Emily has been working with us over the past 8 months as she continues her study towards her Masters of Architecture.
She worked with Lyn on a competition project that was exploring designing living spaces for people with autism, and giving them the independence they wanted but with the support that they may need. A lot of research went into this by Emily and Lyn, with interviews and design reviews to come up with a concept that may work for some people (each person is unique so what may work for one person with autism, may not work with another’s needs). Once this was wrapped up we’ve kept her busy with residential design and planning.
Emily is now spreading her wings and heading off to Italy to study abroad as part of her course (we’ve very jealous Emily, and appreciate the Tiramisu)
Can you quickly tell us (because you have a heap of work to do before you go!)
What have you enjoyed about working at PENZL? … (so hopefully that will bring you back to your desk here when you are done travelling)
The people at Pacific Environments are fantastic and always have make my time very enjoyable. From the first day I felt welcomed and I have continued to feel like a valued part of the larger team. For a somewhat naïve student like me, having a strong support has helped me learn and develop my skills and confidence over the past 8 months. There has always been someone to help me with whatever questions, even very basic archicad questions! I also feel like I have had the opportunity to push myself, working with Lyn on the Austism Speaks housing competition was a great way to start off, and since then I have been able to get a taste for working on a wide range of projects with many different people, all of which has been hugely invaluable. And yes, I would love to come back if there is still room!
So what will you be up to while in Italy?
I will be completing one semester of study at the University of Florence. This is an exchange I have had my eyes on since I first heard about it in 1st year, so to finally make this happen is very exciting for me! The semester will finish at the end of February but I hope to fit some travel in between and after studying (I have a list of places I am desperate to visit + the Architecture Bienale!) I am completing 4 papers while over there, a design/ structural studio, renaissance and contemporary architecture history, design economics and a research methods paper via correspondence. And of course, I will be trying to immerse myself in the entirely new culture and language, which I sure will present many challenges, but I’m sure it will be a good adventure!
What appealed about studying in Italy?
I was fortunate to visit Italy last year as part of an study elective with 20 other students. It has my first big trip out of NZ so it really made me realise how much there is to see and learn beyond Auckland! Italy was beautiful, and thankfully I had this opportunity to return while I was still studying, even better, in one of the best cities of architecture in the world.
If I had to say one of the most important things I have learnt in Architecture School so far, it would be that Architecture will always be a social discipline. This may seem completely obvious, but it is surprising to see how many developments these days forget this. Florence is one city that epitomizes a successful city for people. The scale of the buildings and public spaces, the pedestrian friendly streets and the density of the working and living environments do this. And, that is why it has so many fantastic public spaces. Also being the birth place of Renaissance Architecture, it is bursting with architectural precedents, so I really couldn’t ask for a better place to study architecture! I am most interested in the urban context, in particular, how to go about delineating and forming relationships between public and private spaces. Florence will be able to help me with this knowledge and I am hoping to get some more inspiration for my final masters research project there
Are there any sites/buildings you are excited about seeing in the flesh while there?
I was able to visit many of the most notable public buildings in the main cities last year, all of which I had to pinch myself twice to realise I was seeing them for real! This time, I hope to return to experience many of these and more. I really admire Carlo Scarpa’s work in Venice and Vicenza (particularly Quirini Stampalia, Brion Cemetry and Castelvecchio), so I would love to see more of his works. But most of all I enjoy walking around the cities, I like to see how the local people go about their lives, in the piazza’s, the markets, the hidden churches and the tiny streets.
I will also have the opportunity to visit many other cities in Europe. I want to visit Centre Pompidou, Villa Savoye, maybe even some Mies in Berlin?! I would also like to make time to go south to Pompeii at some point, I want to make the most of my time over there (given my budget will allow for it!)
Lastly I would like to say thank you all very much for all of the support and kindness I have received during my time at Pacific Environments! I will keep everyone updated with my study and travels!