Elizabeth Unruh

Intern Architect, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte, NC

Master of Architecture, UNC Charlotte (2011) 
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Pepperdine University (2005) 

Previous Employer 
Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts 

Hometown: Fresno, CA 

Elizabeth was part of the project team designing The Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation at Queens University of Charlotte. This "mega project" includes three gymnasiums, a natatorium, and student union-type facilities. She joined the team in Schematic Design, and put nearly 100% of her time toward furthering the design and helping prepare the project for permitting. "From programming, to waterproofing, to the coordination of systems, this project has provided priceless learning experiences."

"I now live in the world differently. I contemplate my surroundings- I experience new environments with a critical eye. These are the ways in which my time at the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture impacted me. The faculty challenge students to go beyond the study of architecture alone, and to examine its facets through the unwrapping of its relationships with other things.

"For me this meant the study of architecture's relationship to private hospitality, but other classmates looked at its relationship to political, social, and environmental issues. By the end of our thesis year, we had exposed one another to a variety of perspectives. Architecture became part of our everyday lives. It became a new approach to living.

"My most highly concentrated learning experiences during the program occurred on study abroad trips to China and Italy. Though I was sponge-like in my traveling style before attending architecture school, participating in these programs taught me how to go beyond absorption to critically examine new environments as they unfold around me."

"In Rome, we were challenged to fill a sketchbook with sketches and diagrams that layered a representation of what we were seeing and learning with analysis on its application in our own practice of architecture. These trips caffeinated my enthusiasm about architecture, but also challenged me to craft a new approach to travel. As I travel, as I live, and as I work in the field, I will always be grateful for the personal trajectory made possible by my experience in the School of Architecture at the UNC Charlotte."