Meeting James and Friends

James Neill is hosting a Wiki Workshop on Friday 14 September (schedule) in the Teaching Commons at the University of Canberra.

He has invited Laura Hale and me to talk briefly about the HoPAu Project.

I thought I would share these slides with the group. (I have a copy on Speaker Deck too.)



Shortly after writing this post, this wiki book appeared about Australia and all the Australian athletes at the Games (90Mb download). Laura Hale has produced a HOPAU at London Paralympics report about the Project too.

Photo Credit

Ghost Detector Workshop -Psychogeophysics

Thinking About Space: Links and Magic

I spend some part of each week in the Teaching Commons at the University of Canberra.

I meet all sorts of people there.

It is great space for conversation, working collaboratively and working in shared and sometimes noisy space.

Today I had the opportunity to chat with Danny Munnerley about the evolution of the Teaching Commons and its relationship with other spaces on the University campus (including the soon-to-be-completed InSPIRE Centre).

As is often the case our conversation turned to ‘edgelessness’.

Driving home today I listened to two interviews on Radio National’s Artworks program that extended my conversation with Danny about place and space.


In the first interview, Michael Shirrefs spoke with Jacques Martial who, since 2006, has run one of the largest arts precincts in Europe, the Parc de la Villette on the north-east boundary of central Paris. Jacques sees la Villette as a place of links as well as being a designed space. It is a bridge between cultures and on entry you become part of the Parc in a place different from ‘normal life’. In exploring the relationship between space and cultural narrative Jacques discussed the work of the architect of la Villette, Bernard Tschumi, and the philosopher Gilles Deleuze.


In the second interview, Suzanne Donisthorpe talked with Brigita Ozolins about her Reading Room show at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The Reading Room is:

an immersive, interactive environment about the magic world of books and reading. The gallery walls are painted red and are lined with thousands and thousands of books. There are comfy chairs and couches so you can sit back and listen to over 60 people from all walks of life in Tasmania reading a passage from one of their favourite books, or you can pick up a book and start reading yourself!

Space as Linking and Magic

I have a sense of space as offering filaments of connections to memory and practice.

I like the possibilities for links and magic suggested by Jacques and Brigita.

I wonder what would happen if we had a generation of designs of space for teaching and learning entrusted to performance artists. Brigita’s PhD, for example, has explored how “installations that focus on viewer experience” offer “the possibility of developing new narratives about our relationship to language and knowledge.” Such installations “incorporate already existing materials, cultural signs, objects and ideas associated with institutional practices of collecting, manipulating and disseminating information.”

What a great day of narratives that linked and bridged spaces in Canberra, Paris and Hobart!

Photo Credits

The Mercury, 11 October 2011

Parc de la Villette

Pedal Power: Cycle Tourism and Social Media

We have just held a second PhD progress seminar in the University of Canberra’s Teaching Commons.

Dennis Puniard presented his update of work on cycle tourism and online technology (copy of his presentation here). Dennis’s working title is Surfing the Net to Find Cycling Nirvana: how cyclists use online technology to determine their travel destinations.

Dennis uses the South Australia Tourism Commission’s (2005) definition of cycle tourism:

cycle tourism visits are considered to be for the purpose of holidays, recreation, pleasure, or sport and to include either overnight stays or day trips to other tourism regions during which the visitor either engages in active cycling or is a spectator at a cycling event.

He developed his ideas around online technology with reference to Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s (2008) concept of a social technographic profile. His presentation provided some novel insights into cyclists’ online behaviour.

Dennis’s three research questions are:

  1. What is the role and influence of online technology (the internet,  online maps and social networking) and associated  information sources in destination choice for cycle tourists?
  2. What information do cyclists seek through the use of online technology to assist in making destination choices for cycling related travel and how do they want it to be presented and accessed?
  3. Do the different demographics of four major cycling sectors (recreational, MTB, BMX, road racing) give rise to different motivations for travel and thus different use of technology in destination choice?

He provided some detailed data in response to these questions. These data raised key issues to be addressed in the next phase of Dennis’s writing. He aims to complete his thesis in July 2011. He has a great motto to guide him … a quotation he presented at the start of his talk:

I once read that a man is never retired, only retreaded – in a different pattern.

Sir Hubert Opperman, Pedals, Politics and People (1977)

As with Bruce Coe’s seminar the Teaching Commons turned out to be a great venue for presentation and discussion.