Henry E. Sorenson, Jr. (called Hank by many of his friends) is a tenured Professor of Architecture on the faculty of Montana State University. He came to Montana from his native Florida in 1983 for the express purpose of developing and coordinating a series of architectural graphics courses for the M.S.U. School of Architecture. It was a golden opportunity; one for which he had been preparing all his life.
Hank has always enjoyed drawing. He was first officially recognized for his ability in 1958 – the year he won the Best Poster Dental Contest in his sixth grade class. Although he had no formal art training before college, the pleasure and satisfaction that accompany the act of making visual images, especially through the mediums of drawing, painting, and photography, have influenced his life for as long as he can remember. In architecture school at the University of Florida, he was fortunate to first study under and later work with the late Bob Davis, a gifted and inspirational architectural illustrator. Hank graduated with honors in 1970 and spent the next five years as a designer in architectural offices. However, his experience with Bob Davis convinced him that teaching could provide a perfect environment for developing and sharing his talent with others. In 1976 he returned to college to earn the Master of Architecture degree that would qualify him to teach in a university setting. He paid his way through college by maintaining an architectural delineation and graphic design practice, a practice that continues to this day. While in graduate school, Hank taught classes in architectural drawing and developed a text on architectural tone rendering. He continued to teach design and graphics at the University of Florida as an assistant professor until he accepted the position at Montana State University.
During the twenty plus years that Hank has coordinated the School of Architecture’s graphics program, the National Architectural Accrediting Board has consistently singled out the exceptional graphic skills displayed by M.S.U. students. Their work has also been recognized both nationally and internationally through student architectural design and graphics competitions.
Hank believes the best teaching involves leading by example. He is a charter member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), which has evolved into the foremost society of the profession. His drawings have won Awards of Excellence in the in the society’s annual Architecture in Perspective competition. He served as President for the Society in 2001.
Hank is also a charter member of the Design Communication Association (DCA), an international organization serving professionals who teach graphic skills to architecture, interior design, landscape design, and graphic design students. Papers highlighting Hank’s teaching innovations and insights have been published in both Representation (the Association’s journal) and Opportunities (the Association’s newsletter). He served as Northwest Regional Coordinator for the DCA from 1993 through 1997 and as co-president for the Association in 2004-2005.
In addition to drawing and painting, Hank continues to pursue photography as a means for expressing his personal vision of the natural and built environment. He regularly enters the American Institute of Architects Annual Photography Contest and has had several of his images recognized and published.
Hank enjoys exploring and has traveled extensively in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His travels began at an early age as the son of a career serviceman. Wanderlust was later reinforced by self-initiated tours of Europe and Mexico. It continues to play a role in his life today as a faculty leader in the School of Architecture Foreign Study Program.
When he is at home in Bozeman, it is said that those passing by Hank’s house in the early evening are often treated to the melodic strains of live, acoustic guitar music emanating from within.