For the second time in the past week someone has revealed that their parents steered them away from architecture. But in each case the lure of the design world was too strong. For Francoise Baudet, she found her way back to her first love after a career in advertising. After 12 years of corporate life she picked up a camera, studied at night and assisted during the day. Now she is out on her own and loving every minute.
Which five words best describe you? Organised, hopeful, passionate, monochrome, family.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My parents are both architects and told me never to do architecture. So I studied a Bachelor of Business (Advertising) and spent over 12 years building a career in advertising and branding working on mostly corporate and political clients like BHP Billiton, Westpac Group, Coca Cola Amatil, Queensland Labor Party and Australian Aerospace. However, I could not shake the passion I had for architecture and design. I’ve always had a strong appreciation of design and how it works with nature and effects our lifestyle. And, of course, I’ve developed a love of white, grey and black. I really enjoyed photography as a hobby, so studied it at night and set out to change my career. I was lucky enough to intern with Megan Morton who gave me real insight into the business as well as the confidence to jump in. I also assisted incredible photographers like Richard Glover, Amanda Prior, Jason Busch and Felix Forest. Each are so generous with their time and knowledge. I would not be where I am today without their mentoring. When I’m on location shooting a house, it feels so damn good. I was so nervous in the lead up to shooting my first house, but nothing could shake how comfortable and confident I felt behind the lens capturing the space. If I ever start to question my decision to change career, I get behind the lens and that comfortable feeling comes back.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To throw yourself in and commit wholeheartedly. Keep pushing outside your comfort zone and keep learning. Seek out mentors and listen, listen, listen.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I’ve got so much further to go and I’ve got plenty of goals to achieve. However, so far, my proudest career achievement was getting my first house published. I rushed out and bought a heap of copies of the magazine.
What’s been your best decision? To explore my passion for photography as a hobby with formal study and to leave the world of advertising and enter the world of photography.
Who inspires you? This will sound cliche but I am inspired to work hard for my husband and family - my biggest support team. In terms of creative inspiration, well, there’s so much good juice out there. I am inspired by everyone. I cruise architecture sites and particularly love Pinterest. I get lost in there for hours.
What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about sharing the importance of good design. In this day and age, it’s too easy to buy a house from a catalogue or do a renovation by yourself. I think spaces are incredibly important and shape the way we live and enjoy life. I also like the idea of leaving something valuable for the next person. Architects understand how to utilise the land, light and built form and their influence can transform a living space into something very practical but also extremely beautiful.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frank Lloyd Wright.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I’ve been working on a special project documenting my late Grandfather’s Modernist architecture work from the 1960s. He designed a huge number both private and public buildings during a very unique era of architecture. My dream is to have an exhibition sharing the work.
What are you reading? At the moment I’ve been keeping it more visual and indulging in coffee table books. I am loving Minimalism by Loft Publications, Northern Delights by Gestalten and 50s/60s/70s Iconic Australian Houses by Karen McCartney.