eNews Archive > Fall 2014
Sky Factory eNews - Summer 2014

A New Standard of Care:

Personal Revelation SkyCeiling™

In the wake of the Revelation SkyCeiling™ summer launch, a next generation virtual skylight that creates a palpable feeling of expanded space in larger spaces, The Sky Factory now unveils the Personal Revelation SkyCeiling—a 2’ X 6’ portal to nature—designed to be mounted over patient beds.

Designed as an illusion of nature™ that deepens biophilic engagement—our innate, genetic-based need to affiliate with nature—this restorative installation triggers an automatic "relaxation response" in the physiology.

"Practically no hospital today designs a patient room without generous windows preferably overlooking a beautiful natural landscape," says Bill Witherspoon, founder of The Sky Factory. "Research has shown that visual access to nature is therapeutic and healing, so what can be done in patient rooms that do not have this access?

"The Personal Revelation SkyCeiling was designed to address this widespread situation by creating a convincing illusion of nature, one that engages the areas of our brain involved in spatial cognition, thereby triggering a feeling of expansion and well-being."

"We can now exploit the full range of our Open Skies Image Technology™ and match the most sweeping interior architectural spaces with an equally powerful and engrossing illusion of overhead skies," remarks Witherspoon.

The new image panels used for the Revelation SkyCeiling, called SkyTiles™ are 4 times larger than the current standard size of 2' X 2' (0.61 X 0.61 m.). The larger size allowed the design team to also deepen the profile of the reveal and underscore the visual displacement from the ceiling plane.

Employing Sky Factory's award-winning Open Skies Image Technology, an artistic tool that consistently elicits an experience of vastness by engaging the cerebellum, which is involved in the perception of depth, the Personal Revelation SkyCeiling provides visual respite from clinical surroundings-helping patients relax-and imbues healthcare settings with nature's unmatched healing properties.

Revelation and standard Elevator profilesPioneering Scientific Validation

Sky Factory's illusions of nature have been studied by Texas Tech University's Neuroimaging Institute and the results published in the peer-reviewed Health Environments & Research Journal (HERD), Winter, 2014.

A second study by Texas Tech University, In the Lap of Nature: Benefits of Nature Stimulus in Patient Room Ceilings, found that Sky Factory's Luminous SkyCeilings™ installed in a medical-surgical inpatient unit significantly lowered the level of acute stress and anxiety among subjects, by over 50% and 34% respectively. (This study is currently undergoing peer-review review in a scholarly journal.)

Virtual skylights designed as biophilic illusions of nature™ are used by leading healthcare and commercial environments worldwide to trigger an automated relaxation response in the physiology. This experience enhances human wellness and task performance by enlivening our innate connection to nature - biophilia.

Award-Studded Summer

On May 15th, our flagship product, the Luminous SkyCeiling, earned the Jury Award in the Best Product + Healthcare category at the 2014 Architizer A+ Awards held at the Highline Stages in New York City. In just its 2nd year, Architizer has become architecture's largest global awards program with an internationally renowned jury of 300 industry leaders and 60+ categories that drew over 2,100 entries from 100+ countries.

Luminous SkyCeiling at Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthTwo months later, on July 12th, Texas Tech University's peer-reviewed paper, Neural Correlates of Nature Stimuli: an fMRI Study, earned the prestigious International Research Project Award at the 2014 Design & Health International Academy Awards held at the Royal York Fairmont Hotel in Toronto, Canada, during the 10th Design & Health World Congress. The study found that The Sky Factory's open sky photographic compositions, in addition to sharing brain activations with other nature images deemed "positive" also caused unique activations in the cerebellum, an area of the brain involved in spatial perception.

Dr. Pati, the lead researcher at Texas Tech, called the paper a seminal study in neuroarchitecture. The International Academy for Design & Health plays an important role as an advocate for better standards in the design, development and maintenance of environments and spaces that support human health, well-being, and quality of life.

Notable Installation - Kingwood Medical Center, Kingwood, Texas

On April 29th, Kingwood Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of the South Tower and the three-story Women and Children's Center. Kingwood's $80 million, 155,400 square-foot expansion, included 4 custom Luminous SkyCeilings on the first floor. This floor includes eight high-risk antepartum suites, 12 spacious labor and delivery suites, a 24-bed Level II and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), two C-section rooms and a four bed OB Triage suite.

Luminous SkyCeiling at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health These fine art biophilic illusions of nature were incorporated into the architectural design by Linda Marzialo of Gould Turner & Associates to create a palpable feeling of openness and trigger an automatic "relaxation response" in the physiology, part of our innate, genetic-based need to affiliate with nature (biophilia).

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