For this assignment, I worked with Alex Pokas to find spaces on campus that felt spacious, relaxed, had perceptual clarity, and one particular space that felt unpleasant. We chose to sketch the Meditation room, room 401 in the Gatewood Studio, the lobby of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and a floor of the library stacks.
Meditation room sketch by Monica Browning
Floor Plan Sketch
The Meditation Room was an example of what we felt was relaxed. This space has both overhead and peripheral lighting, somewhat non-uniform, in between bright and dim, and uses warm lighting. I believe that the diffused natural light contributes to making the space feel relaxed and peaceful. The center of the room had and overall warm feel due to warm recessed lights overhead as well as warm track lighting that highlighted the textured walls. The three different types of lighting in the space were in three different areas to create different zones. While the area by the window is very bright due to lots of natural light, the center of the room is more dim and feels very calm. The back of the meditation room is concealed by panels that block most of the light and make it very dark. This accommodates the prayer and meditation preferences of different people. Aside from designating different areas in the space, the different types of lighting add interest to the room, as well as highlight features such as art on the wall.
401 Critique room sketch by Monica Browning
Floor Plan Sketch
The critique room is a space that we believed had perceptual clarity. The main light source in this room comes from a diffused skylight in the roof above, and spills through the opening in the ceiling of the room. A retractable shade is shading half of the space in this sketch, but can be opened fully to make the space very bright. While most lighting comes from above, there are track lights that span the walls that light student work during some presentations. In this particular sketch, the track lighting was turned off and the space was still very bright and clear. The particular ceiling filters in cooler hues of light, which aid in the clarity of the space. The uniformity of lighting can be changed with the moving of the shade, to create a fully washed space or a half-dimmed space. This can help when viewing digital presentations in the front half of the room.
Weatherspoon Art Museum sketch by Alex Pokas
Library sketch by Alex Pokas
The library interior was an example of a space that feels unpleasant. Aside from the natural lighting coming through windows as seen in this sketch, the majority of lighting in the library comes from overhead fluorescent lighting. This leads to a very bland and unpleasant atmosphere. The lighting in the library is fairly uniform, with the fluorescent lights spaced on a grid overhead. The interior is fairly bright to be suitable for reading, and uses cooler light. Overall the space is very boring and uninteresting, with limited natural light. The few windows provide brief visual relief with a view to the outside, but most lighting in the space is generic and not very aesthetically pleasing.