A group of 12 landscape architecture students from the University of Western Australia (UWA) travelled to India in April, under the leadership of Associate Professor Christopher Vernon, on a study tour supported by the Study Overseas Short-term Mobility Program
The third and fourth year students of UWA enrolled in a course requiring the preparation of a landscape master plan for Chandigarh, a northern Indian city planned by Le Corbusier that is presently under consideration by UNESCO for World Heritage Listing.
The study tour provided an opportunity for the Australian students to see the city and meet local students and architects.
“I began to learn how to interact with people who speak different languages and grew up in different environments - I believe this has helped me develop as a well rounded person,” said study tour participant Liam Mouritz.
For some students who had not previously travelled outside Western Australia, the study tour was their first opportunity to experience high-density urban environments.
“To experience city life in an urban environment and a culture radically different to my own, broadened my view of how a city operates and how the people in it communicate and relate to one another,” said student Rosemary Halsmith.
The group visited Delhi, Lucknow and Chandigarh, where they were generously hosted by landscape architect and Chandigarh College of Architecture academic Parmeet Bhatt.
During their time in Chandigarh the group was also privileged to meet with MN Sharma in his self-designed home. Along with serving as Chandigarh’s first chief architect, Sharma is one of the very few surviving architects who worked with Le Corbusier and his associate Pierre Jeanneret, building the city in the 1950s.
“The experience is one that I will remember long past graduation and has me allowed me to develop a greater understanding of India's ancient culture and exciting history of landscape architectural practice” commented Laura Thwaites.
The Capitol complex in Chandigarh, India