Marie S.A. Sorensen, AIA is an Artist, Architect and Planner based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She studied at Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley and founded ART | FACT – RE in 2000 and Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc. in 2012. Her practice bridges creative and professional disciplines and cultures.
The invented name of the studio refers to the desire to make works that will be seen and grasped by our culture and by future societies; to the famous ‘factory’ of Andy Warhol; and to the joining of artistry and factualilty that yields discovery in the presence of art. The material philosophy of her work deals with both physics – highlighting the tension between durability and temporality and strongly emphasizing daring, anthropomorphism, and the uncanny in form-making – and ethics – foregrounding empathy, history, energy and resource efficiency, and acknowledgement of cultural and inter-personal difference within unity.
Marie was recently nominated by the Boston Society of Architects for the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious Young Architects Award.
/ Work – Sculpture
/ 2016 – Mystic River Portals – Commissioned by the Mystic River Watershed Association – presently under consideration for NEA/NPS grant funding – fieldstone & cast aluminum – size: approx. 3 pieces, each approx. 4 ft x 7 ft x 5 ft
/ 2014 – Abacus Stela / Monument to the Financial Crisis – work in progress – ceramic and copper – size: 8 ft x 12 ft x 25 ft
/ 2005 – A Bird’s Eye View Interpretive Trail – Installed at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge – redwood, guasivan, misc. hardwoods, steel, and concrete – size: 7 pieces, each of adult human dimensions
/ 2005 – Show – A Bird’s Eye View Interpretive Trail – Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Fremont, CA
/ 1998 – Proto-Human Journey – Yale School of Art – fabric, plaster, and plants – size: 7 ft x 5 ft x 12 ft
/ Work – Photography
/ 2015 – I Am a Skyscraper – work in progress
/ 2015 – Civic Panoramas – work in progress
/ 2013 – Faculty Show – Women: Portraits – Essex Art Center, Lawrence, MA
/ 2013 – Show – Being Human – Washington Mills Gallery, Lawrence, MA
/ 2012 – Show – Near and Distant Places – Washington Mills Gallery, Lawrence, MA
/ 2000 – Thesis Show – Built Form Grown Form – Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT
/ Work – Games
/ 2013 – North Common Neighborhood Interactive Map – Commissioned by Lawrence Community Works, Lawrence, MA – for use in charrette for planning of the North Common Neighborhood – size (board): 8 ft x 8 ft x 3 in – size (game pieces): 4 in x 4 in
/ Work – Drawings
/ 2013 – Celebrity Guest Sketcher – What the Sketch? – Learning by Design fundraiser at BSA
/ 2009 – Winner, Columbia University Imagining Recovery Competition – The Ears & Hands of Recovery: Six New Professions for the New Economy – jurors Tschumi,, Bergdoll, et. al.
UC, Berkeley – Master of Architecture, Master of City & Regional Planning (urban design) – 2007
Yale University – B.A., Art (honors) – B.A., Anthropology – 2000
/ 2016 – AIA Young Architects Award 2016 – Nominee of the Boston Society of Architects
/ 2006 – John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship – UC Berkeley Department of Architecture
/ 1999 – Mellon Undergraduate Research Award
/ Publications & Press
/ 2011 – Human, Machine, Structure: Dynamic Continuities – publication – Int|AR Vol. 2 – RISD
/ 2007 – The Miner’s Landscape: Design of a Therapeutic Environment – Thesis, UC Berkeley
/ 2005 – Berkeleyan: UC Berkeley News – When Your Client’s a Clapper Rail, by Cathy Cockrell
/ 2000 – Anthropology Thesis (ethnography), Yale University – Networks of Use and Dreaming in Post-Industrial New Haven, CT
/ Adjunct Professor, Norwich University – Northfield, Vermont – School of Architecture (2015-2016)
/ Essex Art Center – Lawrence, MA – Art Instructor (2014-Present)
/ Visiting Assistant Professor, MassArt – Graduate Program, Architecture Thesis (2012-2013)
/ Adjunct Professor, Wentworth – Undergraduate Program, Architecture (2012-2013)
/ Teaching Assistant, UC Berkeley – Energy & Environment (core building science course) (2004-2005)
/ Adjunct Professor, Photography – Norwalk Community College (2002-2003)
/ Photography Instructor – Belvoir Terrace Camp, Lenox, MA (2001-2002)
/ Professional & Board Affiliations
/ Essex Art Center – Lawrence, MA – Board Member & Art Instructor (2014-Present)
/ Licensed Architect – Massachusetts #50435; New Jersey #21AI01980200; Maine #ARC4124
/ LEED Accredited Professional – US Green Building Council (USGBC)
/ American Institute of Architects (AIA) & Boston Society of Architects (BSA) – Member (since 2012)
/ ArchitectureBoston (AB) Magazine – Editorial Board Member (2013-Present)
/ AIA Massachusetts Government Affairs Committee (2013-Present)
/ Docomomo-US/New England Chapter – Board Member & Content Coordinator (2010-Present)
/ BWIN – Boston Women in Information – Member & Presenter (2013-Present)
/ Artist Statement
My work is about discovering and sharing identity and relationships. Through photography, drawing, sculpture, words, and participatory events, I create images, sculptural works, and experiences that provoke contemplation and discourse about how people relate to each other, how they sense the world, and how they accumulate and construct a sense of self through their physical environments.
I strive to bring together the world of our daily life and the world of our senses – to extend ‘recording’ and ‘observing’ to ‘visioning’ and ‘shaping’. The work I make is designed to inspire and awake, to surprise and caution, leading to a discovery, on the participant’s own terms, of a new direction or awareness about the subject at hand. The inspiration for my work is a love of learning, of sharing experiences of new awareness, and a belief in the human spirit – its capacity for joy and its inventiveness in creating new definitions of Progress.
The philosophical question behind my practice is one of temporality and durability – and lies in the name ART | FACT– RE. A play on the concept of Warhol’s factory, the name foments a program of wide-reaching production of durable ‘artifacts’ – objects that outlive their original placement and relationships and are discovered thousands of years hence in new decontextualized venues.
Artists who are influences on my work are: Harry Bertoia (sculptor); Robert Smithson (sculptor); Dan Flavin (sculptor); Andrew Goldsworthy (sculptor); Alfred Stieglitz (photographer); Cindy Sherman (photographer); August Sanders (photographer); Thomas Gainsborough (painter); and many others.
I am particularly interested in these themes:
- Provoking awareness of “invisible” populations
- Exposing politically, economically, ecologically or socially “unjust” situations or settings
- Exploring people’s relationship to machines, industry, and the built environment
- Creating or showing experiences of biophilia
- Storytelling as an aspect of culture
My work has or aspires to these characteristics:
- Playfulness of scale
- Architectural scale and quality