A Beautiful Light: Promoting Fascination Against Depletion by Martina Frattura, Master in Architectural Lighting Design Research
A Beautiful Light is a project that gathers art and design to improve quality of life. The project dissolves the lines between different disciplines to explore new solutions in the spirit of co-creation and inter subjectivity. The aim is to create spaces/environments where users experience personal improvement by maintaining good attention levels.
According to the Attention Restoration Theory (ART) (Kaplan 1995, 2001), it is necessary to seek out environments that require little of this finite resource or that use other means of maintaining mental focus. ART suggests that recovery can be achieved by pursuing activities that rely on fascination, which is experienced when, out of innate interest or curiosity, certain objects or processes effortlessly engage our attention: moment of instinctively attraction by something without a specific reason.
Methodology: the idea of beauty is subjective and the its continuous pursuit is innate. The proposed method to go beyond the individuality is to cross-reference several disciplines with the lighting design practice: Neuroscience; Environmental Psychology. The research will run through different latitudes to play with inter subjectivity.
To gather quantitative data, an EEG instrument to monitor the brain electrical activity is required, as well as a skin conductance one (EDA). Eight men and eight women in each nation, between 20 and 40 years old, will be asked to look at a screen showing 2 different images, each of the time for 30 seconds, showing respectively a neutral and a positive image. Participants will be also asked to carry with them a symbol of their own idea of beauty (e.g. An object, a picture of a person, a postcard of a town, etc.) and to focus on it for 5 minutes. At last image there will be a memory test run on screen.
Whilst analysing the data, a trend in the physiological response of people to beauty will be searched and the most recurrent EEG and EDA outcome will be taken as meter. By working on the wavelength, intensity, direction and CCT, different light stimuli will be proposed to participants, while still wearing the investigation instruments, in order to check if it possible to achieve the same restoration body output combination (EEG + EDA). Proposed Results Personal idea of beauty is equally restorative as being outdoors. By tracking the physiological response of this restoration, the same effects will be then aimed to be reproduces to a light stimulus, in order to be able in the close future to design indoor spaces against burn out.
Martina Frattura graduated at KTH Royal Institute of Technology with a Master’s Degree in Architectural Lighting Design and Health. Subsequently conducting research at the HTI department of TU/e, Eindhoven publishing the dissertation “Instil – How to induce shared feelings through light”. Frattura is currently conducting experimental research A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT on how lighting can help with maintaining attention levels, by using the perception of beauty as a variable. Co-creator of the booklet We Are Light, co-author Chiara Carucci, printed and distributed by IALD for the International Year of Light 2015.