ANU Thinking Spaces was an installation commissioned by the Australian National University to mark the 50th anniversary of the Robert Menzies Library.

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.

Another great outcome was the release by the National Film and Sound Archive of a 1950s feature by the Australian Government on Australia’s newest university. You can view this below.

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

Environmental listening soundscape by Sarah Barns for ANU Thinking Spaces, which draws on oral histories, interviews, environmental recordings and archival material sourced from ‘The ANU’, Directed by Ian Dunlop for the National Film Board, 1956.