Endowed chairs

These world leaders provide thought leadership in their respective fields. Chairs deliver innovative education, cutting-edge research and global knowledge exchange.

David Sanderson

Philanthropy has enabled several chairs at UNSW and is an area for growth within UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture. 

Professor Paul Gladston

Judith Neilson Chair of Contemporary Art 

Professor Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Chair in Contemporary Art at UNSW. The Chair heads the development of internationally recognized scholarship, public engagement and thought leadership with a particular emphasis on contemporary art and visual cultures in and from East Asia and related diasporic communities. Gladston was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham. He has written extensively on contemporary art and visual cultures with respect to the concerns of critical/cultural theory. 
His numerous book-length publications include Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History (2014), awarded ‘best publication’ at the Awards of Art China (2015), and Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity (2019), which has been described as “a landmark work both in terms of cultural-criticism and art-historical analysis.” 

He was an academic adviser to the internationally acclaimed exhibition ‘Art of Change: New Directions from China’, staged at the Hayward Gallery-South Bank Centre, London (2012), and inaugural editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (2013-2017). Gladston established the scholarly book series Contemporary East Asian Visual Cultures, Societies and Politics (Palgrave-Macmillan) in 2019. The chair works closely with the UNSW Judith Neilson Post-doctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art.

Professor David Sanderson

Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture 

Professor David Sanderson is the inaugural Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture. He has worked across the world since 1992 in development, resilience, shelter after disaster and improving the quality of post-disaster recovery in towns and cities. David has held full professorships at Oxford Brookes University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has been a visiting professor at both Université Paris-Est Créteil, France and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he taught a new course on design and disasters.
Since joining UNSW, David has authored several high-profile publications including the 2016 World Disasters Report for the International Federation of the Red Cross, the 2018 State of Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements for the Global Shelter Cluster and the 2019 Urban Humanitarian Response Good Practice Review for the UK Overseas Development Institute. He is editor of the 2020 book Urbanisation at Risk in the Pacific and Asia for Routledge.
David is working with a number of PhD candidates and leads the award-winning graduate architecture ‘social agency’ studio which focuses on societal issues including mental health, displacement, homelessness and discrimination. David currently leads UNSW’s Institute for Global Development. He is undertaking research on disasters and corruption, and post-disaster recovery in urban areas in the Pacific. David is organiser of the 2018 and 2020 Urban Resilience Asia Pacific (URAP) conferences. Since 2020 he has engaged with several Australian local councils in bushfire recovery and building local resilience.

Professor Mattheos Santamouris

Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture 

Professor Mattheos Santamouris is UNSW’s inaugural Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture.
The Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture performs innovative research, carries out large-scale application projects and delivers education on scientific topics related to the energy and environmental quality in the built environment and its impact on health, comfort, productivity, economy, and well-being of human societies in Australia and worldwide. It develops and implements advanced innovative mitigation and adaptation technologies to counterbalance the effect of regional urban climate change and quantifies its impact. Additionally, it develops and implements advanced energy and environmental technologies for zero-carbon settlements and buildings and works on issues related to decarbonisation and quality improvements in the building sector.
It has developed advanced experimental facilities and carries out research and applied projects in collaboration with the Australian public and private sector and many international authorities and industry.

Seidler Chair in the Practice of Architecture 

We are currently recruiting for the Seidler Chair in the Practice of Architecture, a position funded by a gift from architect, businesswoman and arts patron Penelope Seidler AM. 
The chair aims to deliver excellence in design studio education by appointing a distinguished practising architect to lead a studio each year and deliver lectures on their theory of architecture from a design perspective. Previously, Australia’s Pritzker prize-winning architect Glenn Murcutt AO was the inaugural recipient of this chair.