Lives under the Sun; The sensory qualities of daylight in designing the everyday

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    People’s sensations of daylight and their practical, daily engagements with the sun and the daylight are described in this article. Based on a qualitative research project in Denmark the article shows how some Danes experience the world through the sun and its daylight and illustrates its significance to their bodies and lives as they describe it. By taking a biomimetic approach a metaphor is presented that, like plants, some people crave daylight in order to feel well. By showing people’s engagement with the sun and its daylight the phenomenon of natural light becomes imbued with sociality and it is described how people design their everyday in accordance with the sun. The sensation of daylight normally taken for granted and acknowledged as a physiological element in our being-in-the-world is foregrounded and shown as a sense in people that may have a physiological origin when daylight hits the eye, but whose impact on people and their lives may best be investigated psychologically and socially, as when studying how daylight sensation is practiced by people and how it entangles and intertwines with their everyday lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSenses and Society
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)71-91
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Daylight
    • Everyday life
    • Practices
    • Phenomenology
    • Biomimetics


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