Mirjana is Associate Head of School International and Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Deakin University. She has thirty years experience as architectural educator, including international appointments, with strong research and expertise in teaching architectural theory and architectural design.
Her most distinctive contribution to the discipline and to education is how architecture mediates identity and culture. Postcolonial Space(s) (Princeton Architectural Press, 1997) was a pioneering first book that introduced a new cultural framework for rethinking architecture. Mirjana’s essay on multiculturalism and the migrant house in this volume established her international reputation as a forefront scholar, and its radical subject became the theme of a subsequent key publication, Migrancy and Architecture (Routledge 2004). Mirjana’s essay in this latter publication redefines architecture from the perspective of at least two sites of migration. These publications are the result of ‘Other Connections,’ a pioneering group of international academics formed in 1993 at NUS that also developed four key international conferences. Mirjana is a founding member of this groups and convened Sites of Recovery, the international conference in Beirut. Journal articles in Journal of South East Asian Architecture, Space and Culture, Interstices, Architecture Theory Review, Fabrications have sustained this international reputation. New theories on aesthetic taste and how architecture/migration mediates human dignity are published in two 2014 chapters. She is invited as key note speaker to conferences, and has secured a book contract with Routledge on Ethno-Architecture and the Politics of Migration.
She has led curriculum reviews and acted as consultant for other schools, and received awards and commendations for teaching. Students that she has mentored have received nationally acclaimed awards and prizes in both design and theoretical research.
Mirjana’s work is driven by a focus on the creative ways that architecture mediates human dignity and identity. This has shaped her approach and role in design, architectural education and research. Mirjana has an international reputation in architectural theory with a major contribution to the theories on migration and architecture.
Prior to academic work, Mirjana worked as a design architect and gained awards for projects. This link to the profession continues through her role as Jury member for the AIA award system, and her role on the AIA Education Committee.
Mirjana’s leadership of the Cultural Ecology Research Group has built a strong cultural platform in the school research environment. In 2012 she secured funds for an International Cultural Ecology Symposium, with key note speaker Professor Marwan Ghandour from Iowa State University and Professor Darko Radovic from Keio University.
She is the editor of the publication, Cultural Ecology: New Approaches to Culture, Architecture and Ecology, Deakin University ISBN 978-0-9875039-0-9. CERG is developing the project ‘Transformative Regionalism: Mapping the Invisible City of Geelong,” proposes alternative methodology that includes participation of artists and community for regional city identity development. The combination of expertise in creative design work, education and research is key to innovative for community participation as developed in the project on Children’s Vision of the City.Read more on Mirjana's profile
Mirjana is Associate Head of School International and Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Deakin University. She has twenty years experience as architectural educator, including international appointments, with expertise in teaching architectural theory and architectural design.
1. The Impact of Migration on Architecture and Place
Studies of migration are prevalent in disciplines including geography, politics and cultural studies. My work has identified how architecture mediates the processes of migration. A study of the architecture and urban forms imported or developed through migration and multicultural interaction is critical to understanding new forms of globalisation. This work makes an innovative contribution to the theory of migration and architecture research: i) it established two sites of migration and place - the quintessential city of immigration and the village of emigration ii) it translated the ideas of French theorists Lefebvre and de Certeau, together with postcolonial theory, into a discussion about architecture, migration and culture; and iii) it drew on psychoanalytic theory to develop a framework for the relation between the migrant and the house in the resettlement process. This is significant in the field because it provides insight and understanding through a new perspective of the discipline. It makes a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary discourse on cohesive and sustainable communities. It has established three areas: Migrant houses; Transformation of the Village after Migration; Émigré Architects
Tabula Rasa: Destruction and Invention of the City
Research about the reconstruction of the city after disaster is approached as urban process, morphology, infrastructure or typology. My role is to develop a critical framework that examines the city in relation to collective memory embedded in the fabric. This work makes an innovative contribution to theories of the destroyed city and its reconstruction. The theoretical framework has been applied to cities and reconstruction projects: the CBD of Beirut (field work 1995-1998) after the 17-year war; Yugoslavia and Kosovo; and the reconstruction of Skopje after the 1963 earthquake.
A core strength and achievement in the last 10 years is the advancement and development of a strong research-teaching nexus, contributing to significant curriculum leadership. I have initiated and developed 2 history/theory units (with 5 major revisions) that have contributed to the critical content and internationalisation of the curriculum. These are research led in content. The research elements in teaching make students think, and disseminate research into the class rooms. These units assist in creating globally informed, confident and articulate students, and raise questions of ethics, environmental awareness, and societal challenges as they relate to the impact of contemporary architectural and urban production.
Informed by the central place of design in architecture courses and in the discipline, my role has been to improve and develop design pedagogy in order to elevate the discussion and application of creativity and innovation in the school. I have initiated and developed 12 design studio programs: in first year to introduce creative thinking; in the middle levels to understand design methods and develop design positions; and to provide opportunity for students to apply their creative practice in competitive environments.
