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.

Detecting trends and further development potential of contemporary façade design for workspaces

L. Pastore; M. Andersen

Architectural Engineering and Design Management. 2019-01-08.

DOI : 10.1080/17452007.2018.1561414.

Façade design is claimed to fulfil a number of requirements in workplaces, ranging from privacy to safety and from comfort to aesthetics. For future R&D efforts in façade design, identifying the key drivers that should shape contemporary facades in office buildings is not always an easy task because of the discrepancies that can emerge between the diverse expectations from professionals and the possible conflicts that can exist in conciliating global design trends with local climate constraints. This research aims to enrich the debate on façade design developments for office buildings, by discussing the outcomes of an on-line survey distributed worldwide among professionals working in the building design sector. Outcomes of 245 responses are summarized in an interactive chart that enables to visualize the potential of some main aspects and technologies characterizing today’s office building skins. The potential is shown based on the observed level of relevance among different professional profiles or climates. While energy and comfort emerged as the aspects attaining global and interdisciplinary consensus, the features that entailed psychological or emotional reactions attracted the most diverse evaluations. Despite not being fully exhaustive, the observations arising from this study can help with identifying possible research and developments gaps in the field.


Subjective and physiological responses to façade and sunlight pattern geometry in virtual reality

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

Building and Environment. 2019.

DOI : 10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.01.009.

This study investigates the joint impact of façade geometry and associated sunlight patterns on occupant subjective perception and physiological responses through a novel experimental method coupling physically-based simulations shown in virtual reality with a wearable biometric device. A total of 72 subjects participated in a study combining three façade configurations of an equal aperture ratio with different scenarios of space use (a social or working context). The façade variations –a non-uniform distribution of openings (“Irregular”), a uniform distribution of openings (“Regular”) and venetian blinds (“Blinds”)– were applied to an interior scene with clear sky and direct sun penetration. Subjective evaluations (how pleasant, interesting, and exciting the space was perceived) and physiological responses (heart rate and skin conductance) were collected during exposure to façade variations, while a neutral scene was used to record baseline physiological responses. Results revealed that façade and sunlight pattern geometry significantly influenced subjective responses for both context scenarios, while subsequent analyses showed differences mostly between the Irregular and Regular conditions, with the former being evaluated more positively. Façade and sunlight pattern geometry affected heart rate responses, but not skin conductance responses. In particular, participants showed a larger decrease in heart rate while exposed to the Irregular condition compared to the Blinds. Context scenarios influenced evaluations of interest and excitement. Findings are particularly relevant for applications in architecture and lighting, demonstrating that façade elements and their interaction with light can influence occupant subjective and physiological responses, and showcasing the potential of the presented method for investigating human perception.

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.