Monash University has appointed Mel Dodd as its new head of architecture.

Originally from Australia, Dodd has led the school of architecture at London’s Central Saint Martin’s since 2013 and is currently Associate Dean of Knowledge Exchange. In her time at the school she established the Master of Architecture and MA Cities programs and created an educational environment that “allowed for constant engagement with the ‘real world’ of external projects and professional networks, and an ethical engagement in societal challenges.”

At Monash, Dodd will be tasked with aligning the department of architecture with the university’s research pillars.

“I am committed to transformative architectural education and research, embedded in urban contexts,” she said, “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.”

Shane Murray, dean of Monash Art, Design and Architecture, said, “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.”

Dodd will join Monash Art, Design and Architecture in January 2021, taking over the role from Naomi Stead, who will conclude her three-year term at the end of 2020.

“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,” Murray said.

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