Betsy West

Betsy West

Associate Professor, Architecture

Faculty Research Connections Profile

Betsy West is an Associate Professor in the David R. Ravin School of Architecture. She received her Master of Architecture degree from Yale University and practiced professionally with several firms, including The Freelon Group before joining the faculty at UNC Charlotte in 1998. She is a licensed architect in North Carolina.

Her scholarship and teaching focus on the relationship of architecture to its context, issues of diversity in the profession, and humanitarian design processes and projects. Her work in these realms explores the physical, cultural, historic, political, pragmatic and poetic aspects of design as they combine to create varied conditions of wastelands, borderlands and Homelands.

West has taught graduate and undergraduate studios across the curriculum and has developed several seminars, including Humanitarian Design: Small-Scale Mediation in a Big-Scale World; Wastelands Borderlands Homelands; and Everything Reverberates: Ernest Hemingway, Edward Hopper, Louis Kahn. She has also taught numerous courses focused on writing in the discipline.

Currently she is working on a book about diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in architecture, forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press, Spring 2024.


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Coming soon:
“South Sudan Board” 

Humanitarian Need: Education and Civil War in South Sudan.

“Only education will bring us peace.”
(Lubo Mijak)

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Coming soon:
“Margin & Text – Voices on the Verge Intro” 

In response to our history there has emerged an insistence among majority architects (which is almost all of us) that difference doesn’t matter – that we don’t see people in terms of skin color,
ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomics, politics, gender identification, etc. Hence this publication, a collection of the 2020-21 lecture series at the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. While the speakers were exceptionally diverse – each a unique manifestation of their profession – their tone, without exception, was positive and forward looking. Their words are insightful, determined, hopeful and generous, and their message to the profession in all its guises should be both internalized and broadcast.

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Coming soon:
“Mapping the City – 52,000 Steps” 

“…and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
(T.S. Eliot)