Category: Lighting

More New Project News!

I’ve been selected by the Windham Foundation to design lighting for the Turner Hill Interpretive Center in Grafton VT. This building is part of Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail.

While the Foundation continues their work on the Turner Homestead, the former Law Office (above, located at 31 Townshend Rd., Grafton, VT) serves to tell the story of the Alec Turner family and their part in Grafton’s rich history.

Alec Turner was an escaped slave who fought with the Union Army before settling in Grafton in 1872. He worked as a logger and sawmill worker until he saved up to buy 150 acres on a Grafton hilltop. There he built a home where he was to raise 13 children together with his wife, Sally Turner, a freed slave. His daughter Daisy tells the family’s tales that line the Center’s walls.

I hope to honor & enhance their story by bringing light to the Center for the first time.

Dwell – Good Reading

Recent work has been published by Dwell. Nice!

all photos © Lindsay Selin Photography, click to enlarge.

Happy to be part of a wonderful team of designers and trades that transformed an old VT barn into a high performance home.

The architect chose to leave some of the barn’s original elements within the existing structure, while updating finish materials and adding lots of windows for daylighting. With plenty of new wood lighting fixtures and many brightly painted surfaces, this home is warm, welcoming, and well-lit both day & night.

This home appears in a larger article as the first of five barns & farmhouses that celebrate their roots

Exciting Project on the board!

Quite excited to be asked to collaborate on the design team for a church preservation / renovation / addition project!

Here is the early story of the project beginnings, of a local hero attempting to save a piece of history in her town. I loved reading about the early dreams they had for this place!

One portion of architect Robert Swinburne‘s initial thoughts on the project during his early design work:
“This is an old church begin turned into a modern home. My approach with this design is to minimally impact the large main space of the church. … We are looking at a full height metal and glass separation from the large area of the church (from the residence addition) which will provide some acoustical changes, affect the heat distribution, lighting and provide a more intimate feeling for fewer occupants.  Large sliding panels will allow this curtain wall to open up.”
A short video made by the architect leading the design team, with glimpses of what the project will become!

Taking this original early 1900s St. Mary’s on the Lake church from this…
…to this!
One of my early interior renderings.
Here, the reverse view from the residence addition.

Further updates will be posted as it all comes together!

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

During the climax, Diwali revellers illuminate the interior & exterior of their homes with oil lamps or candles, worship to Lakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wealth), light fireworks, and partake in family feasts where sweets & gifts are shared.

We could all use more of that. Just sayin’!

JLC’s Energy Column – Good Reading

I’m pleased to be a part of the Energy column featured in Journal Of Light Construction’s May issue, written by senior editor Ted Cushman.  The column’s focus is on ‘high-efficacy lighting’ and illustrates how code changes & LED technology improvements are coming together and making for some great lighting.
A portion of my focus in the interview is that ‘every project at every budget level deserves great lighting’ and how ‘we (as lighting designers) are free to design an entire house to use LED. That definitely has moved beyond what the 2018 code is talking about.’
You can download the PDF here

A cluster of Moooi Random Lights with Cree LEDs and two smaller Dora LED pendants by SEED Design compliment the daylighting in this vaulted living space.



Table Lamps Galore!

Along with my wife Robin, in our Mathiesen & Mathiesen Design partnership, we have just recently finished a photo shoot of Raku & Obvara (aka Baltic Raku) pottery table lamps & vases for ceramic artist Jenifer Morier @ LightenUp Studio in Guilford VT. Presenting here, a few of our favorite shots.


Raku is a type of Japanese pottery and Jen’s works include crackle glaze, brilliant colors and hints of copper tones. Of Obvara, Jen says its “A centuries-old process where glaze-less pots are fired to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit then plunged into a fermented brew of flour, yeast, water, and sugar. Smells like burnt toast, in a good way.”

I was able to consult on sourcing electrical supplies (cording, Edison bases, dimmers, etc.) The lamps are equipped with Cree & Philips LED A-lamp bulbs, most with dimmers, ready to dress up your tables for work & play!

Next up we’re creating sconces from new Raku pieces, stay tuned!


