Laura Carr

Laura Carr

Coordinator of the Native Peoples Design Coalition
Senior Lecturer in Architecture

Laura Carr is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture teaching in both studio and lecture courses in the areas of sustainable design, culturally responsive design, community outreach, building technologies, and professional practice. She currently serves as chair of the School's Practice Stream, is a member of the Drachman Institute Faculty Executive Board, is a Dean's Equity and Inclusion Initiative (DEII) Fellow, and is a founding member of the Native Peoples Design Coalition (NPDC), a UArizona partnership working with Tribal communities to plan and design the built environment for sustainability and resiliency.

Laura has more than 15 years experience in professional practice, beginning with her work as a project manager for the Drachman Institute in 2004. During her four years with Drachman, Laura coordinated affordable housing and sustainable community planning, research, design and engagement actives under two consecutive HUD Empowerment Zone improvement grants in Tucson. Additionally, Laura managed Drachman’s Architecture Technical Assistance Program, funded through Cooperative Extension and the City of Tucson, providing technical assistance to neighborhoods, municipalities and nonprofit organizations for the development of master plans, neighborhood and zoning overlay plans, housing studies, improvement and infill initiatives. The Civano Demonstration Project, one of the research initiatives funded under this grant, post-evaluated the sustainable performance of different technologies, assemblies and strategies used in the Civano neighborhood. This research was applied to the design and construction of five homes in the Barrio San Antonio neighborhood built by the Drachman Design Build Coalition (DDBC), and continues to set precedent for affordable housing design in the Southwest. Laura has also provided education and design resources to Tribal communities receiving development funding from the Arizona Department of Housing.

In 2007, Laura left Drachman Institute and designed residential projects for Taylor Design Build (TDB), and in 2011 she became a project architect for Nelsen Partners, working in mixed-use retail, office and hospitality. Laura returned to teaching in 2017, and focuses her teaching efforts on cross-disciplinary instruction and community outreach within CAPLA and across the university.


  • Bachelor of Architecture, The University of Arizona