Sara is a senior who is double-majoring in Architecture and Mathematics. She is pursuing early entry masters coursework in both fields, and is part of the University Honors Program (UHP), Arts and Architecture Honors Program, and Mathematics Honors Program. Architecture has been a field that interested her since a young age, but she fell in love with the details and the process at UNC Charlotte. One of the key aspects of architecture is being involved in the entire process, and there is much to learn from spending time on a construction site, from small-scale projects like Habitat For Humanity builds with UHP or larger-scale commercial projects that are visited as part of the curriculum. These experiences mean that she have a practical knowledge of the way a building is assembled (as opposed to a drawing on a page of paper), and an awareness of the process of construction will help her as a designer when making decisions about structure, construction specifications, and details. Having had the opportunities to visit sites has led to an increased interest in structural systems and the construction phases of projects, as well as an increased awareness of the physical elements of design realization. This has led her to select a more experimental and construction-oriented thesis topic, as well as choose to be the Teaching Assistant for the Structural Systems course at UNCC.
Sara thinks that it is important for architecture students to have the experience of being on a construction site. It is an entirely different situation than standing over a drafting board or sitting at a computer and drawing these details that might one day be constructed. Having a working knowledge of how a building is assembled and how it stands up make practical design possible. Sara says, “I think that it will impact my future in that I am determined to see the process of design through from start to finish, which means that I will be pushing to have a presence on the job site when I am a practicing architect.”