Kyle Konis receives 2016 AIA Upjohn Award

School News

Kyle Konis receives 2016 AIA Upjohn Award

May 19, 2017

Assistant Professor Kyle Konis, Ph.D, AIA was recently granted a 2016 Upjohn Award by the American Institute of Architects Upjohn Research Initiative, a grant program that supports applied research that advances design and professional practice.


One of five awards selected nationally, the $20,240 award will support Konis’s continued research examining how the built environment affects the health and well-being of building occupants. This is Konis’s second Upjohn Award; his first was in 2013.


“Kyle’s research is always creative in that he connects human perception and experience and the environment through design,” says Dean Qingyun Ma.


Konis’s current work focuses on the relationship of daylight access and human circadian entrainment.


He explains, “Your body has an internal pacemaker regulating 24 hour functions—sleep/wake being the most obvious. Light is the primary cue for maintaining entrainment, keeping it in sync.” Therefore, notes Konis, areas within a building that do not achieve lighting conditions necessary for effective circadian stimulus can be labeled as biologically dark and considered problematic for health and well-being.


The objective of this research is to develop a daylighting metric and design assist tool capable of assessing the circadian effectiveness of architectural space. The design assist tool can be used to analyze the performance of various daylighting strategies during the design phases of a project or to quantify the circadian effectiveness of existing spaces.


“Design can play a key role in improving the health and well-being of the public,” Konis says. “The challenge is to develop objectives and performance metrics that can inform projects before they are built.” ■