Extended exposure to artificial lighting caused by modern lifestyles has deep consequences for our biological clock, naturally trained by evolution to adapt to its surroundings following the dynamic effects of daylight.
The daylight component reflected by the atmosphere generates variations in wavelength emission throughout the day, as the sun changes its position in the sky. Those variations synchronize the secretion of melatonin, the hormone controlling the sleep/wake cycle. At the same time, natural daylight provides resetting cues: constant, extended stimuli in the background like the slow play of light and shadows during the day. These resetting cues bring restorative benefits from directed attention fatigue, reducing cognitive stress and improving concentration performances.
Luminarium performs a 12 hour lighting cycle in which an indirect emission (reflected by the ceiling and obtained mixing three different t2 fluorescent lamps) changes color temperature throughout the day: a warm and relaxing morning light (3000°K) slowly becomes cold until reaching the peak of 6000°K in the beginning of the afternoon, turning warm again to mark the natural sunset. As color temperature changes, a dynamic LED spotlight describes a subtle movement in the environment, a light halo describing imperceptible changes in the surroundings. The exposed gears transmit and slow down the motion of a stepper motor, while reminding the intricate delicacy of early clockworks and the dynamism of kinetic art.
Laurea Specialistica graduation thesis, Politecnico di Milano, 2011