Member of the Month

We are pleased to introduce to our readers the IESNYC Member of the Month, chosen as part of a dedicated team of professionals that represent a cross-section of the lighting industry in New York City. We value their expertise, and thank them for volunteering their time and energy for the betterment of the section.

August 2017

Natalia Lesniak, LC, MIES
Senior Architectural Lighting Designer
Lumen Architecture

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
I grew up in a family of architects and engineers and as kids we'd draw layouts for fun. I studied sculpture and photography at Cooper Union. Wanting a better understanding of how light affect forms and, more importantly the viewer, I researched graduate lighting programs and found the Lighting Research Center at RPI. The light and health group, which researches the impact of light on our physiology/psychology, particularly interested me. I had little idea of just how much I was going to learn and a whole universe opened. I was hooked immediately, fascinated by how light affects a myriad of systems in the body. As a research assistant, I studied how short wavelength (blue) light impacts melatonin suppression and circadian rhythms. After grad school, I exchanged my research hat for a lighting design hat at Cooley Monato Studio. Currently I'm a senior designer at Lumen Architecture.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
An IESNYC Membership meeting was my first introduction to the section. Jay Dompor and David Scheffer invited me to stick around for a committee meeting. I joined as an active member shortly after.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
I contribute by serving on the Membership and Education Committees. I taught Fundamentals of Lighting for the Section, as well as a lighting seminar hosted at the Building Energy Exchange BEEX. I also lectured at LEDucation and this year I look forward to presenting with Ed Clark (ZGF Architects) about the application of Evidence Based, Circadian Impactful Lighting at the IES Annual Conference. I was happy to exhibit non-lighting work at Moonlighting, an event co-organized by the IESNYC, IALDNY, and DLFNY.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
The IESNYC calendar has a lot of diverse educational programs. More importantly, it's the wonderful people I have met that demonstrate the true value of our organization. I look forward to continued open dialogues and new friendships.