ANU Thinking Spaces: A night time illumination program on ANU campus

Esem Projects were commissioned by the Australian National University to develop Thinking Spaces, a series of site-specific installations celebrating the history of ANU campus and buildings as part of the Menzies Library 50th anniversary celebrations.

Project Details

ANU Thinking Spaces was an installation commissioned by the Australian National University to celebrate the intellectual life of the campus, supporting 50th anniversary celebrations for the Robert Menzies Library.


Dr. Sarah Barns: Project Lead, interviews, research and sound

Michael Killalea: Creative Director

Dr. Shanti Sumartojo (ANU): Concept design and research

In the *Thinking Spaces *project we created large-scale digital projection & soundwalks in celebration of the intellectual life of ANU campus. We uncovered some remarkable documentaries and films shot on location at the ANU, including, not least, Phillip Noyce's 1971 documentary on the Aquarius Arts Festival, Good Afternoon and a remarkable 1950s Film Australia documentary about the aspirations of Australia's newest university.

Since its inception, the ANU has represented Australia's ambitions to be a world class 'knowledge nation', to retain the brightest minds here in the country and to set the stage for ambitious intellectual discovery.

As part of our development of the installations we worked with past and present students by asking the question: 'What's Your Favourite Thinking Space Today?'. Responses were incorporated into installations and the project website.

We worked closely with Dr. Shanti Sumartojo from the School of Sociology in the development of the project and received fantastic support from the ANU Heritage Office.

Project components 3 x video artworks 1 x soundscape 1 x website & mobile app Video interviews


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