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Student Spotlight Annie Murphy: Our 2017 Parker Fellowship Scholar

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The Parker Fellowship is a travelling scholarship given annually to one architecture student from the University of Newcastle, established in memory of Eric Clarence Parker, former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at UON. The aim of the scholarship is to promote hand drawing and sketching as integral tools for young architects and foster an opportunity to explore ideas and theories on an international scale. The scholarship is currently held by Annie Murphy, who has recently embarked on her travels throughout Europe and Morocco researching a proposed theory she wishes to explore, sketch and develop.

Can our cities be defined by a set of patterns? Through codifying our behaviour within our built environment can we find a way for architecture to promote wellbeing and enrich human life? This was the intention behind Christopher Alexander’s ‘Pattern Language’, a seminal book presenting 235 patterns or hypothesis around how we might best inhabit and shape our built environment.

Forty years after Alexanders investigation and analysis of patterns and architecture, Annie has set out to test these patterns against post-industrial societies and situations to assess how these lessons can apply today. She describes her project “'A Living Architecture' is a critical analysis on whether these patterns are capable of responding to time, climate, geographies, cultures, and traditions”.

Currently situated in Italy, over the next 6 months, she will investigate Alexander’s influence on European vernacular architecture in contrast with other cultures, such as Morocco researching whether we require new languages and processes to create an adaptive and generative architecture for today’s post-industrial society. She will then return to UON in 2019 to share this research and begin her Master of Architecture.

To follow the journey and stay up to date with Annie’s research as it develops please follow her travel blog. You can also read about the other Parker Fellowship trips on the website.

Applications for the 2018 Parker Fellowship are now closed. Please see the scholarship page for details on the 2019 application process.

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