Tolya Stonorov

Tolya Stonorov 2019.jpeg

Tolya Stonorov received a master's degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded the Chester Miller Traveling Fellowship, the Howard Friedman Thesis Prize, and multiple grants.

Stonorov is an award-winning Associate Professor of Architecture at Norwich University, a registered architect and co-founder of Stonorov Workshop.  Stonorov has practiced design-build since 2006, and her book, The Design-Build Studio | Crafting Meaningful Work in Architecture Education, was published in 2017. In her professional and academic work, she strives to use materials and methods in honest and simple expressions to create spaces whose existence outlasts their original use. Fundamental to Stonorov’s work and teaching is the belief that making and designing are intrinsic to each other, knowledge of one strengthens and informs the expression of the other. Stonorov teaches second year studio, advanced level studios, including design build and a course on professional practice, ethics and construction documents. Her studios focus on community-oriented work, with an emphasis on helping the underserved through affordability, materiality, and holistic sustainability. Her professional and student work has been published in national magazines and has received multiple awards for excellence from the American Institute of Architects, Vermont Chapter.

Norwich University
Current design build studio: NEST
New book: The Design Build Studio | Crafting Meaningful Work in Architecture Education
Stonorov Workshop

Critical-Thinking with the Head and Hand: Design-Build Education
with Andy Keller (moderator) and staff + students from Yestermorrow Design/Build School, Green Mountain College, Norwich University and Middlebury College
Design/Build Stage, 1:00pm

Design-build education is a holistic act of critical-thinking for the head and for the hand supporting provocative and empowering opportunity for makers, and ultimately, the users. More simply, design-build education, intertwines designing and building, thinking with making. Yet, precisely how it is applied remains wonderfully fluid and adaptable to a broad range of social contexts. Come hear how four different schools from within Vermont's world of design-build education explore thinking and making in the built environment.

The Lift House | Building High Efficiency Tiny Houses for the Underserved
with Tolya Stonorov + Cara Armstrong
Community Vision Stage, 4:00pm

The 360sf LIFT House was designed and built by a group of 16 undergraduate architecture students at Norwich University, led by Associate Professors Danny Sagan and Tolya Stonorov in conjunction with Downstreet Housing and Washington County Mental Health. The LIFT House is about the human spirit, it is about basic necessities, it is about giving back to society, it is about how architecture can aid in community development. The goal of this house was to complete the design of a small autonomous dwelling unit for one person that was beautiful, high performance, used local materials and was extremely economical. The house is a prototype that supports people who come from a homeless community in Vermont that are not able to support themselves fully or provide for themselves a safe and supportive living environment. We strove to make this home work both emotionally and spiritually to create an environment that is healthful and safe.

Beyond designing a mini home that would serve all of life's needs and create joy, our studio was fully committed to building a high performance, energy efficient home. With an early goal of all cellulose insulation, we designed a wall system that used advanced framing whenever possible, i.e. keeping the building light, and still be thick enough to hold adequate insulation to meet high performance standard. We were thrilled to receive an excellent blower door test rating and meet virtually all high performance requirements for such a small house. This design process is a practical expression of compassionate intent. Our job was simple and therefore the implications were complex. This incredibly important project, a collaboration between Norwich Architecture, Downstreet Housing and Washington County Mental Health, aimed to address the underserved, with social justice and architecture for everyone as its goal.

Erin Maile O'Keefe