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Hidden Gems: Meet Elizabeth Schultz of CRIT Workshop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Schultz. 

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Here’s the abridged version: I was born in Kansas, grew up in Missouri, went to school in Cincinnati, interned in Birmingham UK, New York City, and Washington DC worked full-time in DC, Seattle, and Kansas City, and I just launched a woman-owned practice in my hometown, Springfield, MO. I started college with an interest in interior design, which expanded to architecture then to community planning, urban design and development. I graduated with three degrees in six years from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and fully embraced the cooperative education experience. I seek unique professional growth opportunities and because of this, my breadth of experience is greater than what most practitioners are exposed to in their entire career. Lifelong learning and adaptation, have been imperative. My hybrid practitioner achievements include architectural licensure (AIA), community planning certification (AICP), EcoDistrict accrediation, and pre-development expertise. I am truly a designer-turned-strategist.

In my personal time, I cherish my family and am so blessed to have them. My close friends, colleagues, and mentors are inspiring, admirable, and always supportive. I love, love, love to travel and am willing to adapt my plans at the drop of a hat to visit or care for loved ones.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
You know when you sit down at an arcade racing game – the kind with the driver’s seat and steering wheel – you have the option of choosing your course as well as speed, your driver’s experience and transmission type. The same applies at the start of your career. If you want a course with few turns and clear sight of what comes as a professional, you choose smooth pavement, low-speed, novice, and automatic. If you want a daring course and can embrace the unexpected you choose adventure track, high-speed, skilled, and manual – like me! This option is by no means easy. There will be unmarked turns, speed bumps, hazards, and at times it may feel like you are driving in a dark tunnel with one headlight. It is exhilarating and challenging!

I have relocated seven times for jobs and worked in nine different office environments, which has led to many highs and lows. I’ve endured unhealthy work-life balance, seen a wide range of leadership behaviors and business practices, and experienced the disappointment of unkept employer promises. All of these encounters were challenging and I chose to treat each, no matter how difficult, as positive learning opportunities.

When I have difficult professional moments, my support system affirms my strengths, abilities and talents by energizing me and encouraging me to continue on course.

Sometimes the road forks and you have to make a choice of which path to take – trust yourself, be confident in your decision and respectful to others, then drive forward without looking back!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
CRIT Workshop LLC – Thinking about design CRITically.

We are not a firm!

Unlike traditional design firms we offer an intentionally magnified spectrum of services while remaining nimble and collaborative. With open communication we work one-on-one in workshop-style targeting your project’s needs from before the first design idea takes shape to post-occupancy assessments.

We connect our clients with customized project-specific services for each unique opportunity by incorporating creative, responsive, innovative thinking (CRIT).

Empowering Design Decision-Making

CRIT specializes in a whole systems approach to planning, architecture, and development which aligns goals and objectives of multiple interest groups offers increased opportunity for collaboration, and fosters success for emerging opportunities. Integrating sustainable design, we look at all projects through various lenses and investigate potential connections to leverage support.

Facilitation Services

Empowering design decision-making is encouraged through professional facilitation. CRIT has the unique ability to plan, guide and manage workshops to ensure goal attainment. We effectively facilitate through an interactive, objective, and unbiased approach in public outreach events, stakeholder meetings, leadership retreats, and internal team settings. Incorporating facilitation helps bring focus by setting up opportunities to learn and understand, as well as integrate enlightening questions that reveal greater potential.

Becoming a Connector

Hybrid practitioners specialize in bridging the gaps between developers and communities. Far too often open communication and ongoing dialogue are missing in the industry – CRIT recognizes this and connects!

Sharing the Plan

Whether it’s a small workshop, outreach survey, block party event, needs assessment or master plan, CRIT works closely with our clients to always include diverse perspectives, evaluate sustainable options, and create iterative design concepts by progressing conversations and incorporating feedback.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I cherish the place where I grew up. It is, and always has been, an inclusive community which fosters service and encourages the sharing of your time and talent with those less fortunate by caring and supporting others. This shared ethos is exemplified in my family, friends, school, work, and faith. I am incredibly grateful to have strong lifelong connections with friends, teachers, and mentors – like-minded people across the world – that embody the values and beliefs I hold for helping people in need and positively engaging communities.


  • Consult $225/hour
  • Day and Retainer Rates Available
  • Special Pricing for Non-profits/Neighborhoods
  • Inquire for Project Proposals

Contact Info:

Image Credits

CRIT Workshop LLC

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