Sarah E. Lorenzen

architectural designer
Location: Los Angeles, California

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How did you become a designer/artist?

As a teenager I was certain I would be a mathematician, but two years into college I had a change of heart and started taking painting and printmaking classes. A few months before receiving my BFA, I began to incorporate architectural representation techniques such as plans and axonometric drawings into my artwork. The more I researched the subject the more it clicked. Architecture offered the right balance of subjectivity, logic, process and beauty. A few months after leaving art school I enrolled in the architecture masters program at Georgia Tech.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Mexico City, but spent a lot of summers in the US since my family is American. My parents left the US in the early 60’s to study and work in England, India, Australia and finally in Mexico. I lived in Mexico until I was 18, left to attend College in the US and like often happens stayed. In the fifteen years I’ve been here, I’ve lived in NW Massachusetts, Washington DC, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Fortunately, now that I live in LA, it is really easy to go back to Mexico City for a quick visit.

What are you doing now?

Last year, I took a one-year sabbatical to do a second post-graduate degree. This time it was on Metropolitan Research & Design at SciArc. The program turned out to be just what I needed! It not only taught me a whole range of new skills, it also gave me the push I needed to break out on my own. While I was still at SciArc, David and I started planning our new venture. In June, we launched Plasmatic Concepts. We both feel strongly that a multi-disciplinary firm is the right approach. We find that collaborating on projects, given our different perspectives gives our work greater depth. It is also really fun!

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to stay in Los Angeles for a while. It is a great city – there is so much happening here! I would also like to spend more time back in Mexico. David and I are currently speaking with people in Mexico City about potential projects. It would be great to do work there- it is such a visually stimulating country! It would also be great to have an excuse to visit our friends & my family more often.

What artist inspires you most?

I tend to like artists that are process oriented; those that have a system or an action that they constantly repeat to create an effect. Artists like Jackson Pollock, Eadweard Muybridge, Rachel Whiteread and my good friend Mark Cottle.

What unlocks your creativity?

I feel inspired after going to an artist or architect’s lecture. Even when I disagree with their philosophy, I always feel like making something when I get back to the office.