Naomi Stead is an architectural academic, scholar and critic, based in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently the Head of the Architecture Department at Monash University Faculty of Art Design & Architecture, Australia.
Early years and education
Naomi Stead was born in February, 1975, and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. She studied architecture at the Louise Laybourne School of Architecture, University of South Australia, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture with first class honours in 1998. Stead's PhD, ‘On the Object of the Museum and its Architecture’, was conferred by The University of Queensland in 2004.
Stead began her academic career at the University of Technology, Sydney (2001–2009) and became a research fellow at the Research Centre ATCH (Architecture Theory Criticism History), University of Queensland in 2009, later becoming a senior research fellow. In 2015 she took up an academic position as Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Queensland. In 2017, Stead joined Monash University's Department of Architecture before becoming the Head of Department in 2018. Stead has also undertaken a number of research fellowships, including Postdoctoral Fellow, Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden, Linkoping University (October 2007 – February 2008), and Honorary Visiting Scholar, School of Architecture, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (June – December 2005).
Stead describes her academic research as engaged with the following areas:
- the history, theory and writing of architectural criticism; experimental writing in architecture;
- representations of architects and architecture in popular media
- the material culture of the architectural workplace; visual sociology in architecture;
- gender equity in architectural practice; feminist architecture theory; women in architecture;
- urban cultural geography and walking as an aesthetic practice; tourist culture in cities;
- thing theory, artefactuality, and objecthood in architecture; miniaturisation in architecture;
Stead was a researcher with John Macarthur on the project The Cultural Logic of Queensland Architecture: Place, Taste and Economy.
Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: women, work and leadership
Stead initiated and led the Australian Research Council funded project Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work and Leadership (2011–2014). This involved eight researchers – Stead, Karen Burns, Justine Clark, Gill Matthewson, Amanda Roan, Gillian Whitehouse, Julie Willis and Sandra Kaji-O'Grady – and sought map women’s participation in the architectural profession in Australia, to understand why women are under-represented at senior management level, and to identify concrete strategies for change. The project resulted in scholarly publications and in the advocacy and activism project Parlour: women, equity, architecture. This also led to the Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice.
Architectural criticism by Stead has been published in a wide range of professional journals and magazines, including Architecture Australia, Artichoke, Monument, Architecture Review Australia, Pol Oxygen and [Inside] Australian Design Review. She was a contributing editor to Architecture Australia from 2003 to 2012 and is a regular columnist for Places magazine. Stead has also written scholarly work on the history and future of architectural criticism and edited the anthology Semi-detached: Writing, representation and criticism in architecture (2012).
Contributions to public and academic culture
Stead contributes to public and academic culture in a range of ways. She is an expert member of the National Committee for Gender Equity of the Australian Institute of Architects. She has edited academic journals, including Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research,with Prof Johan Fornas and Dr Martin Fredriksson; Architectural Theory Review, with Dr Lee Stickells and Prof Michael Tawa (2011 – 2014), and was on the Executive Committee of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) from 2003 to 2005, and elected SAHANZ President from 2017-2019.
Stead has also convened and co-convened a number of conferences. These include:
- The Art of Drying: Practices and Aesthetics symposium, University of Queensland Art Museum, 27 March 2015 (with Kelly Greenop and Allison Holland)
- Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture, 30 May 2013 (with Justine Clark and Karen Burns)
- Lost in Conversation: Constructing the Oral History of Modern Architecture, 1 November 2013 (with Janina Gosseye, Naomi Stead and Deborah van der Plaat)
- Writing Architecture II: A Symposium on Innovations in the Textual and Visual Critique of Buildings, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the State Library of Queensland, 22–23 July 2010
- Writing Architecture: A Symposium on Architectural Criticism and the Written Representation of Architecture, Institute for Modern Art, Brisbane, 15 & 16 Aug 2009
- Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries a trans-disciplinary international conference on sexuality and space, University of Technology Sydney, February 2007.
