Natural Lighting In Spa Design Anthropology Essay

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The field of design has become a major focal point for sustainability, which is not surprising since poorly designed industrial systems, products, and buildings can greatly contribute to environmental and social degradation. "Sustainable," "green," and "environmentally friendly" have become a catch phrases in almost every design discipline. Practically every company and industry that manufactures or designs any product has environmental design guidelines or governmental regulations which limit emissions and the use of toxic materials. It is becoming clear, however that current views of "design for the environment" cannot fully solve the crisis of sustainability because they focus only on a product's physical attributes: material construction, energy use, manufacture, transportation and disposal. The shortcoming of this perspective is that even if a company could design and manufacture a product that used only solar energy, gave off no toxins and could be one-hundred percent recycled at the end of its useful life, it would still not be truly sustainable unless every person who used it did so in a responsible manner and returned it for recycling at the end of its life.

The crisis of sustainability is more than simply an issue of poor technology; it has emerged as an extremely complex sociological dilemma where the lifestyle that we have adopted is rapidly eroding our ability to survive. It is obvious, then that to play a profound role in making sustainability a reality, one must persuade the general public to adopt sustainable behavior. Applying intentional design to promote sustainability requires a redefinition,or more precisely an expansion of current environmental design principles. If the new goal is designing products that are more than simply nontoxic or recyclable but actually serve as tools for shaping peoples' lives and values then we must take a step back and examine what traits, values, and behaviors people must have in a sustainable society. Looking at an even broader picture, we need to develop a firm understanding of what is really meant by an ecologically sustainable society.

Design in sustainability and sustainble energy linked back to the design concept of photosynthesis in Spa design. Photosynthesis means "putting together with light" and light is a very important resources for the plants even we humans. By using natural light as the main focus and to design something that is eco-friendly, sustain life and energy by using natural light. The ebb and flow of light in the sky affects every part of our lives and literally makes possible life on Earth. At its simplest, light allows us to see, to know where we are and what lies around us. Beyond exposing things to view, light models those things to enhance visual acuity and help us negotiate the physical world. Furthermore, daylight is the source of energy that drives the growth and activity of all living things and over millennua has waxed and waned with such intensity that our bodies and minds are now closely tuned to its cycles and spectrum. In addition to generating life, daylight is also essential to sustaining life by deterring a large number of diseases as well as maintaining our biological rhythms and hormonal distribution.

These practical virtues have impelled builders to open their forms to available light, within varying constraints of climate and culture. But while infusions of daylight may ensure that the lighting in buildings is adequate and comfortable. We need more from architecture than physical contentment. We expect our buildings to also be emotionally satisfying; to appear alive than dead; to take hold of our affections with moods that resonate with what we wish to feel inside; to keep us in touch with the flow of nature; and to empower us to makes spaces our own by activating our perceptions and dreams. These extra depths of experience imply aspects of light that may have no practical benefit whatsoever, beyond satisfying the human spirit.

"The beholding of light is itself a more excellent and a fairer thing than al the uses of it"

Francis Bacon (1516 - 1626)

From beginnings of architecture and all over the world, man's relationship with light has transcended necessity and even the limits of objective reality. The way daylight has been handled historically by architects offers striking insights into the human ethos of each age and often tells a tale that is different from the more rational language of form and space. The most remarkable of these constructs are religions in nature, where light was employed to arouse feelings of mysticism and to convey the sacredness of a place. Commonly identified with spiritual forces and beings due to its awing powers over life on Earth, light could manifest a divine presence for believers but also expressed in such buildings was something simpler and more immediately graspable : an ethereal presence at the outer limits of material existence with a miraculous capacity to bring things alive at a sensory level and to create before one's very eyes a sudden intensity of being. Even the most cursory account of changing attitudes towards daylight and architecture reveals dramatic variations in the meaning and handling of light itself and in its capacity to visualize a wide range of beliefs and values that could not expressed with material form. Therein lay an extraordinary challenge for architects, how coudl they creatively manage the sea of light found in the air when that radiation coudl not be grasped or worked with the hands? One cannot even see light unless it it saimed directly into the human eye or arrives after striking a solid object or filtering through a medium such as smoke or mist. To overcome this predicament, builders resorted to modulation, inventing a repertoire of light-controlling elements that behaved in ways beyond and often distinct from their equally valued physical properties.

With this fundamental goal in place, we now can look at what is perhaps the most important piece of the ecological design philosophy: the philosophy of purpose. This area is particularly interesting because it guides the practice of "intentional design." The philosophy of purpose expresses what arguments designed products should make: it must dictate a set of values, attitudes and characteristics that designers wish to promote. The overall goal established by the philosophy of spirit is the formation of a sustainable society so the arguments made through design should promote sustainable lifestyles. This presents a difficult challenge because sustainable living involves different practices and values for different people depending on their local environment, so attempting to determine a universal philosophy to encourage it seems antithetical. Finally, sustainability requires people with the practical competence to develop sustainable solutions to local problems. If these are the characteristic traits and values of people in a sustainable society then our intent when designing products and services should be to cultivate ecological literacy in their

users: new artifacts should communicate the value of broad knowledge, nurture a sense of connection between people and their environment and encourage the practical competence to build a sustainable society from the ground up. Arguing for broad knowledge involves encouraging the user to truly understand how a specific product or technology is used to accomplish a specific objective.

