by Isabelle Michard
It is fascinating and encouraging to see how a series of marvellous coincidences can flow from a single act. I have just had this experience!
On December 4, 2011, I applied for the Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship. As the Architecte des Batimentsde France in Moselle, I work on behalf of the the Ministry of Culture to protect the built heritage in my region. I monitor the quality and integrity of protected zones around designated historic monuments. I met the RMHF Juryand presented my research topic: the industrial heritage of Moselle, which is known for its industry, its steel factories, and especially its coal mines. Today this area is deteriorating, its landscape is polluted and abandoned, and its future is in question, to say the least. I did not receive the Fellowship, but the jury, struck by the timeliness of my topic, decided to create the first RMH Scholar Residency. I became the first Hunt Scholar and was invited to spend five weeks researching in the United States.