Researcher biography

Susan is a registered architect, architectural educator and researcher with a PhD in Architecture from the University of Queensland (2014), and professional qualifications and experience. Prior to her academic career Susan worked in practice for over 10 years in Australia and the UK, gaining experience on a range of project scales and types including community, civic, housing and urban design. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and has contributed to its education committee, and regional and state awards programs in urban design, residential design and art-architecture. She currently sits on the AIA National Gender Equity Committee.

Susan’s research explores architecture and urban design histories; architecture in cultural policy and design governance; and the commissioning, curating and collecting of architecture by cultural institutions in the GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, and museums). Her research and criticism is widely published in academic, professional and industry journals including Journal of Architecture, European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, AA Files, Leonardo, Fabrications and Architecture Australia. Susan has presented her research in a range of national and international forums. She has been an invited guest lecturer and critic at Ghent University, Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, Monash University and Griffith University in Australia, and in 2012 was a Visiting Professor in the VAMA (Visual Arts Media and Architecture) Masters Programme at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Susan has also been invited to chair and contribute to expert panels at the SCCI Architecture Hub Sydney, Museum of Brisbane, the UQ Art Museum and for the Committee for Brisbane.

Susan has been the recipient of a number of competitive awards and grants for her research. She is currently a Chief Investigator on the ARC funded project Is Architecture Art?: A history of categories, concepts and recent practices(2016-2021), which analyses the changing place of architecture in the realm of culture and cultural administration. This project has produced three books: Pavilion Propositions: Nine Points on an Architectural Phenomenon (2018), Trading Between Architecture and Art: Strategies and Practices of Exchange (2019) and Valuing Architecture: Heritage and the Economics of Culture (2020), and convened two conferences (see: Susan was also a Chief Investigator on the ARC funded project Campus: Building Modern Australian Universities (2016-2020), which brought together experts from five Australian Universities in an inter-disciplinary team to research the landscape, architecture, planning and heritage of the modern campus in Australia. She is a contributing author to Campus: Building Modern Australian Universities (forthcoming with UWA Press in 2021).

Susan’s research also informs teaching and curriculum development in the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at UQ. In 2021 Susan will contribute to two projects to develop Indigenous and inter-cultural content for built environment and design education, as part of teams led by indigenous experts.


2019 UQ Promoting Women Fellowship

2010 David Saunders Founders Grant Award (SAHANZ) (with Jared Bird)

2000 QIA Medallion (Australian Institute of Architects, Qld Chapter)


Registered Architect, Board of Architects Queensland

Fellow, Australian Institute of Architects (FRAIA)

Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)

Areas of research