Everyone deserves good lighting and beneficial darkness, especially indoors, where most of us spend most of our time; yet indoor lighting quality, particularly in public facilities, is generally neglected for marginalized, under-resourced, and vulnerable occupants. Lighting professionals have a unique opportunity to understand and address inequities that disproportionately diminish visual quality for people of color, the aging, the impaired, and the incarcerated.
This lunchtime program builds on the Light + Justice discussion of our February 13 Evening Program, exploring how lighting disparity shows up in interior environments. LightJustice.org co-founder Lya Osborn and St. Louis interior designer Shelley Satke join us to discuss this important topic, sharing insights into the lighting and interior design approaches that can extend the benefits of quality lighting to all building users.
Lya Shaffer Osborn is a multidisciplinary designer, writer, and advocate for design justice. She is a co-founder of LightJustice.org, a community resource for addressing the social impact of lighting. She also serves as the North America Regional Director for Unolai Lighting Design, where for the past seven years, she has contributed to a wide range of projects and award-winning design efforts on both sides of the Pacific. Lya received a double M.F.A. in Lighting Design and Interior Design from Parsons The New School for Design, where her thesis work challenged industry norms and incentives that have long defined a designer’s role in community, and proposed alternative modes of improving accessibility of design resources to the historically underserved. Lya is a member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and the Illuminating Engineering Society, and is Community Friendly Lighting Certified.
Shelley Satke Niemeier is an award-winning interior designer at SPACE Architects + Designers + Builders, excelling in hospitality interior design. Shelley’s work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects St. Louis and Mid-Missouri, the American Society of Interior Design Missouri East, and local shelter magazines. Shelley is committed to designing for comfort, wellness and sustainability, and she always endeavors to create timeless spaces that will not need to be stripped of trendy materials and lighting in a few years to remain beautiful. She takes a “less is more” approach for visual simplicity and elegance, and reduced overall consumption of consumer goods. Shelley is an Associate ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and LEED Green Associate.
BACKGROUND ON LIGHT + JUSTICE
On November 4, 2022, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) in partnership with lightjustice.org presented a one-day virtual symposium. From their website: “‘Light Justice’ is an idea rooted in an ongoing conversation between Edward Bartholomew and Mark Loeffler, both lighting designers and IES members, about their mutual recognition of harmful disparities in lighting quality and inequality in the public realm. In 2020, they coined the term ‘Light + Justice’ as the title and subject of numerous presentations and published articles exploring the unjust impacts of bad lighting and opportunities for the lighting industry to overcome those social and environmental inequities. As they have come to define it, ‘Light Justice’ is the practice of planning, designing, implementing, and investing in good lighting for under-resourced communities through a process of stakeholder engagement and community-supported placemaking.”
In 2024, our Coffee Break Series will transition to a slightly longer Lunch Break Series. These sessions will take place on the 3rd or 4th Fridays from 12:00pm-12:45pm. Join your Green Buildings Are Better community every 3rd or 4th Friday on Zoom for a quick (free) lunch break discussing green building and sustainability hot topics with local and national featured guests! Check our CoffeeBreakPlaylist on YouTube for recordings of our 2023 sessions!
Consent to use photographic images:
This event will be recorded and shared on our website. Registration/attendance at, or participation in Missouri Gateway Green Building Council programs and activities constitutes an agreement by the registrants to allow the organization to use and distribute (both now and in the future) the attendee’s image, in photographs, video, and electronic reproductions of such events and activities.