Professor Mel Dodd to be Head of Architecture from January 2021

Monash University has appointed renowned architectural educator and practitioner Professor Mel Dodd to be its Head of Architecture from January 2021 when current head Professor Naomi Stead completes her term.

Professor Mel Dodd will join Monash Art, Design and Architecture in January 2021, from Central St Martin’s in London where she is Associate Dean Knowledge Exchange, leading the architecture school since 2013. She has a track record of innovative partnerships in placemaking and government service design through spatial practice with an emphasis on integration of research and practice into teaching. These include projects in partnerships with government, and large commercial entities in a range of significant urban, public spaces in the UK.

At Central St Martin’s Mel established innovative courses including the MArch (RIBA Pt 2) and MA Cities, engaging government and local authorities to create a study environment that allows constant engagement with the ‘real world’ of external projects and professional networks, and an ethical engagement in societal challenges.

At Monash, Mel will lead the department of Architecture to align with university research pillars, scale up research to partner on larger projects, consider international engagements and position our education in the context of the future of the profession.

We could not have made a better appointment. Mel is in the unique position of having led architecture schools in both Australia, at RMIT, and the UK at Central St Martin’s. She has a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing architecture in both locations that will drive architecture at Monash to prepare students for the changing realities of practice.

Professor Shane Murray, Dean of Monash Art, Design and Architecture

Professor Dodd explains, “I am delighted to be joining Monash Art, Design and Architecture as Head of Architecture, and excited at the opportunity to collaborate with and lead such a strong team. I am committed to transformative architectural education and research, embedded in urban contexts - and I know that my ambitions to widen participation with broader audiences, civil society, government and industry is in strong alignment and synergy with the department’s own mission. Given the unprecedented challenges facing society, a more radical engagement and interaction with cities, their systems and people, is now a compelling necessity.”

Outgoing head, Naomi Stead has made a significant contribution to the department in a time of transition including the establishment of Urban Planning & Design, and especially this year for her commitment to staff and students in this most challenging time.

Shane: “Naomi is a natural leader and I’m sure she will maintain her interest in the department and faculty as she returns to her role as research professor, and projects including her recent ARC Linkage on the work-related wellbeing of architects and architecture students.”

Naomi: “It has been an honour to lead Architecture at Monash for these past three years – it is a magnificent community of staff and students. I could not be more delighted to pass the baton to Mel Dodd, who is already well known and liked in the department, and who is very closely aligned with our values, priorities, and strengths.”

We look forward to welcoming Mel Dodd, hopefully with a real, in person gathering, early next year.