Naomi Stead

is The Saturday Paper’s architecture critic and a professor in the college of design and social context at RMIT.

By this author


Culture September 02, 2023

Nightingale Village

In their pursuit of excellent design in the name of sustainability and social good, the Nightingale developments are exemplars of architect-led contemporary architecture.

Culture July 01, 2023

Victorian Pride Centre

The designers of the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda took on a number of almost insurmountable challenges – and triumphed.

Culture May 20, 2023

Flipside Circus

Flipside Circus’s bright new Brisbane headquarters are built from shipping containers – a possible metaphor for the contingent place of the arts in Australian culture.

Culture March 25, 2023

Studio Bright’s Garden Tower House

The detailed domestic architecture of Studio Bright has lessons for making dense urban spaces greener and lighter.

Culture February 04, 2023

Sydney Modern: beauty and the beast

The Art Gallery of NSW’s Sydney Modern reflects the city – breezy and bright above, with a dark, stygian underworld.

Culture October 22, 2022

Anthony Clarke’s architecture of care

Anthony Clarke’s designs for people with complex needs create “holding spaces” where difficult feelings can take place.

Culture September 03, 2022

Sydney Opera House 2.0

The success of the Sydney Opera House refurbishment adds another layer to a complex architectural story.

Culture June 25, 2022

Fish Lane Town Square

The Brisbane development Fish Lane Town Square is a brilliant reclamation of disused urban space.

Culture May 07, 2022

MPavilion – The Lightcatcher

Melbourne’s MPavilion series focuses on the vexed question of whether architecture can be art.

Culture April 02, 2022

The Garden House

The Garden House is a radical reappraisal of architecture as environmental healing.

Culture February 05, 2022

Lust for Lifestyle

The SA State Library’s exhibition Lust for Lifestyle explores how mid-century Modernist architecture aestheticised the everyday.

Culture December 04, 2021

The quiet glamour of 52 Reservoir Street

The peacock dress of a new office building in Sydney’s Surry Hills belies its ingeniously modest design.

Culture October 30, 2021

Who made the shortlist for the National Architecture Awards?

The National Architecture Awards are a chance to reflect on the state of the art.

Culture September 18, 2021

New look for Upfield railway line

The new Upfield railway line development is a triumph, restoring parkland to space-starved citizens.

Culture August 07, 2021

Permanent Camping

The Permanent Camping pavilions demonstrate how exquisite small buildings can be – but what does this photogenic asceticism say about how we’re living now?

Culture July 03, 2021

Architect John Ellway’s green thumb

John Ellway’s striking homes play on the traditional Queenslander design, bringing the garden into the home.

Culture May 08, 2021

Australian War Memorial

The proposed redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial not only compromises Charles Bean’s original vision for a ‘simple, solemn, exquisite building’, it calls into question our processes of public governance.

Architecture March 27, 2021

ACMI redevelopment

The ACMI redevelopment brings Victoria’s major institution for screen culture into triumphant focus.

Culture February 20, 2021

Pentridge Coburg

The redevelopment of Pentridge prison raises troubling questions about how we preserve our punitive past, and whether it is ever acceptable to exploit misery as a brand.