Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Light and Health

After reading the three articles about how light exposure have greatly impacts on human’s body health, I found the facts interesting and unaware. I was not been so fully realized that light could produce any remote or general effect within our body, even caused us to have cancer. According to these articles, that light could suppress the production of melatonin (a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and thought to be concerned with regulating the reproduction cycle), different photoreceptors in the human eye that govern and distinguish between day vision and night vision; and the photosensitive ganglion cells in front of the human eye's retina that indicate there are photoreceptors that work independently of the vision system and have significant impact on our endocrine system (glands that secrete hormones directly into the blood). This is why the topic of light and health should move to a more prominent focus in design.

In the article, it mentioned nurses, flight attendants and others who work at night have found breast cancer rates 60 percent above normal. With 24 hours of electric lighting and transcontinental travel, our biology is not set up to behave this way. We can adapt, but our bodies were not meant to do this. The concern is long-term dehabilitation. Potential high-risk groups such as flight attendants and shift workers, particularly nurses who work the second and third shifts their entire career, are the focus of specific studies to understand light's impact on the human biological clock at odd times on an ongoing basis. Although it is possible to train our biological systems to be at peak performance all the time, it would come at great expense, as we would neutralize our circadian systems.

To date, the design of healthcare facilities has received great attention, to the point where hospital designs now incorporate more natural light into patient areas than before. As a designer, we need to be more aware of the dynamics of the lighted environment.

Lighting Inspirations

Credit by: Dezeen

The various changing lights and shades presents an extremely different vision effect on the exterior of the construction, which is now the new landmark of Kaohsiung city.