Suzan Tillotson Named 2022 Nadine Carter Russell Chair in Interior Design

suzan tillotson

Suzan Tillotson

Suzan Tillotson (BID 1981), president and founder of Tillotson Design Associates, has been named the LSU College of Art & Design 2022 Nadine Carter Russell Chair in Interior Design. As this year’s chair, Tillotson will work with interior design students to explore the field of lighting design.

Tillotson Design Associate’s impressive list of projects include interior and exterior lighting for academic buildings, corporate facilities, libraries, lobbies, museums and galleries, performance spaces, places of worship, residencies, restaurants, restoration, and retail. The firm completed the lighting design for Lincoln Center Plazas, the School of American Ballet, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim, and the East River Waterfront in New York. They worked on the Seattle Central Public Library, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Israel Museum, and retail spaces for Diane Von Furstenburg, PRADA, Vera Wang, and more.

“I will be introducing the students to the role of the lighting designer today,” Tillotson said. “By viewing examples of completed projects, students will learn about typical lighting strategies through actual demonstrations. We’ll talk about process, and they’ll learn how to approach the lighting design for various project types and how to best communicate their designs to clients.”

This semester the LSU interior design students will be asked to come up with lighting designs through visual mockups, for the College of Art & Design facilities as well as another project of their choosing. Working with Tillotson as a mentor, the students will gain invaluable experience in a niche field of interior design.

“Lighting design is both new and old in terms of the profession old because it first started as electrical engineering, new as in a subsect of interior design,” said Philip Tebbut, professor of interior design.

“One of the hardest things for us to do as studio instructors, is simulate real world scenarios in terms of client interaction and professional office procedures”, he said. “With Suzan we have extremely high expertise that non lighting designers lack, real-world design problems from her office, and students can simulate client interactions.”

“Also the fact that Suzan is an LSU alum and one of our “family” makes for a very workable and close relationship,” he noted.

Follow LSU School of Interior Design on social media to view photos and project updates throughout the semester.

Read more about Suzan Tillotson: ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Lighting Design with Suzan Tillotson | COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN (

More about the Nadine Carter Russell Chair 

In 1998, Paula G. Manship bestowed a fund for the LSU College of Art & Design to establish the Nadine Carter Russell Chair, named for her niece, a 1967 graduate of the College of Art & Design with a degree in art history. The Nadine Carter Russell Chair enables the LSU College of Art & Design to annually bring a prominent artist, designer, or scholar to campus. The rotating chair provides outstanding opportunities for all disciplines within the college and allows the college to meet a variety of curriculum needs. The duties of the chair primarily focus on teaching and public lectures but vary depending on the recipient’s field of expertise.