Making a Happier and Healthier Environment: Lydia Roberts '22 B Arch

Nov. 9, 2020

Seven Questions with Bachelor of Architecture Student Lydia Roberts

“My passion for architecture is to use my knowledge and experiences to make this world a happier and healthier environment, one project at a time.”

CAPLA student ambassador Lydia Roberts came to the Bachelor of Architecture program at the University of Arizona from Sierra Vista, Arizona, but has family across the globe.

What brought you to the University of Arizona to study architecture?

Both of my parents are University of Arizona alumni, so I grew up knowing and loving what it is to be a Wildcat. After taking a tour through CAPLA and seeing models on the shelves, drawings and renderings on the walls and the vast number of equipment at our disposal through the Materials Labs, I knew UArizona and CAPLA would offer the best qualities to grow my education.


Mixed-use residential render by Lydia Roberts
Mixed-use residential render by Lydia Roberts.

How did you become interested in architecture?

I’ve lived in Germany for many years and travelled to 16 different countries thus far, which began my love for people, culture and architecture. Through my travels and experiences, I realized that architecture has a huge impact on an individual’s health and outlook on life. Architecture has the power to demote health just as much as it can promote it. As I carry on through the program, I learn about how spaces, materials, colors, textures, etc., all have an important role in design.

What do you like best about the B Arch program and College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture?

I love that so many of the professors are also practicing and working in local firms while still devoting their time to teach aspiring students. I have had many impactful conversations with my professors about their practice and work balance. They offer extra insight and bring in real-world issues that they have faced and use that to teach us to be better in the field. Because these professors are still active in the industry, they know what and how to teach their students to best prepare us for professional life after graduation.


Climate and Research Center cross-section drawing by Lydia Roberts
Climate and Research Center cross-section drawing by Lydia Roberts.

What has been your biggest challenge at CAPLA, and how have you overcome that challenge?

Going into my third year, I was taking five core architecture classes, I was on the executive board for two student organizations and I had two part-time jobs—all while needing to balance my personal relationships and health. There were points throughout the semester that I thought I was climbing too high of a mountain and was going to fall. That semester, however, became the greatest growing moment in my life. Balancing all these important commitments lead me to grow and be the person I am today with better time management, leadership, work ethic and most importantly, how to ask for help when I need it.

What has been your biggest challenge outside of CAPLA?

My parents live in Germany, my brother is deployed overseas and my sister works in a different state. We all live in crazy different time zones, so it can feel really lonely at times and that loneliness was affecting my schoolwork early on. I decided I had to prioritize my week so that I would always have the time to talk and be with family as much as possible, even if it was only a quick phone call. Thankfully as I progressed through the program, I found my second family here at CAPLA to help me through the hard times, as well.

What does the CAPLA experience mean for you?

When I hear CAPLA, I immediately smile as I think about the people. CAPLA lets you create close and lasting connections with faculty, staff and colleagues. Through the people, you learn and motivate each other to strive for greatness.

What advice do you have for prospective B Arch students?

Get out of your comfort zone, engage in clubs and activities around the university and absolutely do not be afraid to speak up and ask for help, because I assure you, you are not the only one struggling.


Lydia Roberts '22 B Arch


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