Robert Nelson


Associate Professor Robert Nelson is Associate Director Student Learning Experience at Monash University.  His training was in the history and theory of art and architecture, which he has taught for over 25 years.  Making use of philological methods, Robert’s research connects the aesthetic and the moral in art and architecture and education.  He has a specially interest in the way language reveals intuitions about space (e.g. ‘The courtyard inside and out: a brief history of an architectural ambiguity’, Enquiry, vol. 11, issue 1, 2014, pp. 8–17), and especially where public awareness of very common circumstances is weak (e.g. ‘The language of the street’, Chora 7, 2016).

Robert’s books include Instruments of contentment: furniture and poetic sustainability (Craft Victoria 2014), The space wasters: the architecture of Australian misanthropy (Planning Institute of Australia 2011), The visual language of painting (Australian Scholarly Publishing 2010), Moral sustainability: an ecology of ambition for a hyperactive planet (St Andrews 2010), The jealousy of ideas: research methods in the visual arts (Goldsmiths 2009) and The spirit of secular art: a history of the sacramental roots of contemporary artistic values (Monash 2007). He is the author of 1,000 newspaper reviews as art critic for The Age and is also a scene painter for Polixeni Papapetrou.