Ashlie Latiolais, AIA

Ashlie teaches studios and seminar courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs at the ULL School of Architecture and Design. She was most recently awarded the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture ‘New Faculty Teaching Award’ and BUILD Magazine’s ‘Women in Build Award’.

Ashlie earned her Masters of Architecture from UL Lafayette in 2007 where she began to practice at Abel-Crozier Architects in Lafayette.  She then moved to Baton Rouge in 2008 and worked at Holden Architects until 2012 where she became a licensed architect and active member of AIA Baton Rouge.  When returning back to her hometown of Lafayette, Ashlie established her own firm, ARCH&also.  Her current practice is a small residential and research practice, ranging from home renovations / additions to set design and national & international design competition works.  She currently proudly serves as President of her local South Louisiana AIA Chapter and Faculty Advisor to AIAS at ULL.

“I look forward to Monday morning and that’s a rare thing to say in today’s world!  I’m so grateful for architecture to be that inspiration every day.  I’m an Architect and Educator with a great love and passion for architectural education and the future of our profession,” says Ashlie. Currently at the intersection of her career, her passion for architecture is channeled and exhibited through her students and their work.

Why did you choose architecture as a profession?

I was inspired by buildings at a very young age, always trying to understand them in a very specific way.  My first architecture course was like love at first sight – I was hooked.  Going through architecture school teaches you about yourself, and as a profession, challenges you every day – that’s why it’s great!

Do you have a special routine/habit you may do to get creative juices flowing?

I love playing some good music, like the Black Keys, roll out some trace paper with graphite to get the ideas going.

What type of projects do you like to take on?

I love the residential world.  I love to get to know my clients and truly understand how they live or want to live through their everyday habits and movements.  I also have a passion for set design work, which I like to call my ‘occupiable installations’.

Best project, most unique/favorite project?

My most recent completed installation work is probably the most unique and collaborative experience thus far.  The piece was called ‘Parade’ (French, pronounced Puh-rod) which was commissioned by the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra as part of their ‘Technology’ season series.  This project intersected the worlds of architecture, dance with Basin Dance Collective (Clare Cook, choreographer), projection mapping (Focus Productions), and lighting design by Footcadle Lighting.  The piece was a re-imagination of the 1917 piece by Satie, Massine, and Picasso questioning what constitutes performance within our current world of digital technology.

What is the strangest thing that ever happened on a job?

Maybe not strange, but funny, is when I was working on a fire station project and the contractor misinterpreted my color selection for the hallway – the firefighters weren’t exactly thrilled with bubble gum pink walls.  They were specified as a shade of grey.

What is your most satisfying professional accomplishment?

My most satisfying accomplishment professionally would be licensure; in addition to having the wonderful balance of the Academy, the Profession, and being a mother.

Are you currently or were you recently involved in any community outreach projects?

I currently work within the Community Design Workshop with Tom Sammons at UL Lafayette.  We are working on the I-49 Connector project, integrating students into our communities through public meetings and creating context sensitive design solutions to make an impact.

What do you do after a hard day at work to unwind?

If I’m not playing with my daughters, you may find me in ballet class – it’s an awesome workout and relaxing therapy.

If you could have any other job what would it be?

Dance choreographer.

What other leadership roles do you hold in the community and/or what volunteer efforts do you support?

I do serve as an NCARB Licensing Advisor for UL Lafayette, great supporter of Habitat for Humanity, AIAS, of course, and an initiative that I began at UL Lafayette called ‘Design Day’.  This is a day once per semester where we have high school students interested in architecture, interior design, or industrial design have a window into Design school.  We introduce them to current design students, have panel discussions from alums, and experience an interactive mock-studio.  It’s a fantastic recruitment and education effort that several of our faculty now partake in.

I look forward to Monday morning and that’s a rare thing to say in today’s world!  I’m so grateful for architecture to be that inspiration every day.