Susanne Dance graduated from The University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1965. Upon receiving her degree, Dance was introduced to the concept of Urbanism, and realized that the buildings surrounding the city of Melbourne encouraged the idea of a “rich communal life”, an ideal supported by many leading urban architects. At the time, these nineteenth century buildings were inexpensive and required renovation, thus her first projects as a sole practitioner were from clients owning these particular houses and requesting alterations and additions.
Dance’s fascination with the built urban fabric of Melbourne eventually “led to work in conservation for various community groups and led [her] to undertake a post graduate course in Architectural conservation in Rome” in 1981. Whilst completing her postgraduate course, she identified Rome as a “benchmark for a successful city” for its utilisation of space and common outdoor areas, while still incorporating occasional architectural outbursts.
Dance then applied the same concept to Melbourne stating that by 2030 buildings in the inner city should share boundary walls, small courtyards, eliminate lifts and share solar power and the ability to cross ventilate. These changes may provide similar population density to high-rise towers, without the environmental drawbacks.
Suzanne worked for Alistair Knox in the late 1960s.