Erinn McGurn, AIA

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Erinn McGurn is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SCALEAfrica, a non-profit organization directly addressing the growing need for access to education, responsible shelter, clean water, and sanitation by working within rural African communities that need design services the most. Through culturally-responsive, sustainable architecture and an active community participation model, SCALEAfrica leverages the power of design to increase access to education, boost local economies, and preserve the natural environment. Erinn is also a licensed architect and Owner/Principal of SCALEStudio in New York City. By balancing work with private clients and non-profit institutions on educational projects in East and Southern Africa, the studio actively works to transform traditional architectural practice by operating on a for-benefit model with social change and community-driven design as the primary focus. From 2003-10, Erinn headed the New York office of Robert Frear Architects and was responsible for the design and construction administration of high-end residential projects with budgets ranging from $1-10M usd. She also directed the financial and operational management of the office and its staff. She previously worked with Michael Goldman Architects of New York City on high-end residences and with Kallmann, McKinnell, & Wood Architects of Boston on large-scale civic and institutional projects. Erinn was a 2014 recipient of Architectural Record's inaugural Women In Architecture Award, honoring an architect who has used her skills to design for social change, effect the public realm or perform pro bono work. SCALEAfrica was also named to “The Good List” by Architectural Record as one of the best non-profits “building for social change" and the "Public Interest Design 100" for working at the intersection of design and service. Erinn has acted as panelist and lecturer at colleges and universities nationally, entreating students and colleagues to consider architecture as both a personal, creative act and one rooted in decision-making with a social conscience. She serves on the Board of Director’s of the Smith College Alumnae Association, the Advisory Board of the Smith College Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability, and the STEM Advisory Board for Partnership for After School Education (PASE) in NYC. Erinn received a B.A. from Smith College where she majored in Architecture. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998.