Dina Sorensen, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate | 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 as well as several peer-reviewed scientific journal articles
published by the American Journal of Public Health, CDC and PlosOne.
- 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.
- “Healthy by Design, Healthy Foodscapes” at AIA Michigan State Summit. 9/2014.
- "Redesigning the School Lunch Experience" at Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) Conference. 9/2014.
- “Architecture’s New Terrain: A Collaborative Model of Architecture and Public Health for Obesity Prevention” at EdSpaces Conferences. 10/2014.
- "Architecture’s New Terrain: A Collaborative Model of Architecture and Public Health for Obesity Prevention" at Judson University. 10/2014.
- “Human Connection: The Roles of Materials, Human Performance, and Research Translation in Health-Centered Buildings" at National Institute of Health. 11/2014.
- "Creating Healthy Eating Environments in Schools" at FitCity10. 4/2015.
- "Use of Drawings in Understanding Children’s Perceptions of a School Designed to Promote Health" at EDRA46. 5/2015.
- “Bodies in Motion – Brains in Motion" at VS American Days. 9/2015.
- “The Power of Movement: Kinesthetic Learning & Action-Focused Environments" at Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) Conference. 10/2015.
- Master of Architecture, University of Virginia
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, Parsons School of Design
- VMDO Architects, P.C., 2004-Present
- James Madison University, Lecturer, Interior Architecture