“This book lays out a wide range of theories and evidence that daylight and views are essential to a healthy human habitat...
It all adds up to a compelling body of evidence.”
- Visual Delight
in Architecture -
VISUAL DELIGHT IN ARCHITECTURE
We modern humans spend over 90% of our lives inside of buildings. This book examines the many ways that our lives are enriched by the presence of natural daylight illumination and window views within our buildings. Visual Delight is what results when the design of our visual environment is working so well, so perfectly in tune to all of our needs, that it is a source of continuing pleasure and joy.
The book makes a compelling case that daily exposure to the rhythms of daylight is essential to our health and well-being, tied to the very genetic foundations of our physiology and cognitive function. Its 19 chapters are grouped into four parts, first describing the physiological mechanisms, followed by the sensory, social and cultural mechanisms that contribute to the importance of daylight and views in our lives.
All types of environmental designers, along with anyone interested in human health and well- being, will find new insights offered by Visual Delight in Architecture. The book is both accessible and provocative, full of personal stories and persuasive research, helping designers to gain a deeper understanding of the scientific basis of their designs, scientists to better grasp the real-world implications of their work, and everyone to more fully appreciate the role of windows in their lives.
Dan Weissman: "The exploration of who is allowed access to daylight and views emerges as one of Visual Delight’s most striking undercurrents. Access to these amenities—and ultimately to quality architecture—is enmeshed with social status and equity. The consequences of limited access, whether it be from sitting in a poorly designed school or working in back-of-house space for a 12-hour shift, are consistently and disproportionately felt by people of color."
Clifton Stanley Lemon: "Lisa Heschong's Visual Delight in Architecture: Daylight, Vision, and View (Routledge, 2021) is possibly the most significant book on architecture and lighting of the past two decades a foundational text that lays crucial groundwork for the evolution of research and design practice for a healthier built environment."
Julia Day: "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."
Helen Sanders: "Heschong has clearly summarized the current understanding of the breadth and depth of the fundamental biological impacts of the light we receive (or not) through our eyes. Continuing to construct buildings in which we live, work, learn and play without sufficient daylight and without access to quality views poses an existential threat to human health. We cannot pay lip service to this topic, and virtual reality technology cannot help us put a Band-Aid on it. We need the real thing."
Luly Hernandez: "We need healthy buildings, we need buildings that support our physiological needs, and this is being recognized more and more by various green building codes and voluntary standards."
by Kevin W. Houser, Lisa Heschong & Richard Lang
Recorded September 29, 2021
A 40 minute interview by Lindsay Baker and Kira Gould, hosts of ‘Design the Future’ podcast, focusing on the history behind ‘Visual Delight’ and its implications for the future. ‘Design the Future’ is a podcast that features the voices and leadership of women working on climate action, resilience and social justice in the built environment.
Lindsay Baker, PhD is CEO of the International Living Future Institute. Kira Gould is a writer, communications strategist, and principal of Kira Gould CONNECT.
Recorded June 29, 2021
A 25 Minute interview by Yetsuh Frank, Managing Director of the Building Energy Exchange in New York City. A conversation about access to daylight for all and the health and social benefits of daylight.
Recorded June 1, 2021
25 minute interview with Raymond Neutra, President of the Neutra Survival Through Design Institute, focusing on the implications of daylighting design for healthy buildings, and how that intersects with the modernism professed by his father, architect Richard Neutra. Heschong interview is from about minute 30 to 55.
George Smart hosts US Modernist Radio, backed by the nonprofit educational archive USModernist, the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential architecture in America. www.usmodernist.org
Recorded July 23, 2021.
A 25 minute interview with Brian Toepher focuses on the need for this book, to fill in gaps in current architectural education. “Many people will say ‘Of course, daylighting is also important.’ And then that’s the end of the conversation. Daylight is taken for granted, without further exploration. I wanted to fill in the details.”
The New Books Network is a worldwide consortium of podcast channels which reviews new books across 90 different fields. Brian Toepher is a architect, author and teacher who has interviewed dozens of authors of books about architecture.
Recorded January 2022
Recorded June 29 2024
“The Importance of Window Views in the Workplace”
Keynote at 2019 Velux Daylight Symposium in Paris, France 2019
"The Intersection Between Thermal Delight and Visual Delight"
Keynote at Parson’s School of Design Symposium
Immaterial Environments, in New York City 2011
Karen Ludwig reading from Richard Neutra’s 1969 Manifesto: "Cross Section of a Credo" at Parson’s School of Design Symposium
Immaterial Environments, in New York City 2011
University of Waterloo, School of Architecture, 1 hour lecture,
recorded July 2021
Texas A&M School of Architecture, “Visual Delight: The Value of View”
1 hour lecture, from 6 min to 1:10, recorded September, 2020
Daylight Academy (DLA) and Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR) June 1, 2023 joint meeting “Out of Sync with Indoor Lifestyles?” A panel discussion with moderator Marilyne Anderson, Prof’s Christoph Kuffer, Markjke Groijn and Lisa Heschong
Alice Sung Book Talk at Eat Bay AIA Oct 2021
Bob Cassidy Building Design and Construction August 2022
Lisa Heschong on Thermal and Visual Delight in Architecture