Mary Ann Steane

BA, MA, MPhil (Cantab), DipArch (Cantab)

Director of Studies, Postgraduate Mentor

College Roles

  • Director of Studies in Architecture
  • Director of Studies in Design
  • Postgraduate Mentor

University Roles

  • Retired University Associate Professor




Mary Ann Steane is an architect by training and a retired Associate Professor in environmental design in architecture.

Research Interests

Mary Ann Steane has a particular interest in architectural pedagogy and the way architects deploy natural light.

Her research on the use of natural light in architecture looks closely at the range of factors that affect perception of the visual environment, examining closely the narratives architects construct concerning light during design development. In connection with these studies her 2011 book, The Architecture of Light, reviews daylighting design principles and their architectural interpretation across the period in which the electricity has been an alternative energy source for the lighting of buildings. This concern with visual perception is allied to an interest in how architects learn to interpret their surroundings by acquiring embodied as well as abstract knowledge.

Having established a fruitful decade-long dialogue on these topics with teachers at the Valparaiso School in Chile, she collaborated successfully with them on both a 2010 UK exhibition, Paseo, which explored the theme of openness and its enactment through design, and a series of papers on the school’s innovative approach to architectural education.