Sara Hurand feels as if she’s hardwired to be involved in the local community. 

She credits her family for instilling in her the importance of community and civic involvement.

“Both my parents and in-laws, my husband and brothers and sisters-in-law, even my aunts and uncles, there isn’t one person in my family who isn’t involved. Everyone is committed in their own way,” Hurand said.

She feels she was hardwired to pursue a career in arts and architecture, too. 

Growing up in Flint, Mich., Hurand recalls spending countless hours at the Flint Institute of Art. She received her undergraduate degree from Parsons School of Design in New York City and earned a graduate degree in architecture from Harvard University.

“I’m proud that I had a direct path and in some ways, it was much easier, but I realize now as a parent it’s OK to teach my kids to leave some openness to what you want to do,” Hurand said.

As owner of Iris Design, Hurand works on a variety of design projects, including architectural, real estate development, branding and product development. She said she’s happy that her career gives her the opportunity to impact people’s lives.

“Architecture is so much about people and making people’s lives better, making a better workplace or a better house or store,” she said. “It’s also a humble, practical effort. You have incredibly lofty ideas of how architecture impacts society but then you also have tiny details, literally the nuts and bolts of construction detailing.”

Hurand also took her passion for art beyond the professional realm. As co-founder of the Cleveland Jewish Arts and Culture Lab, she works with creative fellows to integrate traditional Jewish texts, values and history into the arts. And as a board member of the Rainey Institute, she has the opportunity to impact inner-city children and expose them to visual and performing arts. She also can be found volunteering at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood with their art efforts.

“I’m grateful that there are many ways to engage people, and I can contribute in ways that are my passion,” Hurand said. “You know it’s an incredible fit when you come back even more inspired. None of it is work for me.”

 – Kristen Mott

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