Review of Visual Delight in the SBSE Spring Newsletter

June 2021
SBSE Newsletters | Society of Building Science Educators

Lisa Heschong, the grandmother/goddess/muse of daylighting (well, at least that is how I think of her), has recently published Visual Delight in Architecture, which will undoubtedly become a classic read in design schools across the world, just as Thermal Delight in Architecture has since its release in 1979. I recently had the pleasure of reading Visual Delight in Architecture, and I was blown away.

The book is divided into four main sections: Part 1: Prediction; Part 2: Perception; Part 3: Motivation; and Part 4: Meaning. The book begins with a description of microscopic organisms that respond to light and concludes with an astronaut looking down at our dynamic world, in a beautiful story that eloquently communicates the emotional power of a view, which brings the entire book full circle.

Visual Delight in Architecture is filled with personal stories, lessons learned, historical references, and innovative research – these different approaches seamlessly build upon one another to develop and communicate the importance of daylight and view in our built environment. Lisa is one of the best storytellers I have ever met, and she brings an uncanny ability to describe the most complex scientific issues through poetic metaphors and analogies in ways that allow the reader to understand complicated processes in a whole new way.

She makes you think. She makes you reflect. She helps you learn while also triggering a deep curiosity that fosters new ideas and new avenues for further exploration. This is a book that should be used in building science classes everywhere (and more) – it is a brilliant, smart, and a fun read. Visual Delight in Architecture is available on Routledge’s website, Amazon, VitalSource Bookshelf, and more. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one. –

Julia Day
Associate Professor, School of Design + Construction
Director, Integrated Design + Construction Lab
Washington State University