Designing a Resilient Future: Carla A. Campos '22 BS SBE UArizona, B Arch UPC Lima
Seven Questions with UPC Lima Microcampus Student Carla A. Campos
“I want to help to offer better solutions and policies, as well as promote a better community that can address sustainable development goals and be sustainable for future generations.”
Carla A. Campos is a fourth-year architecture undergraduate student at UPC Lima in Peru. Through CAPLA’s innovative microcampus program, she’s also pursuing her BS in Sustainable Built Environments program at the University of Arizona.
When did you first become interested in design and sustainability?
I became interested in design from a young age. I grew up watching science shows and documentaries like MythBusters that sparked my passion for making stuff and finding creative ways to solve problems. As I grew up, I started to notice the built environment and the problems my city faced. This is when I first became interested in architecture because I wanted to find a solution.
My interest in sustainability surfaced in 2014 with the COP 20 in Lima, when I participated as a student representative and translator. It was an eye-opening experience and I got to meet very interesting people. I realized then that sustainability should be taken into consideration in every project or proposal and not just as an additional benefit.
Why did you decide to enroll in the BS Sustainable Built Environments program offered by the University of Arizona?
When the Arizona program was announced, I jumped at the chance to enroll. It was an easy decision to make because it complemented my studies at UPC and allowed me to pursue my interests. Having a BS from the University of Arizona will open a lot of doors for me in architecture and sustainability.
This program allows me to learn more about the different aspects of sustainability and the different solutions that can be applied to design. As a microcampus student, it also gives me a global perspective that helps me understand the built environment better. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel very lucky to be able to be part of it. I’m excited about learning more and my future in sustainability.
What is your focus or area of interest in SBE?
My focus in SBE is on sustainable buildings and communities. SBE allows me to learn more about transportation, urban planning and urban design. I’m interested in these areas because I come from a city with a population of almost 10 million people.
Since I was little, transportation has always been a major issue in Lima since we are constantly growing. I want to help to offer better solutions and policies, as well as promote a better community that can address sustainable development goals and be sustainable for future generations. Having a strong plan for a resilient future can make sure the city can grow and improve.
What do you like best about the SBE program so far?
I like that the courses offered are very diverse and allow me to learn in detail about different aspects of sustainability. I have learned about sustainability, history, design and planning. The readings and materials are very helpful, and they have expanded the way I think about the subject.
The professors, from both UArizona and UPC, are great and very helpful. They have different backgrounds and experiences, offering unique perspectives on sustainability. Also, I find the parallels between Arizona and Lima are very useful since the solutions and strategies studied can be applied in both cities. The program has piqued my curiosity to learn more about sustainable built environments and I’m excited about what comes next.
What internships or other job experience do you have, and what are your career aspirations?
COVID-19 has made it challenging to find internships. I’m actively looking for job experience and I was lucky enough to be able to help on some small projects. During the pandemic, I’m focusing on improving my skills in different architectural programs to have better renderings and a more efficient workflow for 3D modeling. Also, I’m attending conferences and webinars to increase my knowledge of current architectural trends and innovative solutions. When I graduate, I plan on going into urban planning and research—I want to make better cities and healthier communities. I want to help promote sustainability policies, especially in transport and building practices.
Do you plan to go to graduate school after you graduate from UPC Lima? If so, what would you like to study, and where?
The microcampus program allows us to pursue an MS in Architecture after the BS in Sustainable Built Environments at UArizona. Additionally, after I graduate from UPC, I’d like to pursue a graduate program in urban planning in the U.S. I believe graduate school will help me obtain more knowledge on the subject, improve my skills and provide more opportunities.
What advice do you have for prospective SBE students who are also studying at UPC Lima?
My advice is to take advantage of the resources offered by the SBE program and the university. The readings, library and teachers are great sources of information. It’s important to be active, ask questions and make connections. You can always learn something new or discover a new passion. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or be embarrassed because English is not your first language. It’s a perfectly normal part of the learning process and you are not alone in this. Also, remember to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. I know how demanding the course can be at times so take a break and relax from time to time to avoid burnouts.