Text: Michael Hawkins

14. Aug 2015

We are stuck in a light habit; go sit in The dim

Throughout history about half of a human’s life was spent in low light levels, but today we rarely experience dimness because our nights are flooded with electric light. These nights of the past were fraught with perils; however, they were also a time of socializing. Our eyes have evolved to be able to adapt to dimness and there is research suggesting that we may be healthier for it.

Experiencing the dim in a safe and social situation can be a life enriching experience. By utilizing dimness in lighting design, we can encourage a sense of community and closeness that is not attainable in a bright, evenly lit interior. In doing so we are also creating a rich visual environment where form is revealed through shadow. Dimness creates a space in which detail is left to the imagination, enhancing the user’s experience within the environment. Reintroducing the dim into our domestic interiors can bring personal and societal benefits. Dimness at home can give our visual system a chance to rest and allow our focus to be internalized. When shared, the dim can provide an environment primed for closeness, and within a group intimacy is reached due to the range of sight provided. With sight losing its seat as the primary sense, sound becomes richer. Communication between individuals occurs without visual distractions and listening skills are encouraged. the dim can provide an environment primed for closeness, and within a group intimacy is reached due to the range of sight provided. With sight losing its seat as the primary sense, sound becomes richer. Communication between individuals occurs without visual distractions and listening skills are encouraged. A space evenly lit with diffuse white light can appear flat. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 98

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