“Few of us appreciate this internal world and we are seduced by an apparent freedom to sleep, work, eat, drink or travel when we want. Our 24/7 society has invaded and subjugated the night, an apparent victory of civilisation over nature, but the reality is that our society is replacing a biological order, honed by millions of years of evolution, with an illusion.” Professor Russell Foster

Our early ancestors lived by the sun and the stars and their lifestyle and body clock (circadian rhythms) was determined by the natural cycle of the day and night. Now we spend most of our time inside where we have learned to control the internal climate, filter the daylight and use artificial light to extend and orchestrate the working hours. We have ignored the fact that we still require exposure to natural light for psychological and physiological reasons to stay in tune with our biological clocks that keep us healthy.

The invention of the florescent tube and the wide-spread use of steel framed buildings in the 1930’s changed our working and living environments forever. Access to daylight became limited and scientific research was largely restricted to the effectiveness and comfort of “task” lighting. Since the discovery of pRGC’s further scientific research has concentrated on specific building types: hospitals; schools; offices and excluded our living environment where the disturbance to our rhythms is most significant. The reason for this is due to the complexity of such a study, because of the number of variables in the home environment.

The Photon SpaceTM design is supported by long-term studies from Oxford University and with the confirmation that natural light (pre-dominantly in the blue spectrum- 480 to 520nm) provides the critical input for synchronising our body clocks, the societal and economic impact of establishing a direct link between access to daylight within habitable buildings and the significant effects on our health and wellbeing will have a disruptive influence on: design; architecture; construction; and all areas of urban planning.

In addition the emphasis on the prevention and treatment of certain medical conditions (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, Alzheimers and Parkinsons) by living and working according to human biology and evolutionary needs is a significant solution that only requires a small shift in general understanding and acceptance- unlike many big ideas the answer is both recognisable and achievable.

The Photon Space will be a demonstrator for a truly sustainable building that can be: carbon neutral; off-grid; responsive to the inhabitant and the environment; a positive influence on health and wellbeing; a prototype for new products; a driver of innovation in building materials; a template for further scientific research; a bridge between clinical and field research; and a daylight therapy facility with proven medical benefits.