Fragile nights :
Author(s)Courchesne, Luc, 1952-
Collection of ideas on light, darkness, and human behavior
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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The night -- particularly its constitutive darkness -poses a formidable challenge to the human mind, which operates primarily on visual evidence. Indeed, the active channels connecting the cognitive and visual systems are dominant features of brain activity overall: As a result, blacking out the visual field has a profound impact on how the brain construes the environment. This study presents a general perspective on the traffic between mind and reality via the visual channel, and proffers the notion that the most important factor in the visual process is the extent, at any given moment, to which whatever happens to be present is visible; that is, not the object, but the amount of available light by which we may see them. It is further suggested that darkness can be a positive environmental condition: that it can act as a stretcher and enhancer of insight -- in contrast to light, by which the environment penetrates an attentive mind from without. By implication, if light stimulates the body, dar~ness will in turn stimulate the mind; furthermore, at a given moment, visual stimulation and imaginary output are inversely proportional. The point of view expressed here offers a perspective on light-related design problems, for which might be developed a new approach that would use light intensities as a language directly addressing behavior.
Thesis (M.S.V.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1984.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-145).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology