Comfortable/pleasant to wear, comfortable/pleasant to sit in, comfortable/pleasant to ride in, comfortable/pleasant to use, comfortable/pleasant to sleep in, comfortable/pleasant to live in, comfortable/pleasant to be in…. We all want to feel good. But what is it that makes us feel good? Is it the right temperature, the right light? It's important to have the right physical environment, but it's not enough. We don't want you to feel uncomfortable/unpleasant in life. This laboratory is dedicated to the science of “kokochi”___comfort/pleasantness.
Our specific research themes are diverse.
Our specific research themes are diverse. They range from clothing environment which is the closest to the humans, to the scale of indoor and interior spaces, architecture, regions, cities and sometimes even the global environment.
While the main focus is on the thermal environment, we also look at light, air and sound. In addition to the engineering approach, we have also ventured into interdisciplinary fields such as meteorology and climatology, geography, physiology, psychology, sociology, folklore studies, linguistics and design.
The recent research themes mentioned below are examples of such themes.
Seasonal phenomena are observed in daily life, such as the change of clothes and the use of air-conditioning equipment, as well as in plants and animals, such as the blooming of cherry blossoms and the arrival and departure of swallows. Wouldn't it be useful if the weather forecast indicated a coat front or an air conditioning front rather than a cold front or a warm front?
Tradition is not just old, it is, sometimes, about having the potential to be better than today. For example, the shapes and the materials of the buildings used to make it suitable for the local climate, such as sunlight and ventilation. We evaluate the climatically adapted performance of the buildings.
In the areas hit by the tsunami after the Great East Japan Earthquake, there are many toponyms, which suggest the area was flooded in the past. Hangi-cho, where our university is located, used to be called Nakaragi, which means "driftwood" in Chinese characters. It tells us that the Kamo River, which is usually calm, can sometimes cause great flooding. This study explores the climate of a place from its name.
Even at the same temperature, different solar radition and wind velocity can lead to different thermal sensations. The thermal comfort indices, such like UTCI, Out_SET*, give a good indication of the overall effect of several factors in a single value. On the other hand, it is difficult to know which factors affect the sensation and to what extent. We have developed and examined indices that allow us to do both.
Although it doesn't actually cool you down, using mint gum or mint bath salts can make you feel cooler. But how many degrees Celsius of the air temperature does this cool feeling effect correspond to?
In summer, the heat from the asphalt ground can cause considerable stress to those who are on it. There are various types of asphalt, such as permeable, heat-reflective, and water-retaining asphalt, and some cities have adopted heat-reflective pavement for marathon courses because of its low impact on athletes. We will examine whether it is really effective.
There are more onomatopoeic words in Japanese than in any other language. Onomatopoeia is a strange word that is easy for young children to understand, but difficult to describe in other words. This study investigates how we perceive these words and how we use them.
While spending time in offices, lecture halls, and living rooms, people spend much of their time sitting in chairs and sofas. Therefore, the perception of dampness on the chair seat can affect sitting comfort and workplace productivity. However, there are few findings while the seat materials are compressed by the human weight.
Wood chair, Dampness
N-back task, Workplace productivity
Chair, Upholstery, Air temperature
Phenological phrase, Novelist's diary
Perception of season, China
Excel VBA sheets are available for calculating the thermal indices ETU and ETVO.