Kynthia Chamilothori

Kynthia joined the Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design (LIPID) at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2015 as a PhD candidate, and is currently in her fourth year in the Doctoral Program EDAR "Architecture and Sciences of the City".

Title: Façade design and our experience of space: the joint impact of architecture and daylight on human perception and physiological responses

Daylight has an undeniable value in various aspects of architectural design, ranging from energy efficiency and user comfort to our experience of space. Even though there is substantial evidence of the positive effects of daylight access on occupants, we have limited knowledge on how the façade geometry and the spatial composition of the resulting sunlight patterns in a space affect its occupants. Could a simple change of the façade change the way we perceive a space? Could it trigger different physiological reactions? This presentation investigates the intuition of architects on how façade geometry can impact occupant perception, and compares these insights with experimental findings on subjective and physiological responses to façade and sunlight pattern variations in virtual reality.

She graduated with honors from the Technical University of Crete with a Master's degree (Dipl-Ing) in Architectural Engineering in 2014, receiving the Limmat Stiftung Excellence Award for her academic performance. Her research diploma project, "Memorigami", a prototype temperature-responsive shading system using smart materials, was presented in international conferences and received an innovation development grant from the 2013 University Student Entrepreneurship Project (UNISTEP).

Before starting her doctoral thesis, Kynthia collaborated with LIPID for the development of a real scale prototype of an arabic-inspired adaptive shading system which responds passively to direct sunlight.

Kynthia's doctoral research focuses on how façade geometry and the resulting daylight composition can shape the way we perceive space. Through experiments in virtual and real environments, she aims to broaden our understanding of the interplay between architectural elements and light, and their joint impact on the subjective and physiological responses of occupants.