Photometry is the science concerned with measuring visual response to light, in terms of its perceived brightness to the human eye. Because the eye is a highly complex organ, this is by no means a simple task.

OK, that’s a simplified definition, without the formulas & technical issues that drive the work.
Depending on your point of view, photometry is either the glamorous scientific side of a lighting designer’s efforts to create great lighting OR the quite less-than-sexy work to make a design function correctly by providing the correct levels of light to meet a code or need.

From either view, the resulting renders that are part of the engineering of photometry are both informative and cool.

Earlier this year I was asked to design an exterior lighting package for a restoration project of a city block in Bennington VT. Working with a design team of Stevens & Associates & the engineering firm of Dubois & King, we designed & engineered for public street entrances, rear building entries, two public courtyards and off-street parking & access ways.
The final photometric renderings by Dubois & King illustrate the results beautifully. Bright entries that beckon you to approach & provide abundant safe lighting at sidewalks & steps, courtyards that invite you to hangout & relax in them, and parking with a relatively even wash of light.

This was another wonderful collaboration, very happy to be a part of the teamwork!

Lighting The Way: Four Good Reasons Why You Need A Lighting Designer

Linking here to Stratton Magazine’s Fall 2017 issue with an article by Anita Rafael that I’m featured in: “Lighting The Way: Four Good Reasons Why You Need A Lighting Designer”.
Please let me know what you think!

It was a pleasure to be part of this and I am looking forward to a visit some day with Susan Brady @ SBLD Studio Architectural Lighting Design, the other designer featured in the article.

What Makes Good Lighting?

I begin with a caveat – This is an opinion piece.

First, I’d like to define what I mean when discussing ‘Good Lighting’.
Good Lighting is timeless and long-lasting, it’s innovative, it’s unobtrusive, and it’s environmentally friendly.
Good Lighting provides joy, safety, wellness, personal expression, unique character, and highlights detail in our spaces and in our lives.
Good Lighting creates a positive visceral response.

Before proceeding to work on any lighting design, the program (or concept) of the project is required for an understanding of the well-defined wants and needs of our clients.
Good Lighting Design issues that then need to be considered include: What are we lighting and where to place light; What type luminaire (fixture) and lamp (bulb) to use; How to control it. 

Ok. What makes Good Lighting? 
There are a few key elements that will apply no matter what style is chosen and no matter the size or budget of a project. 
• Create layers of light. Spaces are used in a variety of ways, the lighting should be flexible to allow that. Mixed sources will allow selections to be set to changes in mood or use.
• Use direct & indirect light. Work areas want quantities of task light directed to the surfaces. Ambient light gets washed or bounced off various materials.
• Incorporate shadow & asymmetric pattern. These are needed to provide contrast in a space. With that, we can appreciate the features, textures, and decoration.
• Hide the light source. Glare is the nemesis of good lighting. The trend to using bare bulbs is over-rated, and old-tyme-y edison bulbs do not provide enough quantity of lumens to be useful. 
More about this in a future post.
• Utilize advanced controls. In the simplest form, a dimmer instead of a switch. Perhaps add control of certain lamps via a smartphone app. A fully programmable & integrated system in a more extreme sense.
• Include a ‘feature’. This can be that fixture that makes our client smile or feel joyful. It might be a special purchase or a cherished hand-me-down or show piece luminaire.

Got ideas of your own about what makes Good Lighting? Please let me know, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Tiny House Festival VT Followup

As some may have noted from other postings, I was asked to give a presentation on Lighting & Interior Design for Small Spaces at the first Tiny House Festival VT in Brattleboro VT this fall.

Here now, a copy of the talk I gave.

I’m pleased with the message, & the reception from those in attendance, even while being somewhat rushed on time. While this AV edit is a bit rough, a hat tip & many thanks to BCTV for all their efforts under unusual conditions that day.

I was also fortunate to be followed by Lina Menard of Niche Consulting, a tiny house design consultant from Portland OR. Another great take on tiny house design!

Both talks have great information on design, no matter what size you’re considering.
Shout out to the festival organizers for a job well done.
Onward to THFVT 2017!