Light – briefly about atmosphere, visual impairment and affordances

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Our physical environment plays a crucial role in our everyday life, affecting our actions and being affected by our use or understanding of them. The notion of atmospheres coins our subjective experiences of our surroundings, as situated and contextualised interactions. When experiencing disabling moments or situations, this relation can be intensified, and experienced as barriers. Furthermore, when losing sight, lighting can be one of the parameters that needs to be re-configurated in relation to the changing conditions.

Working with domestic lighting in low-vision rehabilitation can support the individual in these processes of re-configuration. Processes which can be unfolded using the concept of affordance: Originating from environmental psychology, affordance cover what the environment can offer the individual, and the capacity of the individual to respond to these opportunities. Together, the low-vision consultant and the visually-impaired explores existing and new affordances.


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Scientific articles

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Boston: MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Moore, R. C., and Cosco, N. G. (2007). What makes a park inclusive and universally designed?: a multi-method approach, in Catharine Ward Thompson and Penny Travlou (Eds.), Open space: People space, (London: Taylor & Francis), pp. 105-130.

Raymond, C. M., Kyttä, M., & Stedman, R. (2017). Sense of place, fast and slow: the potential contributions of affordance theory to sense of place. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1674.

Øien, T. B., Jacobsen, A. M., Tødten, S. T., Russotti, T. Ø., Smaakjaer, P., & Rasmussen, R. S. (2021). Impact of Lighting Assessment and Optimization on Participation and Quality of Life in Individuals with Vision Loss. Occupational Therapy In Health Care, 1-18.


In respect of our presenters at Lunch Bag Lectures, the terms, language and use of concepts that the researchers find appropriate in their field of research are used according to their choice.


Turid Borgestrand Øien

Turid Borgestrand Øien is a postdoc at Aalborg University’s Department of the Built Environment.

Member of the Bevica Foundation’s research network.

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