Experience of Spaciousness and Enclosure: Distribution of Light in Spatial Complexity
Journal article, 2020
This study explore how distribution of light impacts perceived space. The purpose of this study was to gain a rich and deep understanding of the relationships that exist between distribution of light and spatial experience. In this research, spatial complexity is studied through a qualitative approach with a combined methods strategy. 21 informants answered a questionnaire and drew sketches, followed by in-depth interviews in a real-life auditorium with five light scenarios. The scenarios varied in light distribution, light level and light colour. All findings were triangulated in the final analysis. Surprisingly, a dark room appeared as more spacious when the spatial boundaries become unclearly defined. Simultaneously, findings indicate that bright walls can, in contrast to what most previous research suggests, contribute to a decreased spaciousness, if they become prominent enough. The results indicate a relationship between perception of increased width, caused by wall lighting, and reduced height, caused by indirect ceiling light. The experience of room size and spatial enclosure in relation to light distribution did not follow physical room boundaries. Furthermore, interview answers indicate that there can be a relationship between lighting and social interaction.