Webinar - Lunchtime Learning: The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space

  • Date

    Wednesday, September 16 2020

  • Time


  • Location


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. 

Presented by: Rebecca Clemens

Since joining the Sky Factory education team in 2017, Rebecca Clemens has presented Sky Factory’s AIA approved educational courses over 300 times to architecture firms and organizations throughout the United States and Canada. She has a diverse background in business, farming, marketing, education, personalized clothing embellishment, and martial arts. With a passion for understanding the brain and how we are all connected, she enjoys sharing Sky Factory’s research based courses. Rebecca’s love of nature thrives as an educator for Sky Factory and through her hobbies of gardening, farming, and travel.

Sponsored by: Sky Factory

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • 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;
  • Define the role Circadian Photoreceptors 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;
  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • Explain the implications of deep plan buildings on human health and productivity and how biophilic design technologies minimize their deleterious impact.