Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Colgate Searle

Second Advisor

Mike Blier


Close to half of Americans living in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest say they do not get enough sunshine throughout the year. That’s compared to less than a third of those living in the South or the West.

During the winter months, the days are shorter, with the sun rising later and setting earlier than during the summer months. This means there is less daylight for people to enjoy, and the reduced exposure to natural light can have a negative impact on mood and energy levels.

Public Health’s research demonstrates that constant stimuli of body senses plays an important role in regulating mood and energy levels. Exposure of the eye and skin to natural light in landscape stimulates our senses in an important way. To combat the lack of sunlight during the winter months, many people in the Northeastern area use artificial light sources such as light therapy lamps or light boxes to help improve their mood and energy levels.

My thesis seeks to engage light in public landscape to boost mood and energy levels in winter, as well as all year around. By catching natural light and amplifying light to be perceived especially in winter, other body senses would be triggered at the same time, thus enhancing wellbeing.



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