November 2019

Susan Brady, IALD, MIES
President and Founder
SBLD Studio Lighting Design

Q: How did you first get started in the lighting industry?
While studying for my BFA in Environmental Design at Parsons in 1985, I took a lighting class taught by Diana Mesh. Through her class she opened up an entirely new world to me. Soon after I did an IALD summer internship for Steven Mesh and after graduating took a job at Fisher Marantz (now fisher Marantz Stone). My intention was to work in lighting for a year and move on to architecture, but after one year I realized I was only scraping the surface and really loved lighting design. I had wonderful mentors at Fisher Marantz, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Horton Lees (now Horton Lees Brogden) and was able to start my own business in 1994. It’s now been 25 years in my own business and 34 years in lighting.

Q: How did you first get involved in the IESNYC?
As a young lighting designer, I originally volunteered for the Lumen Awards Committee and did that for a number of years, eventually chairing (back when we were thrilled to break 100 attendees!) in the early ‘90s. I was also lucky to be a member of the IESNYC Board of Managers for a few years during the same time-frame. I primarily focused on the Lumen Awards and started the idea of offering table sponsorships which increased attendance.

Q: How do you see your role as member of the IESNYC?
I think it is important to support the IESNYC and encourage my team members to participate in programs and events. It is amazing to see how much the organization and the architectural lighting design industry has grown and I believe the IESNYC is a catalyst for our lighting community. No related industry event is more fun than the Lumen Awards, I love it that people come from all over the country to celebrate the NYC lighting community. And I love that SBLD took home Lumen Awards – JFK International Terminal 4 (2002), Changi Airport Terminal (2003), the New York Times Building (2008).

Q: In your opinion, what are the best assets of the IESNYC?
The IESNYC is a great organization bringing together all the components of our industry; designers, sales representatives and manufacturers. I love the energy and exuberance people bring to the organization and it’s a wonderful way to become immersed in the New York City world of lighting.