Architecture really is a universal language. After graduating with my Masters of Architecture I relocated to Dubai, where I worked amongst 23 other nationalities, and amidst five different spoken languages in the Woods Bagot Dubai office.
Working for a large-scale firm, with a global presence, gave me ability to work on a variety of projects including masterplans, residential towers, large scale mixed-use projects and a bid for the Dubai World Expo 2020. I touched each stage of the design process: from the initial concept and feasibility studies, through to preparing drawings and documentation packages. I was challenged by the differences in culture which translated into intricate design details, and was given more freedom and responsibility I hoped to reach by this stage in my career.
One of the most important lessons I drew from my tutors and cohort at Monash, was that architecture needs to be responsible and reflective of its local context. Thus I benefitted immensely in the Prato program where we had to immerse ourselves in a foreign community to develop a design scheme reflective of its needs.
The architecture courses at Monash really instil a process in you that you can apply to any design scenario, anywhere. Hence, I am still abroad, taking the opportunity to learn from cities very different to my own. My next stop is Paris!