May 5, 2010 — Karen Van Lengen, Willam R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, has been elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.
As dean of U.Va.'s School of Architecture from 1999 to 2009, Van Lengen led the school in its role as an eminent institution for the comprehensive study and design of the environment. She established Campbell Constructions, a program to recreate the school's home, Campbell Hall, using faculty designers to transform the building and its landscapes.
In addition, she founded Women's Work, a university-wide women's group intended to develop a vibrant interdisciplinary network for accomplished and emerging women scholars.
As the chair of architecture at Parsons School of Design from 1995 to 1999, Van Lengen created the Design Workshop Program, an integrated design-build studio that is a signature of Parson's master's of architecture curriculum.
Prior to her academic career, Van Lengen was an associate at I.M. Pei & Partners before starting her own firm in New York City. Her research has focused on the relationship between sound, communication and the built environment. Van Lengen received her B.A. from Vassar College and a master's of architecture from Columbia University.
The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects honored Van Lengen during its annual Fellows Fete, held April 24 at the Monticello Visitor Center. She will receive her medal of fellowship on June 11 at the National AIA Convention and Design Expo in Miami.