The Wellbeing of Architects project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers at Monash University’s Department of Architecture and Department of Management. In a team led by Prof Naomi Stead, the other researchers are Prof Julie Wolfram Cox, A/Prof Maryam Gusheh, A/Prof Brian Cooper, and Dr Kirsten Orr, who is also the Registrar of the New South Wales Architects Registration Board. The project’s Research Fellow is Byron Kinnaird, co-employed by the project and the Board. Jonathan Hines is completing a PhD within the project, and the Research Assistants include Liz Battiston, Yoana Doleva, Julia Rodwell, and Dr Tracey Shea.
Professor Naomi Stead
Naomi Stead is the leader of The Wellbeing of Architects project and the director of the Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT. During a twenty year research career she has been engaged with cultural change and research-based advocacy in architecture.
She has co-edited books including Speaking of Buildings: Oral History in Architectural Research, with Janina Gosseye and Deborah van der Plaat (Princeton Architectural Press, 2019); and Writing Architectures: Fictocritical Approaches, with Hélène Frichot (Bloomsbury, 2020). She led the earlier Australian Research Council project Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work and Leadership (2011–2014) leading to the co-founding (with Justine Clark and others) of Parlour, an internationally-recognised advocacy group working towards gender equity in architecture.
Associate Professor Maryam Gusheh
Maryam is Associate Professor in architecture at Monash University. Her work examines the relationship between architectural practice and the social and political contexts in which the built fabric is designed, constructed and received. Her interests include culture and identity in architecture, cross-cultural design and inclusive architecture. Maryam often works at the intersection of academia and industry and is skilled at conceptualising and realising projects that span these worlds.
Maryam works with multiple primary research materials – historical archives, interviews, drawings and the buildings themselves and combines these with practice-led and translational applications. Maryam leads the Better Life at Home research stream, at the Monash Urban Lab, focused on holistic approaches to the adaptable and accessible domestic environments. She is a Practice Critic at Neeson Murcutt + Nielle Architects. Prior to joining Monash University in 2018, Maryam was the Director of Architecture Department at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.
Professor Julie Wolfram Cox
Julie Wolfram Cox is Professor of Management in the Monash Business School and her research interests include organisation theory, organisational change, leadership and technology studies. With a background in organisational behaviour (Ph.D from Case Western Reserve University) and psychology (honours and masters degrees from University of Melbourne), Julie’s current research is mainly conceptual or qualitative in nature, including interpretive and critical organisation studies.
She led an earlier Australian Research Council Linkage Grant project on collaborative governance with Victoria Police and, together with Maryam Gusheh, is supervising Jonathan Hines’ Ph.D on professional work in small and emerging architectural work practices.
Associate Professor Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper is an Associate Professor at Monash Business School. Brian has over 30 years of experience in research with a strong interest in wellbeing at work. Brian is an expert in quantitative methods and brings to this project particular skills in the design, conduct and analysis of surveys to assess well-being.
Brian’s work has been published in numerous top journals, including Human Resource Management, Journal of Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Business Ethics, and British Journal of Industrial Relations. His research strives to have a strong social impact through engaging with the community on policy relevant research.
Dr Kirsten Orr
Dr Kirsten Orr LFRAIA is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board and a registered architect (NSW #6236). Previously, she was a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (2016-2020); Professor of Architecture and Dean of the School of Technology, Environments & Design at the University of Tasmania (2016–18); and Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (1999–2015).
Integrating her deep knowledge of professional issues with her significant academic background, Kirsten has made leadership contributions to all the major Australian government and professional bodies regulating the practice of architecture, education of architecture students and accreditation of Australian architecture programs.
Byron Kinnaird is a regulator, researcher and educator with a deep interest in the cultures and structures of the architecture profession. Byron is a Research Fellow at Monash University under The Wellbeing of Architects project, and is the Research & Education Officer for the NSW Architects Registration Board.
Trained in Wellington and Melbourne, he has practiced as an architectural educator and researcher for over a decade in New Zealand and Australia. His current work at the NSW Architects Registration Board leverages research and policy to promote a better understanding of architectural issues in the community, with a particular interest in professional education and wellbeing.
Dr Tracey Shea
Dr Tracey Shea (MSc (Applied statistics), PhD) works in the Monash Business School at Monash University where she has applied her expertise in survey research and scale development and validation to several research projects. She has also co-authored papers and reports using these methodologies in the fields of psychology and management. Her current research interests are workplace stress, employee wellbeing, mental health, and occupational violence and aggression.
Jonathan Robberts is undertaking a PhD within the project through the Monash University Department of Management, and is supervised by Professor Julie Wolfram-Cox and Associate Professor Maryam Gusheh. His doctoral research contributes to the project by broadly exploring the enactment of professional identities in emerging architectural practices.
With a background in researching organisational change management and sensemaking, Jonathan has always been interested in the processes that allow change to come about. His research aims to contribute to this area by exploring how everyday tensions in professional work are negotiated and change over time with a focus on architect identities.