Stead has curated a number of architectural exhibitions:
- 2015. Portraits of Practice: At Work in Architecture, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, 11 July- Sept 11, 2015. In collaboration with Justine Clark, Maryam Gusheh, Fiona Young and Gill Matthewson.
- 2015. Hung Out to Dry: Space, memory, and domestic laundry practices, University of Queensland Art Museum, 21 March – 10 May 2015. In collaboration with Allison Holland and Kelly Greenop.
- 2010 Documentation: The Visual Sociology of Architects, at Extra/Ordinary the national conference of the Australian Institute of Architects, Creative Director Melanie Dodds, Sydney, 22–24 April 2010. In collaboration with Dr Sandra Kaji-O’Grady and Dr Kate Sweetapple.
- 2009 Mapping Sydney: Experimental Cartography and the Imagined City, DAB LAB Research gallery UTS Faculty of Design Architecture and Building.
- Stead, Naomi (with Janina Gosseye and Deborah van der Plaat). (2019): Speaking of Buildings. Oral History in Architectural Research. New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2019, ISBN 9781616897543.
- 2015 Naomi Stead, ‘Lest: In Order Not That,’ Mongrel Rapture: the Work of Ashton Raggatt Macdougall, Uro, Melbourne, 2015.
- 2014 Naomi Stead ed., ‘Dossier’, Architecture Australia, vol 103, no 5, Sept/Oct 2014, pp. 53–69.
- 2014 Naomi Stead ed., Women, Practice, Architecture, Routledge, London, July 2014.
- 2013 Naomi Stead and Cristina Garduno Freeman, ‘Reception,’ Architectural Theory Review, vol 18, no 3, December 2013.
- 2012 Naomi Stead ed., "Resigned Accommodation" and "Usurpatory Strategies", Architectural Theory Review, vol 17 no 2/3, August/December 2012.
- 2012 Naomi Stead ed., Semi-Detached: Writing, Representation and Criticism in Architecture, Uro: Melbourne, May 2012.
- 2011 Naomi Stead, Lee Stickells and Michael Tawa, ‘Fifteen Years of Architectural Theory Review: New Beginnings,’ special issue, Architectural Theory Review, vol 16, issue 2, 2011.
- 2007 Naomi Stead and Jason Prior eds., Proceedings of the international conference Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries, University of Technology Sydney, February 2007
- 2012 John Macarthur & Naomi Stead, ‘Aesthetics/Art/Pleasure’ in Sibel Bozdogan, Stephen Cairns, Greig Crysler and Hilde Heynen eds., Handbook of Architectural Theory, Berg, Oxford, 123-135.
- 2009 Naomi Stead, ‘Avoidance: On Some Euphemisms for the ‘Smallest Room’’ in Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner eds, Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2009, pp. 126-132.
- 2008 Naomi Stead, ‘Buildings, Photographs, Sculptures: On Medium and Disciplinarity in the work of the Bechers’, in Andrew Leach and John Macarthur eds., Architecture, Disciplinarity and Art, A & S Books, Ghent, pp. 135–149.
- 2007 Naomi Stead, ‘In the Mind of the Architect’: Architecture, Representation and Authorship in Documentary Film’, in Architecture and Authorship, Tim Anstey, Katja Grillner & Rolf Hughes eds., Black Dog Press, London, pp. 50–59.
- 2007 Naomi Stead, ‘Criticism in/and/of Crisis: The Australian Context’, in Jane Rendell, Mark Dorrian et al., eds., Critical Architecture, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 76–83.
- 2007 Naomi Stead, ‘Museological Landscapes, Mythological Lands: The Garden of Australian Dreams’, in Michael J. Ostwald and Steven Fleming eds. Museum, Gallery and Cultural Architecture in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Region: Essays on Antipodean Identity, Edwin Mellen Press, Wales, 2007, pp. 69–80.
