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Interactive cube artworks, with a sustainability and learning focus, unveiled


Sharlene King
12 June 2015

CubeWalk, a network of interactive public artworks with a focus on sustainability and learning, was launched today (June 12) at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

CubeWalk is an installation based on PhD student and artist David Rousell's research ‘States and Territories’ in collaboration with the University’s SPaCE (Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement) unit.

Twelve cubes, each measuring 60cm3, are strategically located around the Lismore campus. The sides of each cube feature images which reflect the surrounding environment and sustainability themes relating to each academic school.

Fundamental to CubeWalk is the actual experience of walking the network and engaging with the rich sensory environments which the Lismore campus offers. Activities at each cube are based on the modes of ‘being’, ‘dwelling’, ‘thinking’ and ‘making’.

“SCU has a beautiful and rich campus environment in terms of the natural and built environments. We want to increase the amount of learning in this context for students, staff and community members,” said Mr Ben Roche, Head of Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement.

“CubeWalk brings together leading edge research that explores the intersection of art, ecology, placemaking and education with a learning framework that gently situates people in different concepts and practices relating to sustainability.”

David Rousell’s Doctorate research, based in the School of Education, combines interactive public artworks, speculative philosophy and hypermedia to create new kinds of learning environments which are responsive to rapidly changing environmental conditions.

“New kinds of learning environments are called for which can effectively respond to the rapidly changing social and environmental conditions of everyday life, as affected by climate change, scarcity of resources and overpopulation,” said David.

“’States and Territories’ approaches university learning environments as ecologies of practice which are held together by networks of human and non-human agencies. My research involves participatory fieldwork which maps diverse fields of practice across the arts, humanities and sciences, focusing on the ecological and aesthetic ‘differings’ between learning environments.

“Rather than imposing an external framework for sustainability, this process aims to enable the University to re-imagine itself as a creative and ecological institution which is flexible enough to respond to ecological change.”

CubeWalk will be anchored at the Learning Centre, with imagery on the electronic wall and physical maps available from information desks.

CubeWalk is funded by the Vice Chancellor’s Sustainability Fund to encourage use of the campus environment as a source of learning, engagement and wellbeing.

Photo: PhD student and artist David Rousell with one of his cubes.