For Elia, design is a process rich in communication and built through an iterative understanding. Rather than focusing on specific typologies or scales, her enthusiasm for architecture is driven by threading a design concept through every aspect and phase of a project—whether an elementary school or a workplace interior; schematic design or documentation. Aligning with one of WRNS’ core values, she also maintains a holistic view of sustainability and strives to integrate green principles early and often throughout the design process to ensure a healthy environment for the community and building occupants.
After receiving her Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida, Elia continued to graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was the recipient of the Hugh Ferriss Award for Architectural Drawing. Her graduate thesis investigated urban scale and prospective solutions for interacting with highways. Ruminating on the future of transportation infrastructure, she considered the traditional rest stop and its role as a transportation hub within the urban fabric as a strategy to better mediate the interface between cars and people in today’s cities.