- 2006 John Macarthur and Naomi Stead, ‘The National Museum of Australia as Danse Macabre: Baroque Allegories of the Popular’, in South Pacific Museums: Beyond the New Museology? Chris Healy and Andrea Witcomb eds., Macquarie University ePress.
- 2015 Shortlisted for Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Awards for Research, for the Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice, (in collaboration with Justine Clark and others).
- 2015 Adrian Ashton Prize, presented to Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture, by the New South Wales Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects (in collaboration with Justine Clark and others).
- 2015 Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media (National Award) awarded to Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture, at the Victorian Architecture Awards, Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter (in collaboration with Justine Clark and others).
- 2015 Shortlisted as Creative Director of the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, for ParlourLIVE!, with Justine Clark, Catherine Griffiths, Maryam Gusheh and Fiona Young.
- 2008 Adrian Ashton Prize for Architectural Writing, presented by the New South Wales Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.
- "Dr Naomi Stead". monash.edu/mada. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Naomi, Stead, (1 January 2004). "On the object of the museum and its architecture". espace.library.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 14 November 2015.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Naomi Stead to lead Architecture at Monash University". Monash University. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- "The Cultural Logic of Queensland Architecture: Place, Taste and Economy - UQ Researchers". researchers.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work, and Leadership - Architecture Theory Criticism History - The University of Queensland, Australia". atch.architecture.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Parlour - women, equity, architecture". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Smith, Michael. "Gender equality: Reading between the lines". ArchitectureAU. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Cremins, Niamh (10 June 2014). "Equity: not just Parlour talk". The Age. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice Parlour". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Naomi Stead". Australian Design Review.
- "Naomi Stead". ArchitectureAU. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Naomi Stead | Places Journal". Places Journal. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Stead, Naomi (1 January 2012). Semi-detached : writing, representation and criticism in architecture / edited by Naomi Stead. Melbourne: Uro Media. ISBN 9780987228130.
- "New Belle-Lettrism and the Future of Architectural Criticism". Places Journal. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Stead, Naomi (2007). "Criticism in/and/of Crisis: The Australian Context". Critical Architecture. London: Routledge. pp. 76–8.
- Stead, Naomi; Macarthur, John (2009). "The Judge is Not an Operator: Historiography, Criticality and Architectural Criticism". www.oasejournal.nl. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "National Committee for Gender Equity - Parlour". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Home | Culture Unbound". www.cultureunbound.ep.liu.se. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "SOCIETY INFORMATION". SAHANZ: Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- "Hung Out to Dry". University of Queensland School of Architecture. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture - Parlour". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Kalms, Nikki (31 October 2013). "Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture". ArchitectureAU. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Lost in Conversation". Lost in Conversation. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Writing Architecture: A Symposium on Innovations in the Textual and Visual Critique of Buildings". IAWIS/AIERTI. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Spotlight on gender inequality in architecture". Radio National. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "The Conversation: Naomi Stead". Radio National. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "The Plan – Rachel Hurst & Dr Naomi Stead". Radio Adelaide. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Portraits of Practice - Parlour". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "New Parlour exhibition features women in architecture at work | Architecture And Design". Architecture And Design. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Le, Phuong. "Portraits of Practice". The Red and Black Architect. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Hung out to dry - UQ Art Museum - The University of Queensland, Australia". www.artmuseum.uq.edu.au. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Hung Out To Dry: the exhibition". School of Architecture. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Stead, Naomi (2010). "The Visual Sociology of Architects". Architecture Australia. 99 (4). Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Stickells, Lee (2009). "Mapping Sydney". Architecture Australia. 98 (8). Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Stead, Naomi (2009). Mapping Sydney: Experimental Cartography and the Imagined City. Sydney: Local Consumption Publications.
- "RIBA Announce 2015 Shortlists for President's Awards for Research". RIBA. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Australia's shortlist of 2016 Venice Biennale pavilion proposals". Bustler. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Parlour LIVE! - Parlour". archiparlour.org. Retrieved 14 November 2015.