Lauren Jones

Lauren in a white tank top in her car smiling at the camera
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Master in Architecture

How did you become interested in architecture? 
As a young creator, I have always been attracted to art (drawing, painting, etc) and the construct of structure. For Christmas, I would ask for the K’Nex building kits where my dad and I would build massive amusement park rides. If anyone remembers those kits, they had thousands of pieces. Junior year of high school came around and my art teacher was evaluating my painting of a phone booth from Europe and asked if I was interested in majoring in architecture. At the time, I knew that architecture was about the design of buildings, but nothing further than that. She then explained to me and a fellow classmate all that architecture encompassed, and we were sold! The ability to combine art and structure was something I had been practicing all my life, I just didn’t know it. Architecture is “functional art,” and that opens the door to boundless creation. I earned a Bachelor of Science at East Carolina University majoring in Architectural Design Technology and minoring in Business administration. While I was at ECU, I was a collegiate Track and Field athlete. Now, I'm currently here at UNC Charlotte furthering my education by getting my master's degree in architecture.

What kind of career do you hope to have?
My career goal is to establish my own Black-owned architecture firm and custom home building company. These companies will be a place where the Black design aesthetic will be created. It will open the doors for Black designers and all designers to be great!

What is your favorite thing about the College of Arts + Architecture?
CoA+A has given me the space to use my imagination and my knowledge to create beautiful buildings. This community has helped open the doors of creativity for me. My professors have helped bring my imagination back to reality and figure out how to combine the two. On the other hand, my colleagues have helped me define the term “creator.” Creators are limitless because they aren’t bound to any rules. Charlotte is a booming city that I am lucky to call my hometown, and the CoA+A community gives its students access to all of the opportunities that this city offers.

Do you participate in any community activities or work in the Charlotte arts community? 
Social Media has been my way of sharing my work with the Charlotte community. I share my architecture journey through upbeat videos and pictures on my design Instagram page (@lj.design99)

When you are not in class, studying, working, or rehearsing, what do you like to do for fun?
I am a runner and athlete by nature. I love going to the gym, running, trail biking, and just being outdoors.