06. Jun 2014

No. 93 – Human light

May/Jun 2014

Home from home
Psychiatric clinic in Wagga Wagga/AUS.
Text: Alison Ritter
Not many people outside Australia know what the “Wagga Effect” is. The phrase was coined by the Australian Institute of Sport to describe the disproportionately high number of elite sports men and women who come from regional cities, such as Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. It makes sense that children from smaller towns have more space to play, are exposed to many different sports, and will often participate alongside adults. Healthy sports activity is believed to lead to sound physical and mental health, and with its reputation Wagga Wagga is not the sort of place one would immediately associate with a psychiatric clinic. But they have one – a new one – and it is exemplary.

The happy event – and recovering from it Biologically and emotionally effective lighting
Text: Joachim Ritter
Thanks to its new and innovative lighting concept the maternity clinic at Bethesda Hospital in Basle has become something of a trendsetter on the Swiss healthcare scene. Colour temperature and light levels are aligned to natural lighting conditions over the day to support the human circadian rhythm and generate a feeling of well-being.

From hospital to hospitality
Architecture and design for ICUs.
Text: Joachim Ritter
“Perception-based architecture for contemporary health care design” is how the architects from Graft in Berlin describe their work. The statement sounds more than promising: a healing environment based on good design and observing the principles of perception. Following a three-year period of research two pioneering intensive care units (ICUs) were developed at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, Germany and used by four patients. Lighting was to play a key role in the design of the ICUs, given that we all know from relevant studies that the time required for convalescence can be reduced substantially if the patient is exposed to sunlight.

Designed for kids…
…converted from a printer’s shop
Text: Joachim Ritter
Old buildings can be re-utilised for a number of different purposes. But redesigning a former printer’s shop to create a paediatric practice does sound rather special and somewhat surprising. On the other hand, Dr. Uhlig’s practice in Hamburg is a fine example of how colours and light define atmosphere and not the past. Using state-of-the-art precision lighting technology this applies even more.

Bending the rules Momentum! By UVA
Text: Joachim Ritter
For lovers of art, music, theatre, dance and film The Barbican Centre in London is either a regular hang-out or high on the list of got-to-see’s. It is the biggest performing arts and conference venue centre in Europe, and home to the London Symphony Orchestra. At the heart of the Barbican there is an exhibition space known as The Curve, a 90-metre long exhibition space that wraps around the back of the Concert Hall. This unique gallery offers space in which to present new and recently produced work by contemporary artists through a programme of temporary exhibitions. The multi-disciplinary art and design studio UVA (United Visual Artists) were recently commissioned to create an installation for The Curve.

New lighting solutions for the elderly
Text: Alison Ritter
Our vision deteriorates as we grow older, leaving many feeling unsafe and unsure of themselves when moving around spaces and orienting themselves. The result: dwindling self-assurance and increasing dependence on others. For years the lighting researchers from the Austrian-based company Bartenbach have been investigating ways of applying light to enhance the quality of life for the elderly. As part of an EU-funded research project entitled “Guiding Light” the findings the Bartenbach team have compiled to date are being monitored and appraised for their practicality and effectiveness in a series of test apartments.

Vitamin D
The truth about Vitamin D and sun exposure demystified
Finding the balance for personal health
Text: Dr. Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska M.Sc. Arch., Dipl. Ing. Arch. (FH), Ph.D., architectural lighting designer and researcher
If you ask someone: “What is it most essential to have in life?” you will undoubtedly receive the response: “good health”. New findings in the medical field show that we need to review our commonly shared understanding of the fear of exposure to sunlight and its association with carcinogenesis (creation of cancer). There is a strong indication that inadequate levels of vitamin D in the human body can be the cause of some terminal illnesses and contribute to poor health.


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