About me

I’ve worked in academic, community and public sectors. My strengths, passions and value-to-the-world simmer somewhere in the intersection of culture, technology, learning, community development and digital media, with an emphasis on designing experiences.

This is how I approach the world.

Doctoral thesis

Doctor of Philosophy from Australian National UniversityMy PhD thesis was a reading of the Australian War Memorial in a Freirean framework – as a site for informal learning. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator who practised a radical notion of dialogue with students; he was co-intent on learning with them. My project explored how museums could be co-intent on learning with visitors.

Now that Web 2.0 is mainstream, the idea of a participatory museum makes ready sense. The new museology has talked the talk of community dialogue for decades. Web technology makes it technically easy to walk the walk. Action is all over the place – it’s an exciting time – yay. There remain organisational and, especially, cultural barriers to co-creation in most museums, but audience expectations may well force change. Bring it on!

Web capabilities

I made my first websites in 1997. My intention was to make an alternative, online Australian War Memorial as part of my thesis. That didn’t eventuate, but the process was good – I’ve been employed in web publishing since 1999 (freelance, and at Adult Learning Australia, the National Archives, the National Museum and now the National Portrait Gallery). For three and a half years I was Managing Editor, Websites, at the Archives, and in that time I managed projects to produce:

  • Mapping our Anzacs – ‘Best archives website’ in the 2009 Best Archives on the Web Awards / highly commended at the 2009 Mander Jones Awards
  • Muslim Journeys – ‘Best publication that uses, features or interprets Australian archives’ at the 2008 Mander Jones Awards
  • Faces of Australia – ‘Best in class’ at the 2009 Interactive Media Awards

I remain awed and excited by the possibilities of web technology for personal and community development.

Other capabilities

I am a talented strategic, creative and visual thinker; a highly-skilled researcher, writer, and editor; and a capable project manager. In my work in the field of digital culture, all of those are useful.

I like to draw and make.

Putting it all together

My intent is to weave my intellectual, technical and creative threads together – to design powerful, aesthetic (as opposed to anaesthetic!) experiences for people to engage with culture and history.

To that end, in 2010 I embarked on a course in took some classes in digital design, which in itself is a design marvel. Students come from various design fields – architecture, graphic design, media arts and so on – to learn ‘procedural literacy’. We work with the raw material of digital processes (data and algorithm) to create form, and then apply those techniques to a specialist design field – in my case, cultural experience design. It’s good.

Dialogue Architect, Sembl

Since April 2012 I have been actively, independently working to create a web-networked form of Sembl, the game of resemblance.

4 thoughts on “About me

  1. I am trying to find a multi-touch authoring environment that can be used by non-tech designers. It should not be based on Flash. I was wondering what “Storyboard” was like to create with. I can find little on Pixel perceptives site, or elsewhere… I would love to know if you have seen any other apps that might be out there?

  2. How did you go about getting permission to use the Florida State Library Archive photo of the girl playing the banjo?

    I’d like to use it in a school project, but can’t figure out how to contact them. They require a UserID to send a question.

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