Mental Health Awareness: Dr Shelley James

Added: 08/10/21

LightTribe-interview-for-website from PHOS on Vimeo.

Sunday 10th October 2021 is World Mental Health Day. This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'Mental Health in an Unequal World'.

At Phos, we think a lot about the impact of lighting on mental wellbeing - particularly for our young people, in our public spaces and in our homes.

We caught up with Dr Shelley James, founder of Age of Light Innovations, to discuss the importance of good lighting to mental wellbeing.

As humans evolved under the sun, we are light sensitive beings. In fact, as Shelley points out, light sensitive proteins develop in embryos as early as 17 days into gestation. Our physiological system, and in turn the hormones and signals that shape our moods, energy levels and social responses are influenced by the light in our environments.

With modern architecture, this sensitivity to light is often overlooked and so we live in a kind of “twilight zone” with our circadian rhythms out of whack and our eyes straining or understimulated.

Dr Shelley, in conversation with Xander Cadisch, explains the new Wells Standards for healthy architecture and explores the possible uses of good quality artificial light to drastically improve our mental wellbeing.

Check out the full interview below: >

This is the first in our Brighter Days Ahead Series for World Mental Health Day 2021. Next week we speak to Kaye Preston, from Designers Mind.


Dr Shelley James

Lecturer at Royal College of Art

Dr Shelley James


Power of Light

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