Sam Spurr is an architectural theorist, critic and designer. She is currently Associate Professor for Architecture and Program Convenor of the Masters of Architecture, at the University of Newcastle Australia.
Her current research on Mining Ideology and Coal Capitalism, examines the agency of architecture to make legible the complex forces at play in the age of the Anthropocene. Through this research Sam is exploring feminist theories of care and collective political subjectivity, ecological systems and indigenous cosmologies in the Australian context of Country.
Sam has focused her attention over the last five years on the agency of architecture and the need for disciplinary transformation in a rapidly changing contemporary world. This was the central focus for the 2016 Australian Institute of Architects National Conference, How Soon is Now? which she co-curated with Ben Hewett (Deputy Government Architect NSW) and Cameron Bruhn (Dean of Architecture, University of Queensland).
Sam is a co-founder of the collective group N, where the topic of conversation and its impact on art, architecture, and design has been unpicked and entangled through various modes that include exhibitions, symposia, studios, and projects.
Her doctorate titled Performative Architectures completed in 2008 looked at how strategies from performance could be imported into digital design processes. This interest in performativity as an emergent and relational form of engagement continues today.
Sam has taught in Architecture, Design and Fine Arts faculties since 2001 and has been regularly invited as a guest critic, external examiner, doctoral assessor and curriculum reviewer. Sam has had extensive international experience, completing her doctoral research with a DAAD scholarship in Berlin and presenting studios, workshops and exhibitions at international design and art biennales around the world.