AIA New Jersey Announces their Associate of the Year, Libertad Lauren Harris, Associate AIA

January 15, 2020

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AIA New Jersey Announces their Associate of the Year, Libertad Lauren Harris, Associate AIA

On January 11, 2020, AIA New Jersey members gathered at The Treasury at Felina in Ridgewood, NJ to celebrate the inauguration and awards presentation at their annual Gala, this year co-hosted with the AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey.

At the event, Libertad Lauren Harris, Associate AIA, from AIA West Jersey, was presented the award for AIA New Jersey Associate of the Year by Service Award Chairman and Past President Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, and 2020 President Steven B. Lazarus, AIA. 

Lauren currently serves as the 2020-2022 Regional Associate Director representing New Jersey’s Emerging Professionals at the National Associates Committee. Lauren also serves as the Chair of the AIA-NJ Women in Architecture Committee and a Trustee for the New Jersey Architects’ Political Action Committee. 

Along with her notable AIA volunteer resume credentials, Lauren also makes time to give back to the surrounding communities and proactively reaches out to local schools and students. She championed her office’s participation in the 2018 CANstruction Pennsauken event benefitting the Food Bank of South Jersey and has supported both local and state-wide STEAM initiatives for the past two years. Through her STEAM involvement, Lauren combines several of her passions and showcases the diverse knowledge of an architect by mentoring children of all ages. Lauren provides guidance on a variety of potential inventions from aquaponic farms to tiny homes, encouraging the children to think bigger and bolder. 

Lauren graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology as an Albert Dorman Honors Scholar, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree, and a minor in Environmental and Sustainable Studies. Lauren’s research in Bio-Enabled Facade Engineering, which proposes to mitigate carbon emissions and generate biolipids for on-site energy production within the building facade, has recieved first place in the 2015 Dana Knox Research Showcase and was presented at the eCADDe conference in Finland. Her work in Soft Robotics and Emerging Architectural Materials appeared in Architectural Digest, January 2016 issue. 


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Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has over 2,000 members across six sections. For more information, please visit


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