The meeting took place in Umeå, Sweden, where Katharina Wulff works at the university. She has her research station about an hour’s drive inland along the Ume River – a specially built glass house called Photon Space. The glass house of approx. 30 sqm sleeps two and is furnished with a small kitchen, toilet and shower and a workplace. It is not a place for those who do not like transparency, it is all-encompassing but then so is the view. Only the forest and nature can be seen outside. If the weather is favourable you can sleep under the starry night sky in the middle of winter.
A Night Under the Stars
Photon Space was built in the UK and stopped over on Danish Bornholm on its way to Sweden and since 2018 it’s been outside Granö in the northern forest. The purpose of the house is to investigate the biological effects of light on the human body and the interaction between environment and humankind. Katharina Wulff conducts studies on people staying in Photon Space for up to three days in a row without access to any light other than natural daylight.
The LCN board members met there mostly in the form of a study visit, but we also got the chance to each spend each night in the Photon Space. Before bedtime, the group had sat and talked in the gathering darkness. It was fascinating to understand that you still see as well as you do in the light from a crescent moon behind a thin cloud cover as long as you give the eye time to adapt.
Planning for Future Activities
In addition to informal and formal conversations, the meeting in Umeå offered social activities such as swimming, saunas, walking with snowshoes, seeing the aurora borealis, dog sledding and convivial dinners. Many inspiring topics were discussed along with ideas for activities in the long and short term. The positive response to the network encourages the continuation of work to expand its activities.
Now that the covid pandemic finally seems to be over, we look forward to being able to arrange more physical events where real meetings can take place and real networking can flourish. At the same time as this issue is published, on 12 May, LCN’s first live event ‘Light Awareness Measurement and Application’ will take place at Jönköping University in Sweden.