Murdoch University Digital Engagement Strategy

Case Study


Noongar Nation

In 2019, we began work on a Digital Engagement Strategy to accompany the architectural design of Boorla Katitjin, Murdoch University’s ambitious new academic building. The university was keen to address the disconnect brought about by the pandemic by developing dynamic, technology-based experiences to draw students back to campus. The strategy sort to embed digital art and technology into the bones of the project, rather than adding it superficially at the end.

Working with us were the university’s art curators, Lyons Architecture and Dr Samantha Hall.

What do we do?

The project was delivered in two phases – Discovery and Definition – and informed by consultation with the university’s academic staff, administration, and student cohorts.

The Strategy pivots on two key principles:

+ a commitment to meaningful exchange with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and in particular, the Noongar custodians of the Country where the campus is located.

+ a focus on the wellbeing of the University community, and in particular building a sense belonging and agency amongst the student body.

The strategy also considered the uniquely Gen Z requirement for hyper-personal, transparent and genuine experiences.

Generally, members of Gen Z are tech-savvy, pragmatic, open-minded, individualistic but also socially responsible – An Hodgson, Euromonitor.

A ribbon wraps around this space, creating a place for digital artworks and important messages to be broadcast.
Image: John Gollings
A ribbon wraps around this space, creating a place for digital artworks and important messages to be broadcast.

What was the outcome?

What makes this project so interesting is that it sits at the intersection between art, culture, technology, engagement, and future thinking, with each component woven seamlessly across the building’s four floors.

The content was curated into two streams – storytelling and wellbeing – with contributions from renowned artists TeamLab, Sohan Ariel-Hayes, Leah Barclay, Vernon Ah Kee, Brooke Andrew and Pilar Mata Dupont. A mindfulness recording was developed by a group of psychology, sound, and music students in collaboration with Noongar artist Olman Walley. QR codes located throughout the building allow people to access the recording on demand.

The enabling technology, including slow TV and giant welcome screens, has been seamlessly woven across all four floors, with a particular focus on spaces where people would be comfortable to pause and rest.

The building opened in February 2023, and we are enjoying seeing how students and staff are embracing our efforts! Read more about our other role on this project here.