Sarah Lorenzen, associate professor and chair of the Cal Poly Pomona Department of Architecture, will receive the 2015 Educator Award from the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter at its 2015 Design Awards.
Conferred by AIA|LA’s board of directors as part of its Presidential Honoree program, the Design Awards recognizes the talents and contributions of Southland practitioners, built-environment leaders and culture-makers as they reshape existing landscapes and ideas. The 2015 AIA|LA Design Awards ceremony will be held Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Aratani Theatre of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“From her meticulous attention to the past, to her vision of technological advances, to her innate ability to energize the next generation of architects and provide them with the rigorous knowledge required to design and build great cities, Sarah Lorenzen embodies the attributes of a Presidential Honoree for excellence in education,” says AIA|LA Executive Director Nicci Solomons.
Lorenzen joined the College of Environmental Design in 2005 and is resident director of the Neutra VDL Research House. She became chair of the department in 2013 and continues to teach undergraduate and graduate-level architecture courses, including design studios and seminars. DesignIntelligence ranks Cal Poly Pomona’s undergraduate architecture program in the Top 5 in the West and in the Top 20 nationwide.
“Professor Lorenzen’s Cal Poly Pomona colleagues know how effectively she is leading our architecture program into the future, but it’s wonderful that Sarah’s leadership is now publicly recognized by the largest professional association for architects in Southern California,” says Michael Woo, dean of the College of Environmental Design.
A principal in the design firm Plasmatic Concepts, Lorenzen worked on large commercial and institutional projects in Atlanta and San Francisco prior to joining academia. Her recent projects include co-curating the “Competing Utopias” exhibition at the Neutra VDL House, a video installation for the Palm Springs Museum, a documentary film about the Los Angeles River, a video on Informal Urbanism in Mexico City for the Rotterdam Biennale and a 4500-square-foot temporary exhibition space for the AEC expo in Mumbai, India.
“There is no longer dominant convention for architecture,” Lorenzen says. “More and more voices are being heard as opinions become more democratized. Learning to make work that responds to a multivalent and rapidly changing world is fundamental. As an industry, we should be far more responsive to the evolution of culture.”
Lorenzen earned her master of architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a post-professional master’s degree in metropolitan research and design at SCI-Arc.