Beyond Vision: Moving and Feeling in Colour Illuminated Space

Stine Maria Louring Nielsen, Ute Besenecker, Nanna Hasle Bak, Ellen Kathrine Hansen

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This article presents the results of an experiment exploring how four chosen light spectra illuminating a space in different colours affect observed body movements and reported sensory experiences. In addition, the experiment explores if these effects are apparent only when the light is perceived by the eye. In our light lab, 26 participants were immersed in white, blue, amber and red illumination and asked to move around while blindfolded and non-blindfolded. The movements of the participants were observed and video-recorded, and information on sensory experiences and spatial perceptions were retrieved by interviews. Thematic analysis shows patterns of how participants experienced feeling: “sharp and clear” in a “dead” space while moving in a hard manner (white), “calm and introverted” in a “cold” space while moving in a coherent manner (blue), “happy and content” in a “supportive” space while moving in a soft manner (amber) and “grounded” in a “dense” space while moving in a downwards manner (red) – both while blindfolded and non-blindfolded. Statistical analyses show that the participants moved in significantly different manners and reported significantly different sensory experiences within the four lighting scenarios. Moreover, statistical analyses generally showed no significant differences between the two conditions of blindfolding and non-blindfolding.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number2
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021


  • Architecture
  • Light
  • Colour
  • Atmosphere
  • Perception
  • Sensory Experience
  • Body movement


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