Friday, March 01, 2013

Designs for Canberra on Display at National Archives in Canberra

After  Professor Vernon's talk "Recording a Vision", I toured the exhibition "Design 29 and the making of Australia’s national capital" at the National Archives in Canberra. This shows Griffin's original winning entry for the design of the city of Canberra, along with other finalists.

The renderings by of Canberra are works of art in themselves, as well as being significant to Canberra's history and landscape architecture. This is a rare opportunity to see them in context. Unfortunately there are problems with the way the exhibition has been presented.

The information signs are on brushed shiny metal and angled so that the spotlight reflect off the surface, making the all but unreadable. Also tablet computers have been provided to see a virtual overlay of the old drawings.

Holding up a tablet computer is uncomfortable and clumsy. Having people bending backwards, trying to peer over their glasses at the computer screens is insulting to the work of the artists. Smaller screen devices (5 inch) would have worked better, or a fixed touch screen (as used elsewhere in the archives exhibitions). But with that slight quibble this is an excellent exhibition.

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