Dina Sorensen, LEED AP, BD+C
Project Designer | Email | 434.296.5684 ext.139
Dina's design philosophy posits the need for a new architecture to translate and express the ongoing dialectical relationship between pedagogical theory and individual agency across the K-12 spectrum. Incorporating design ecologies that encourage creativity, diversity, connectivity, and a symbiotic relationship between nature and technology – the newly opened Buckingham County Primary and Elementary Schools celebrate the sophisticated, multisensory intelligences of children through a healthy foodscape and a positive physical activity environment that further the integrated relationship between pedagogy and architecture.
Trained at Parsons School of Design, NYC/Paris, and the University of Virginia – her background in art, design, architecture, art theory/criticism, and film underscores her belief in the necessity of nourishing creativity, imagination, and discovery as pathways for innovation, invention, and a lifelong love of learning.
Dina's current primary research – collaborating with public health and childhood obesity researchers – investigates the impact of school design on healthy eating behaviors and socio-cultural norms among students. Her collaboration with VS America, Dr. Terry Huang of the University of Nebraska, and Dr. Trowbridge of the University of Virginia resulted in the publication of Insights 3: Healthy by Design / Architecture’s New Terrain - The Dining Commons / Promoting Healthy + Active FoodSmart™ Kids.
- "Designing Healthy School Food Environments" at the Green Health / Building Sustainable Schools for Healthy Kids Symposium. 10/2011.
- "ReLaunch the Lunchline: Sustainable Learning Environments for Food Smart Kids" at the Virginia Food Security Summit / Connecting Farms, Food, Health and Environment Conference. 12/2011.
- "Design / Research: Research / Design: Learning Environments for the Whole Child" at VS American Days. 1/2012.
- "Open Spaces, Open Minds: Design Ecologies for the Digital Age" at the Portland Public Schools / 21st Century Learning Environments Conference. 2/2012.
- "New Directions in Design Research: The Role of School Architecture in the Prevention of Childhood Obesity," recipient of the Virginia Society AIA Prize for Design Research. 11/2012.
- "Educating Each Child: Designing for Integrated, Individualized Learning Opportunities" at the Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) Learning Environments Conference. 1/2013.
- “Too Cool for SCHOOL: Next Practices for the Next Generation" at VS America. 9/2013.
- “Enriching Learning Environments" at the UVA Curry School of Education & Youth-Nex Center on Positive Youth Development Seminar. 10/2013.
- “Moving Schools Forward: Design/Health + Learning" at VS American Days. 3/2014.
- "Moving Schools Forward: A Recipe for Design & Health" at the AIA Design + Health Summit. 4/2014.
- “Moving Schools Forward: Design for Health & Wellbeing" at Intereum Headquarters. 5/2014.
- "Made to Move: The Story of Buckingham County Primary School" at Washington Post Live "Health Beyond Health Care" Summit. 6/2014.
- Master of Architecture, University of Virginia
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, Parsons School of Design
- VMDO Architects, 2004-Present
- James Madison University, Lecturer, Interior Architecture