Article By: Piper Hale
Published: Nov 2, 2011
Elaine Fultz, from Indianapolis, Indiana, earned an M.Arch. in 2011 from SCAD Savannah, where she also earned a B.F.A. in architecture in 2010.
Elaine Fultz has graduated from SCAD twice: first with a B.F.A., then, the following year, with an M.Arch
. Her architectural interests are diverse, but she says she is most drawn to residential design. "I really like the detail and craft," says Elaine. She also enjoys learning how to design durable residences that will maintain their integrity over a long period of time. In her current work, she emphasizes urbanism (how well a structure fits with its urban environment), sustainability and the quality of design.
Elaine's interest in art goes back to high school, where she dabbled in every craft she could find the time for, including glassblowing, photography and cartooning design. Even in her final quarters at SCAD, absorbed in homework and interning fifteen hours a week, she made time for woodworking and photography; she jokes that, as a student, these ranked with sleeping on her list of favorite hobbies. Exploring these other art forms, Elaine says, has helped her as an architect by giving her an interdisciplinary approach to design.
As part of this multi-pronged approach, Elaine has pursued internships that hit on very different aspects of architecture, including interior design, urban planning and construction. These different internships have given her experiences at each level of the architecture process. In her most recent internship at JT Turner Construction, she became closely involved in an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" episode filmed in Savannah when JT Turner was contracted to speed-build the house featured on the show.
Elaine's work on the project was done through her internship, but she was also able to team up with other SCAD students. Students from all programs, especially architecture
, interior design
and furniture design
, assembled to help create specialty pieces for the house, such as children's furniture, and pitch in contributing to design details. "Even though it was finals week, students still volunteered and came out in droves to help with it," Elaine says. "It was really cool."
Elaine thrives on this kind of creative teamwork. As the former president of the SCAD chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students - a position she held while an undergraduate - she has gathered architecture students from all over the south to meet at SCAD and talk about their work and their programs. Since becoming a graduate student, she has passed her torch to the new president, but still keeps track of the club and its collaborative projects.
One collaboration Elaine hasn't yet been able to try is a joint design with her boyfriend, an architect who also earned his M.Arch. from SCAD, and now works at Savannah firm Sottile & Sottile. "We'd like to work on something together and we've talked about it, but our hours are hectic," Elaine says. "We've got a big drawing board in our place, so we each do a lot of work on our own."
As a student at work, Elaine would usually start with sketches on this drawing board and then build models later in SCAD's workshop facilities. "I love hands-on things and being able to go down to the woodshop whenever I want and build a model," she says, "or just test out something on the laser cutter and see how it fits together. If I ever wanted to do anything like that at a typical Ivy League school, they'd say 'Good luck!'"
Elaine recently finished her thesis, a prototype for urban multi-family housing to draw young families out of suburbia. This project received the AIA Chapter Award. Immediately after graduating, Elaine was brought on board Lynch Associates Architects, a Savannah architecture firm, where she is already handling solo projects and is on track to become a licensed architect.
She is happy that her career has kept her in Savannah, which Elaine sees as a promising city for an architect. "Savannah's on the brink of design and I think so many things are going to be happening in Savannah in the near future," she says. "I would love to be a part of it."