I have initiated 4 research units that establish research pedagogy related to architecture and the allied disciplines, planning, landscape and urban design. With the global change to Master courses, the role of research in the curriculum increased.In recognising the increasing role of research in the discipline, it has also identified that the 21st century student has access to information, but requires skills in evaluating, synthesising and analysing this information, in order to engage and produce knowledge.
History and Theory Teaching
TNMP Trans National Mega Projects
This subject examines the theory and practice of accelerated urbanism. Its focus is on the analysis of large urban projects resulting from global networks, emphasising the role of collaboration, cultural exchange and critical theories of globalisation. TNMP sits between the pedagogy of design studio and critical theory seminars. It is an analytical subject that transforms and translates urban theory into analytical methods and techniques in order to develop critical perspectives of current practices.
The focus of this unit is on architectural and urban projects that were designed in the period between 1968 and the present day. Specific investigations of projects to exemplify the dynamic ways in which architecture participates in the production of the world will be put in the context of a broad range of projects and the larger scale of world history. The significance of western and non-western projects will be examined. An innovative navigation platform of resources (weblinks, audio, interactive map, with initial CD-rom) has made Contemporary Architecture, a vital resource and effective presence on the online education platform.
The unit gives an overview of research in architecture and contemporary definitions of research. It aims to familiarise students with methods used to define, carry out and document a research programme, with emphasis on architecture research methods.
Design Studio Teaching – Postgraduate (4th and 5th year)
Urban and Housing Typology/International Studio Preston/ Kriva Palanka
This studio explored strategies for housing typology that evolve from local context, but can be implemented on any site. Typologies included Infrastructure-house, Creek-house, Re-use-house, Social-house.
AIA State Student Competition 2008 Social Housing Dandenong. Winner Deakin: Jaka Sedovnik “Dandenong Housing”
Process, Product, By-Product
Studio programme and lectures focus on multi-use development brief for site - housing, work and recreation. It explored the inventiveness of programme to generate design. This studio explored the trajectory of the design process and the ‘thing’ that is produced as a set of decisions to discard or absorb the various processes.
Urbanism [Plan] Architecture. 2007 Preston; 2006 Broadmeadows
This studio developed a program that experimented with the IT era of digital information and research and their impact on design processes. Three platforms for how the urban designer operates were proposed: Off Site, On Site and Intervention. Each explored a focus on how to interact with the site. The development of a plan mediated city as network and its physical scale.
RAIA Student Competition “Public Intervention in the Periphery.” Winner Deakin Matthew Drysdale, AIA State Student Competition 2004
Design Studio Teaching – Undergraduate and selected program description
Space and Matter
Architecture is a concrete thing made with physical materials and yet it also produces a non-material void or series of voids, and we call this phenomenon – architectural space. Space is the part that is inhabited by people, in which individuals can exist or just be, and in which all the human action and drama take place (no matter how public, private, intimate or secret).
Materialities And The Technologies Of The Social
Measurement and documentation is used to realise precision and detail in what an environment comprises that is visible and physical.
Post Graduate Supervision (Thesis in Master of Architecture course)
demonstrate link to research area
European Architectural History Network, EAHN, Dublin 2016.
Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ), Melbourne
Alfred Deakin Institute of Globalisation and Citizenship: Identity and Diversity Stream; joined 2016.
Socio-Cultural Architecture Research Group
In 2009 SCAR was established as one of three cluster research groups in the School of Architecture and Built Environment. I have lead the direction, co-ordination, and management of the Group. This has included application for funding, management of budgets, Research Fellow, and Data Base. The development and focus of the cultural research platform in the school is an outcome of this work. I mentored and motivated members, and collated individual research expertise.
#VACANTGeelong rethinks, reinterprets and revisions the way we inhabit the city, redefining Geelong as a vibrant 21st century city.
This project develops models of ‘counter-representation’ to address Geelong’s identity - creative mapping of documents, data, practices, histories and movements, including those difficult to map/measure - temporality, atmosphere, trans-cultural mobility. An alternative projection of town identity develops on this platform.
Phase 1 2015: identified and documented Geelong vacant industrial buildings and community cultural memories. Research-Teaching model: Master architecture students investigated ‘vacancy’ in Geelong; representation of ‘vacancy’ at a broad mapping level; and ‘vacancy’ in relation to the Ford Factory complex.
Phase 2 2016: The artist, Alex Hamilton is working with existing architecture – spaces, site and signage – to reimagine the Ford Building.
Phase 3 VicArts 2016 Application: Local artists will collaborate to create interpretations of cultural memory through various art forms (funding application submitted). Project Lead: Lozanovska, Members: a + b Beynon, Fullaondo, Deakin Arts: Cameron Bishop, David Cross; CoGG Kaz Paton, P. Fisher.
Children’s Vision of the City
Lead Lozanovska, team Xu and Ang, in collaboration with Northern Bay College, Geelong. Developing a pedagogical model for children’s engagement with their city through design.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Student Mobility for the STEM team.