Say “hello” to Maria Sorensen! She grew up in southeast Indiana, where her dad was a carpenter. When Maria learned she could be an architect, she was all in. She studied architecture and historic preservation at Ball State and is now a Graduate Architect here at Curran. Read on to learn more about Maria and her creative endeavors.
Tell us about where you’re from.
I grew up in southeast Indiana, near Brookville. Since we were so close to Cincinnati, we went there all the time.
What did you like doing in Cincinnati? Any favorite neighborhoods?
We were big Reds fans. I remember that if you were in school and got straight As, they gave you tickets. The seats were in the nose bleeds, of course, but it was still really fun. Recently, Over-The-Rhine has been fixing up a lot of its historic buildings and turning it into a really cute area with lots of small businesses. Cincinnati is definitely a gorgeous area—the landscape along the Ohio River, the hills, the row homes, all that.
After growing up in southeast Indiana, you went to Ball State University. How did you find your way to Indianapolis?
I majored in architecture and minored in historic preservation and was in the same class as Favian and Grace! One day, Grace said, “Hey, Curran might be a good fit for you.” So, I had a conversation with Shawn, Melissa, and Dave and it went really well. Our values lined up. The firm was the right size. And they do some neat preservation projects.
Now that you’re officially part of Curran, what do you think?
It’s a really good work environment. Everyone is nice and willing to help you, and I feel comfortable going up to someone and asking a question. It’s laid-back in the best of ways. People trust you here; there’s no micro-managing.
As you settle in, what do you hope to learn?
I’m definitely excited to work on and learn more about historic buildings and historic renovations. I love the idea of using existing infrastructure for sustainability and carbon reasons. Instead of wiping things off the map, we should stop and ask the question, “Do we need to tear this down? Or is there something else we can do?”
What initially drew you to architecture?
My dad is a carpenter and when he did an addition on our home, he got me involved. He asked where we should put things or let me help pick out finishes. Whenever he was working on a home with friends, all us kids would play in the mud or on the dirt piles outside. That’s how I grew up—with construction around me. It was kind of like second nature. I didn’t know architecture was a “thing” until I was older, but once I learned about it, I thought, “Yeah, that’s more my style.”
Have you always been interested in building projects or making art?
Oh yeah. I appreciate the arts in general. In high school, I took every art class that was offered. It’s hard, though, to be so passionate about art but have to think about how it can be practical. It’s something a lot of artists struggle with. Being an artist is hard. As an architect, I’m able to incorporate artistic elements that can help a community or make a difference.
It sounds like you’re a creative person who needs multiple outlets.
Absolutely, yes. I get stir-crazy if I don’t have something to release all that creative energy.
What are some of your other creative endeavors?
I recently started doing photography on the side. I love dogs, and I shoot pets primarily. I have clients from all over and, one weekend, I did a pregnancy photo shoot … but they brought along all their dogs! The whole thing is fun and cute and is a way to let my creative side run loose.