Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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24 airportbusiness August/September 2018 TERMINAL DESIGN By Ginger Gee DiFurio, Beth Schmidt Lighting as a Human-Centric Design By considering biophilia inside your terminal, you can reduce stress on travelers battling a disruption in their circadian rhythm. Biophilia was coined by Erich Fromm in 1964 as “love of life” and further refined by Edward O. Wilson in 1984 to mean “the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.” We have long recognized our connectedness with nature, but consideration of human-centric design expands the potential for our built environment to enhance the human experience and even our well-being. Designers are turning to human-centric design with increasing popularity through introducing green space, biomimicry, and tunable lighting to improve the well-being of those in their space. While office buildings, residences and healthcare facilities have led the charge in exploring the potential benefits of biophilia through lighting, we can begin to imagine the potential benefits of biophilia in other parts of our lives including travel — an airport, for instance, that taps into the relationships between humans and light to fight the dreaded jet lag slump. Air travel often generates considerable stress for travelers of all experience levels. A large component of this stress can be traced to disruption of the body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Time spent in airports and airplanes directly impacts the passenger’s internal circadian clock. These closed, man-made environments disrupt the typical time-synchronizing cues the body receives from the environment, of which light is the most prominent. Incorporating tunable lighting into airports reduces travel-related fatigue and brings the well-being of passengers into greater focus. How it works When daylight is present it produces stimulation or circadian entrainment, boosting our energy level and informing us when to be awake or to sleep. In airports, many of these cues are missing or out of order as passengers receive the wrong sequence of light temperatures and intensities. Regardless of time of arrival, a typical passenger is met with sterile cool lighting when arriving at the airport and passing through security. Passengers also experience shifts in their circadian rhythm when they travel to different time zones, leaving them fatigued and less productive or alert. The disruption created by passing through multiple time zones can cause indigestion, irritability and headaches in addition to travel induced malaise. Tunable lighting offers a potential solution and affords lighting more appropriate for a passenger at each point in their travel journey. Currently, tunable lighting fixtures intended to promote entrainment effects are fairly rare and often only found in some healthcare facilities and office spaces. More prevalent are individual user products marketed as light therapy or targeted to enhance travel by prompting impulse boosts to our natural rhythm. These products vary from LED light boxes and glasses with built-in LEDs, to earbuds offering intracranial illumination. These products present light to our brains differently than the standard overhead light fixture. Through tunable lighting, each area can be adjusted to the temperature and intensity of the intended experience associated with that space as well as how it should relate to the circadian rhythm. For example, locations which we would naturally associate with greater energy levels and wakefulness would require higher intensity light of a cooler blue-white color temperature, whereas a location we would naturally associate with restfulness or sleep would require a dimly lit space with a warmer color temperature. Lighting in various functional spaces needs to be treated both independently and holistically in order to produce the best overall experience for users. Corgan conducted an experiment, a limited user experience, as part of an ongoing exploration of comprehensive design approaches and technology implementations. The objective was Different lighting can make passengers feel better during their traveling experience, such as blue lighting at morning concessions areas and dark lighting in sit down areas where passengers are looking to relax. Corgan Associates

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