AIA Pittsburgh A Chapter of The American Institute of Architects

Designing the places and spaces of western Pennsylvania since 1899.

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L&L Sky Factory: The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space

May 4, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Join Sky Factory at the AIA Pittsburgh Office for a Lunch & Learn. Earn 1 LU/HSW hour and enjoy lunch on Sky Factory while you learn about the following…

In this course we explore the impact of enclosed interiors and deep-plan buildings on human performance. We analyze the role circadian light and perceived open space play in shaping cognitive function, as well as how our psycho-physiology changes in interior environments.

We discuss a new approach that proposes the restorative value of perceived open space in its two essential orientations: perceived zenith and perceived horizon line. In contrast to how we perceive these spatial reference frames outdoors, in enclosed interiors where such reference frames are often not visible, we can stage architectural cues to alter our perception of interior space. Restoring these spatial reference frames through a valid multisensory illusion restores a range of wellness benefits normally associated with interiors applying biophilic design principles.

Learning Objectives: Following this course you will be able to:

1. Discuss how and why isolating the qualities of light—intensity and color temperature—from their natural medium, the sky, has a profound effect on perception: Light loses its spatial attributes as an organic connection to nature.

2. Define the role intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs) play in regulating circadian function and why the environmental context in which our physiology detects circadian light—in open, natural space—may play a fundamental role in generating a restorative effect.

3. Describe how our sensorimotor system and our memory share the same wetware (neural pathways) to perceive and map out our environment, making our memory a neural repository of spatial reference frames.

4. Summarize the malleable nature of human perception and how multisensory illusions can be designed in architectural settings, transforming how our physiology experiences the built environment.

5. Explain the implications of deep plan buildings on human health and productivity and how biophilic design technologies minimize their deleterious impact.

$15 Members of AIA
$25 General Admission
$10 Student

Lunch will be provided.

Register today. 


May 4, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


AIA Pittsburgh Office
925 Liberty Avenue, Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 United States
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