Marién Vélez

Lighting Designer I

Marién Vélez joined The Lighting Practice in 2019. She previously worked as a lighting technician and independent lighting designer in New York City, Buenos Aires, and in her home country of Puerto Rico. Marién obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design at The New School’s Parsons School of Design where she studied architectural, stage, and social lighting–a design approach that incorporates the social and cultural aspects of the impacted community. This design process promotes collaboration between members of the community and the design team. Marién’s project experience includes offices, retail and mixed-use environments, and public spaces. In addition to her work as a lighting designer, Marién is the founding member and coordinator of a social lighting group. The group helps low-income communities with lighting installations and workshops. She is currently studying the posthurricane impact of electrical lighting in Puerto Rico and designing lighting solutions that will be later implemented to public areas in the affected communities.

What is your personal mission statement?
Daydreaming is a fundamental aspect both in life and design. It fuels creativity. The people who I admire the most are engaged daydreamers with a purpose in life who end up being game changers. I take it seriously, it gives me freedom.

What advice would you pass on to future lighting designers?
Having a multidisciplinary vision is key for a unique design process. Think outside the box, question everything, learn, and discover. It’s not enough to be a smart and talented designer, try to be humble, honest, sensible and most of all, empathetic.

What’s your favorite aspect of light?
Its malleability as both material and language, art and science, and as a weightless and dense element. I enjoy studying and designing connections between light, people and contexts.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Klein Blue because of its vibrancy, thickness, texture, and singularity.

Education

Master of Fine Art in Lighting Design, Parsons School of Design

Centro de Formación Profesional, SICA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bachelor’s Degree in Audiovisual Communications, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras