Naomi Stead to lead Architecture at Monash University

Naomi Stead

Monash University has appointed renowned architectural academic and critic, Professor Naomi Stead, as Head of Architecture at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA).

Professor Stead, who joined MADA earlier this year takes up the new role in January 2018. MADA Dean Professor Shane Murray congratulated her on the appointment.

“Naomi has shown an enormous capacity to build and shape the research culture of the department and this will continue to be her main priority as Head.”

“Next year promises to be very exciting; 2018 marks the ten year anniversary of the Architecture program at Monash University and I am confident that the best person to lead the department into the future is actually already within it,” Professor Murray said.

Professor Stead said she was thrilled to accept the role.

“I can’t think of any architecture school in the country where I’d rather be. Monash Architecture seems to me to cultivate the perfect balance between practical knowledge and rigorous scholarship – producing ideas to work, and producing critical practitioners as well as practical criticism.

“Monash has a great cultural mix: great students with imagination and ambition; excellent colleagues motivated by the desire to use architectural ideas to contribute to a better world; a hugely impressive University with amazing depth of knowledge and experience, and the potential to do great and significant research and teaching work,” she said.

A widely published art and architectural critic, Professor Stead writes regularly for The Conversation where she recently examined how events such as Melbourne’s White Night and Sydney’s Vivid Festival, “have the curious effect of making people look at buildings: specifically, directly, intently, and in a way that is very different from what they do in the everyday.”

She is also co-editor of architecture website, Parlour, focusing on women, equity and architecture, which evolved from a major ARC-funded project she led.

Completing her PhD in 2004 at the University of Queensland (UQ), Professor Stead’s thesis centred on the cultural politics of architecture in recent purpose-built social history museums. Prior to joining Monash, Professor Stead held roles in architecture at UQ and University of Technology, Sydney.

MADA would like to also formally acknowledge and thank current Acting Head of Architecture, Associate Professor Ari Seligmann, for his tremendous contribution to the Faculty. Professor Seligmann will return to his substantive role of Deputy Head of Architecture.