Dr Derham Groves joined the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne in 1999. After completing his Bachelor degree at Deakin University in 1981, Derham worked in several Melbourne architectural practices, including Denton Corker Marshall and the Public Works Department. In 1983 Derham enrolled in a Masters program at RMIT, researching builders’ rites and ceremonies. He spent 1984 at the University of Minnesota studying with the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, and completed his Masters degree in 1989. Between 1988 and 1997, Derham taught in the Department of Architecture and Design at RMIT, specializing in design, non-Western architecture and architectural technology. In 1991 he enrolled in a PhD in Art History at the University of Minnesota, researching the post-war do-it-yourself movement. Derham spent 1992 at the University of Minnesota studying with pop culture historian Karal Ann Marling, and completed his PhD in 1996. Derham was an Honorary Research Associate in the school of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University. He was also the Clay Brick and Paver Association of Victoria Scholar. Derham is currently the co-chair of the popular art, architecture and design area of the Popular Culture Association and the vice-president of the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Derham’s publications include the books Feng-shui and Western building ceremonies (Graham Brash 1991), Mail art: the do-it-yourself letterbox from workshop to gatepost (Hale & Iremonger 1998), TV houses: the influence of television on the Australian home (Black Jack Press 2004), There’s no place like Holmes: exploring sense of place in crime fiction (Black Jack Press 2008), and Victims and villains: Sherlock Holmes meets Barbie and Ken (Ramble House 2009), chapters in the books The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism, Conservation and Tradition in the 21st Century (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), Murder 101: Essays on the Teaching of Detective Fiction (McFarland 2009) and Disneyland and culture: essays on the parks and their influence (McFarland 2010) and articles in the journals The journal of popular culture (2004), Dialogue +Design + Culture (2006), Architect Victoria (2008), The La Trobe journal (2009), and Collections (2009). Derham is also the creator of numerous Surrealist artist’s books including Too Many Sherlockian Visiting Cards (1997), Parallel Worlds: Sherlock Holmes & Tintin (2004) and Villains’ Tyre Tracks (2005).
His research interests include the architect Arthur Purnell, the actress Anna May Wong, brickwork design, Chinese temples in Australia, the influence of popular culture on architecture and vice versa, and everyday architecture.