Added Value: New interfaces for cultural collections

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


In this paper I will argue that the creation of innovative digital interfaces allows increased public access to large digital cultural heritage collection as well as the emergence of new forms of collaborative practice. To demonstrate the value of these practices, I will present two case studies from my doctoral research. These were both undertaken through a partnership with the department of Australian Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Australia. The first, Subjects Explorer, allows a user to engage in visual information seeking, rather than using keyword-based search. The second, Timeline, provides a comprehensive data-driven overview of an artist’s career. In these interfaces I introduce the concept of dynamic focus + context displays, which combine data visualisation techniques with modern web design methods in order to create new forms of exploration. Central to the creation of both interfaces was an emphasis on high quality and visually orientated design components, this was achieved through careful consideration of typography, layout and colour. I will place my interfaces within historical and theoretical contexts and will refer to specific concepts of serendipitous discovery, free-form exploration and generous interfaces. I will also discuss ways of overcoming technical constraints associated with the creation of experimental web-based interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Annual Conference
PublisherAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAustralian Council of University Arts & Design Schools Annual Conference - Australian National University School of Art and Design , Canberra , Australia
Duration: 27 Sept 201728 Sept 2017
Conference number: 16


ConferenceAustralian Council of University Arts & Design Schools Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleACUADS 2018
OtherAustralian university art and design schools are facing increasing economic and political challenges. The visible impact of these pressures on the sector is already evident and has been widely discussed. Inevitably, the careers of younger and emerging academics will unfold in a very different environment to their older and more established colleagues. Against the backdrop of this profound change it is important to establish and declare the continuing value to Australia of art and design, and therefore the continuing value of university education and research in those disciplines. This conference explored ‘value’ in all of its manifold senses
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