identify, quantify and predict these perceptual impressions of daylight across space and time. In the same scope, part of the laboratory’s activities focus on façade design, with a two-fold aim: the investigation of relationships between façade characteristics and perceptual impressions, and the study of how these impressions influence the occupants’ satisfaction and perceived comfort.

Perceived interest and heart rate response to façade and daylight patterns in Virtual Reality

K. Chamilothori; G. Chinazzo; J. P. de Matos Rodrigues; E. Dan-Glauser; J. Wienold et al.

Proceedings of the ANFA 2018. 2018-09-21. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture 2018 , La Jolla, California, USA , September 20-22, 2018.

This contribution introduces an experimental study aiming to provide concrete evidence on how façade and daylight pattern geometry can affect the emotional responses triggered by a space. The study was conducted in Virtual Reality (VR) where participants were exposed to 360° scenes of an interior space with three different façade patterns. Their subjective evaluations and heart rate were recorded. The results show a statistically significant effect of façade on the perception of space, as well as the mean heart rate change. Specifically, during exposure to a façade with an irregular pattern, participants rated the space as more interesting and their mean heart rate was lower, resulting to a greater mean heart rate change compared to the resting state, providing quantifiable measures of the impact of façade characteristics on human perception and physiological behavior.

Methods for using immersive virtual reality for experimental studies in lighting research

K. Chamilothori; J. Wienold; M. Andersen

2018-08-14. CIE Expert Tutorial and Workshops on Research Methods for Human Factors in Lighting , Copenhagen, Denmark , August 13-14, 2018.

Due to the growing popularity of virtual reality (VR) as a tool for conducting subjective experiments, we propose a session addressing methodological concerns and good practices for the use of VR in lighting research, going further than a simple demonstration of immersive scenes. In view of the emergence of this technology as an experimental tool in lighting studies, it is important to document and establish a reference workflow, introducing potential pitfalls and suggested practices to obtain reliable data. This presentation will introduce the key elements for the design and conduction of experimental studies using VR -ranging from the creation of the immersive scenes to the particularities of collecting data when the participants are immersed in a virtual environment-, coupled with demonstrations through a virtual reality headset.

Adequacy of Immersive Virtual Reality for the Perception of Daylit Spaces: Comparison of Real and Virtual Environments

K. Chamilothori; J. Wienold; M. Andersen

LEUKOS. 2018. p. 1-24.

DOI : 10.1080/15502724.2017.1404918.

This article presents a novel experimental method that uses a virtual reality (VR) headset, aiming to provide an alternative environment for the conduction of subjective assessments of daylit spaces. This method can overcome the difficulty of controlling the variation of luminous conditions, one of the main challenges in experimental studies using daylight, and its novelty lies in the implementation of physically based renderings into an immersive virtual environment. The present work investigates the adequacy of the proposed method to evaluate five aspects of subjective perception of daylit spaces: the perceived pleasantness, interest, excitement, complexity, and satisfaction with the amount of view in the space. To this end, experiments with 29 participants were conducted to compare users’ perceptions of a real daylit environment and its equivalent representation in VR and test the effect of the display method on the participants’ perceptual evaluations, reported physical symptoms, and perceived presence in the virtual space. The results indicate a high level of perceptual accuracy, showing no significant differences between the real and virtual environments on the studied evaluations. In addition, there was a high level of perceived presence in the virtual environment and no significant effects on the participants’ physical symptoms after the use of the VR headset. Following these findings, the presented experimental method in VR seems very promising for use as a surrogate to real environments in investigating the aforementioned five dimensions of perception in daylit spaces.