A few case studies of a reference architect by how they sustain residential architecture and by using natural light as the main focus and to design something that is eco-friendly, sustain life and energy by using natural light.

Ascencio House, Alberto Campo Baeza.

The painterly drama in this house in Novo Sancti Petri is triggered by the intense sun of the Coasta De La Luz, whose energy according to the architect, 'is the primary material with which the house has been made.' While three sides are closed to the prying eyes of neighbours, the west facade opens to the light through a variety of apertures. Pure white most of the day, the western walls are stuck for an hour every evening but the full force of the setting sun, whose rainbow hues penetrate the length  of the house through an efilade of openings. West-facing rooms pick up sunshine and bounce it back around until it spaces fill the soft and gold explosion. Smudged and increasingly dense shadow cast from trees are superimposed over colours, merging impressions of earth and sky in a Hopper-esque moment.

Clockwise from top left: Sequence of light on west facade (mid-day, early afternoon, dusk, sunset)

Guerrero House, Alberto Campo Baeza

Underlying the punctured boxes of Alberto Campo Baeza is what the architect calls an 'impluvium of light', pierced to receive a 'fine luminous rain' that 'splashes us with its slow sweep', but also displays the sun's shifting spectrum in 'strains of changing light projected through skylights, to dance on walls throughout the day and create a space suspended in time'. As twilight arrives in the Guerrero House, solar displays on its huge white walls slowly shift to deepening yellows then become traced with orange above gathering blue shadows. They turn pink for a hypnotic moment before finally, untimately, being overtaken with watery purples.

Malibu 5, Kanner Architects

Vertically stacked and set into a hillside, Malibu 5 is a sustainable modern home constructed of envrionmentally-friendly and recycled materials and designed to minimize energy use. The design was successful to the extent that the owners are contributing energy to the power grid during daylight hours. Conceived as a passive solar house, it has photovoltaic panels and solar themals panels for domestic hot water on the roof. The photovoltaic panels generate power for house during the day. The amount of energy produced exceeds the owner's need and the remainder contributes to the local power grid, The house's power meter runs counterclockwise while the sun is up. Ground level concerete floors act as heat sinks, pulling in the sun's energy during the day and released the night. They also provide radiant heating, making use of water heated on the roof. The structures are separated by a courtyard that provides an opening for ocean breezes to cool the house. The large     expanses of glass produce light-filled rooms and minimize the need for artificial lightning which is controlled with motion senor light switches. The inexpensive scratched-plaster exterior is painted an earthy terra cotta colour to provide a natural texture that smoothes the house's introduction to its envrionment.

The exterior view of the Malibu 5 and the opening area of the living room.

To summarizes of in conclusion, to practice this set of ecological design philosophy order to promote sustainable behavior. Designing for sustainability requires skilled communicators who can go through artifact rhetoric, conceive effective arguments for how a group of people should live in the context of their environment. The greatest challenge is that sustainable living will different things to different people, depending on their local customs, needs, and ecosystems.

In order to help create a sustainable society, designers must possess a broad knowledge of science, art, engineering, communication, and human interaction. In other words, in order to help develop a sustainable society, designers first should first focus on developing their own ecological literacy. We must practice observing the natural world and how people relate to it and to improve our ability to recognize the difference between health and decay in natural systems and to discover the causes of both, then take that knowledge of the situation and ask "What then?".

Lastly, a designer who becomes an expert in these things will be well-equipped to use the ecological design philosophy to spread ecological literacy to all members of society through intentional design. If we recognise the true nature of our field and consciously utilise its power to influence society, designers will play a profound role in establishing a society that exists in beautiful harmony with the natural world.

References Books

  • Light Harvesting Antennas in Photosynthesis

Beverly R. Green and William W. Parson

  • Designing for Sustainability

    Design Issues: Volume 22, Number 2 Spring 2006
    Nathan Stegall

  • Declaration by

Design: Rhetoric, Argument, and Demonstration in Design Practice"
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989)
      Richard Buchanan

  •    The Green Imperative :

Natural Design for the Real World
     (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995)
     Victor Papanek

  •  Sustainable Residential Architecture

    Jacobo Krauel, 2008

Some relevent website for references.




Sustainability - Sustainable Energy

(Natural Lightning in Spa Design)

Ang Phuay See Ann (10294)


Module Code : DE2307

Level: 2/SEMESTER 2 - 2009/10

Lecturers: Daniel Pillai, Sian Jay, Anita Nevens

Word Count: 2025

Sustainable Energy

Natural Lighting in Spa Design

Essay Outline


  • Description of Natural Lightning..
    • The elements of shelther and natural lightning
  • Focus point of sustainabillity?
    • Sustainable, Green, Envrionmental friendly
  • How does it help to sustain life?
    • Making sustainability a reality
    • Applying intentional design to promote sustainability


  • The linkage of photosynthesis and sustainable energy
    • Back to what is photosynthesis..
  • How people use natural lighting to harvest?
    • Energy
    • Deterring diseases
  • How people harvest sunlight in Design/ing a space?
    • Light as a centre attention of the Design
    • Reflection
    • The effect of Twilight glow to cast upon
    • HOW?!
  • How natural lighting can substitude the use of artificial lighting...
    Quote words from designer..

Case Studies

  • Alberto Campo Baeza
    • Ascencio House
    • Guerreroo House
  • Kanner Architects
    • Malibu 5

Conclusion (Paragraph 5)

Natural sunlight can be a creation of space etc..