2019 Young Architect Award Recipient
Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
Expanding the boundaries of architecture and the roles architects can play through innovative design collaborations, Ashlie Latiolais, AIA, has demonstrated profound commitment to community engagement and service to the profession. As a practitioner and educator, her ideas intermingle beyond the boundaries of buildings and propel the profession into new areas of civic life.
Latiolais is the founding principal of the nationally recognized ARCH&also, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, and an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture & Design. She unites academia and the profession through work on a variety of scales, from urban and master planning solutions deeply rooted in community engagement to residential works and collaborative installations.
Operating at the intersection of architecture, dance, and performance, her collaborative installation work dismantles preconceptions and conventions through experimentation. PARADE a set design installation project Latiolais undertook with Basin Dance Collective, Focus Productions, Footcandle Lighting & Electric, and the nonprofit Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, fused the arts with technology and defined the orchestra’s 2018 concert series. The piece was completed within the constraints of a $5,000 grant that covered all design and artist fees, production, and fabrication. A reinterpretation of the 1917 ballet Parade—an avant-garde collaboration between Erik Satie, Pablo Picasso, Léonide Massine, and Jean Cocteau—the installation illuminated the dynamic relationship between the body in space and spatial definers through real-time performance.
On a larger scale, Latiolais’ master planning process encourages a new level of engagement between stakeholders in pursuit of an elevated experience for students. A number of her projects, including a major highway development plan for the I-49 Connector and the revitalization of St. Martinville, Louisiana, integrate graduate studio students. The studios offer her students a better understanding of the relationships between people, place, and context while significantly improving the quality of life for citizens. Her mentorship was recognized by St. Martinville, which awarded her studio a key to the city.
Latiolais has been a member of AIA South Louisiana since 2007, and last year she assumed the role of chapter president and delegate to AIA Louisiana’s board of directors. She was a member of the AIA Louisiana Celebrate Architecture Scholarship committee and was instrumental in connecting the chapter’s most successful event to date with the state’s four schools of architecture, which all benefit from the funds it raises. Because of her leadership, Latiolais was recognized with AIA Louisiana’s 2018 Emerging Professionals Award.
Her dedication to improving the lives of those she serves and the future careers of her students is inspirational. Through work that has positioned her as a design leader and ambassador for artistic disciplines, Latiolais represents the best of the profession and the architectural academy.