In 2010 I spent six months researching the European architecture of Le Corbusier, covering the years 1900 – 1955. I lived in the south of France and from there travelled to each of his built works in chronological order, beginning in the small northern Swiss Jura town of La Chaux de Fonds, where Le Corbusier was born (Charles Eduoard Jeanneret). I then spent time in Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, and many towns in between – often small and isolated places – which happened to be the home of Le Corbusier’s built works. My final visit was to the Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, which by the time I visited was a town I knew well, and had come to love.
I have always dreamed of living in France, and this scholarship provided me with the wonderful opportunity of living in Aix en Provence (30 minutes from Marseille), where I explored the local villages and towns, practiced French, sourced the best croissants of the area, and drew, and drew, and drew. Not only did I draw the architecture of Le Corbusier, and in doing so sharply hone my skills of observation, but I also drew French life, and the many moments which added up to my amazing time there.
Poppy returned to Australia and began the Masters of Architecture with a far broadened perspective, and found that her design work, research, and thinking was so much more rewarding than it had been prior to her trip. Poppy graduated from the Masters of Architecture in 2013, with First Class Honours, received the Deans Medal, and was awarded the AIA NSW Chapter Graduate of the Year Prize. Poppy now tutors Design at the University of Newcastle and runs her own Newcastle-based design business, focusing on residential building and interior design.