Join Cranbrook Academy of Art on Monday, April 10 for the 2023 Annual Swanson Lecture. This year’s lecture will be presented by Mel Dodd. The lecture will be held in deSalle Auditorium at Cranbrook Art Museum and is free and open to the public. Please note, Cranbrook Art Museum’s galleries will be closed.

Drawing on practice, research, and teaching, and expanding on her recent publication ‘Spatial Practices: Modes of Actions and Engagement with the City’ (Routledge 2019), Mel will explore the relationship between social and spatial infrastructures – tracing projects and approaches that range from performance to policy-making, from architecture to urban design.

Mel Dodd leads Architecture at Monash University, Melbourne, and has been practicing and teaching architecture for over 30 years including at Cambridge University, & Royal College of Art. She was Programme Director at RMIT University, Melbourne 2007-2012 and then at Central Saint Martins until 2020, where she established the Spatial Practices Programme. Her practice is concerned with the relationship between social and spatial infrastructures, delivered through collaborative and socially-engaged practice; innovations in live projects and pedagogy, and via advocacy for expanded forms of architectural education and knowledge exchange. She is the author of ‘Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement with the City’ (Routledge 2019), and joint author of ‘This is What We Do: A Muf Manual’ (Ellipsis 2002). Professor Dodd received her Master of Architecture from the University of Cambridge and her Ph.D. from RMIT University.

The annual Swanson lecture is sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Fund.

The J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund at Cranbrook Academy of Art was established in 1983 by the family of J. Robert F. Swanson, a noted architect who was also the son-in-law of Eliel Saarinen. Each year, the Swanson Lecture brings to the Cranbrook campus architects, designers, artists, or scholars who have received critical acclaim for their work and enjoy a sustained record of excellence and achievement in their respective fields.  J. Robert F. Swanson and his wife and lifelong design partner, Pipsan Saarinen Swanson, founded their firm Swanson Associates in 1947 and worked on many exteriors and interiors, including residences, schools, universities, churches, airports, banks, government, industrial and commercial projects.

Watch Previous Lectures