Member Spotlight: Magdalena Glen-Schieneman


Magdalena Glen-Schieneman, AIA, LEED AP, is licensed as an architect in the state of California since June 2000. She is a member of AIA and AWA+D. Magdalena comes from a family of architects living in the Carpathian Mountains of Central Europe. She obtained her Master in Architecture and Engineering in Krakow, Poland, at the Polytechnic of T. Kosciuszko in 1995. She studied abroad at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in the School of Architecture in 1991. Before starting her firm in Los Angeles in 2003, Magdalena worked at the Pod Falatowka Pracownia Architektoniczna in Poland, Morphosis in Santa Monica, Sarl d’ Architecture in Paris, BAK Architecture in Santa Monica, Harold Zellman Architects in Venice, and Steven Ehrlich Architects in Culver City. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

Why did you become an architect?

At first I intended to pursue my first love—math and physics, but I decided upon applying to university programs in Poland in 1989 that architecture would encompass more of my varied interests including art, composition, and photography. I found that I could carry over from math and physics a certain rigorous logic and solution-oriented approach to the design and construction of buildings. That excited me. I’m still excited.

What excites you creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

A wide range of experiences excite and inspire me. Life excites me. As an architect I am tasked with designing. The design process starts somewhere. For me, it arises from my interest and enjoyment of the world around me. Plants, geology, neuroscience, history, art, music are sources of inspiration. Architecture carries the weight of importance. The latest in cognitive and neuroscience findings suggest strongly that our physical spaces shape our existences for the better or for the worse. I am excited to think that my work makes a difference in the lives of those who inhabit my built designs.

What do you feel are some of your most important achievements?

I am proud to be a naturalized citizen of the United States. I grew up under a radically different set of realities and expectations in communist Poland. I am proud to have founded my own office and to serve as a model for other professional women, whether they are architects or not.

What do you think/hope your occupation will look like in 10 years?

I am an optimist, but the challenges facing our communities and very civilization are immense. Climate change, population growth, and diminishing natural resources will shape how we view and manage our built and natural environments. Urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture will become more integrated in order to effectively address our challenges. Interdisciplinary teams will collaborate and, with help of information driven design, deliver better, less expensive solutions without increased environmental impacts.

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  1. Hi, Magdalena,
    It was so good to see you again at the AWA SYMPOSIUM May 13th.

    Do keep sending me requests, I’d love to be of assistance !

    All the best,


  2. Witold says:

    Outstanding Projects . Congratulations!