Alumna Toffer ’04 to receive AIA diversity honor at D.C. conference

Lorena Téllez Toffer AIA, a 2004 Master of Architecture graduate from Texas A&M, will be recognized May 19 at the American Institute of Architect’s [National Convention] ( and Design Expo in Washington, D.C. for her leadership as co-chair of [AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture] ( (LiA) Committee, this year’s [AIA Diversity Recognition Program] ( honoree.

In selecting LiA for recognition, jurors cited the two-year-old organization’s variety of programs and events; its three-pronged focus on education, the community, and the profession; and the relative ease required to duplicate the initiative in chapters and firms across the country.

Toffer will share her strategies for outreach to underrepresented groups at the Saturday, May 19 convention seminar SA201: “Connecting Diversity and Design: Award-Winning Diversity Strategies and How You can Implement Them.” Presenting with Toffer will be LiA’s founding member, Yesenia Blandon, and the 2012 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award recipient, Mortimer M. Marshall Jr. FAIA.

LiA’s submission for the AIA Diversity Recognition Award will be exhibited at the AIA convention and available for viewing online in May.

Striving for the creation of meaningful spaces that transcend boundaries of culture, site and history while speaking of our time,

Toffer said she tries to be a role model and mentor by example, “striving to create meaningful spaces that transcend boundaries of culture, site and history while speaking of our time.”

Her passion for design and giving back is demonstrated in her enthusiasm and leadership as the 2012 co-chair of the AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture. Toffer has played an instrumental role assisting communities in West Dallas, inspiring middle and high school students to pursue architecture as a career, and establishing partnerships with organizations such as [Big Thought] ( and the [Latino Cultural Center] ( .

As a first generation immigrant and a Latino woman architect, Lorena finds that a measure of success is rooted in a strong support system. Her husband, Jonathan N. Toffer MUP ’07, an urban planner, understands and appreciates her work, she said, and provides a broader perspective on how buildings fit into the cities we live in.

She said her parents, from Mexico City and Michoacán, have taught her the importance of hard work, determination and taking pride of her heritage.

Lorena earned a B.A. in Architecture from Monterrey Tech in 2001 and an M.Arch. from Texas A&M in 2004. A registered architect in Mexico and Texas, she works for Corgan Associates Inc. Her areas of expertise include higher education, adaptive reuse and museum facilities, with recent clients including The University of Maine, The Dallas Holocaust Museum and The Sixth Floor Museum.

She is a member of the Young Constructors Council, AIA Dallas (Latinos in Architecture, Young Architects Forum, Women in Architecture), an a docent for the Dallas Center for Architecture - Arts District Walking Tours. Her work has been exhibited, garnered awards from the construction industry, and been published in the AIA Dallas competition catalog, national AIA YAF newsletter. Most recently she was an honoree for Latino Leaders Magazine’s 2012 Club Leaders of the Future Dallas. She was also honored as the 2011 AIA Dallas Young Architect of the Year.

posted April 20, 2012