Associate Professor Geoff Hinchcliffe

Associate Professor, School of Art & Design
Associate Dean (Education), School of Art & Design

Areas of expertise

  • Digital And Interaction Design
  • Visual Communication Design (Incl. Graphic Design)
  • Interactive Media
  • Design Innovation
  • Electronic Media Art
  • Design Management And Studio And Professional Practice

Related websites

Research interests

Dr Hinchcliffe's research and production focuses on new forms and practices in data visualisation, computational design, and interaction design. His research results in both theoretical and creative outputs, from the highly practical, to the experimental, playful and occasionally provocative. Current research themes include:

Representing Cultural Collections

Mass digitisation of cultural artefacts promises unprecedented access to valuable resources but only where those collections can be represented in meaningful ways. The challenge here is both technical and cultural: How can we engineer systems that effectively aggregate and synthesise vast tracts of exponentially increasing data? But equally, how can we produce representations that are aesthetically engaging and capable of revealing the complexity and richness of a collection? Through his practice-based research he aims to contribute on both fronts: developing novel methods and computational systems for cultural datasets; and designing innovative interfaces attuned to their specific cultural settings. His research in this area has provided him with opportunity to collaborate with institutions including the State Library of NSW, State Library of Queensland, National Gallery of Australia, and renowned design retailer Make Designed Objects.

Dynamic Design

Design processes developed for the production of stable physical artefacts must be redefined for our contemporary computational context. Perhaps most significantly, the products and services we design for the computer medium must be dynamic systems capable of responding to input and changing context. His research explores the creative, cultural and technical implications of designing for today’s computational setting. Rather than a discreet new field, his work seeks to connect new forms and approaches with pre-computational practices and products; to situate the contemporary within a continuum of technical and creative design and production.

Poetics & Materiality

The presence of data and computing in our everyday lives demands more than efficient engineering - it asks us to produce systems and artefacts that are aesthetically and emotionally enriching. To this end, his research investigates the poetics of data representation, both on and off screen. It seeks to develop novel forms and fresh understanding of data as a cultural material.

Speculative & Undisciplined Design

20th century design disciplines are today giving way to fluid hybrid forms that are emerging in response to new technologies, commercial opportunities, and as a way to deal with increasingly complex, wicked problems. These emergent practices are not only characterised by their resistance to convenient disciplinary definitions but by their speculative, experimental and critical methodologies. His research aims to reveal new understanding of the changing practice of design, and its implications for education.


Researcher's projects

Funded Research Projects

“Compelling Collections”. State Library of NSW, DXlab Digital Fellowship, 2016. Value $10,000.

“Tangible Data Representation for the Power of One Exhibition”. Contracted research for Museum of Australian Democracy, 2014. Value $10,000.

“Developing the generous retail interface”. Contracted research for Make Designed Objects, 2014. Value $15,000. See

“Discover the Queenslander”. Contracted research for State Library of Queensland, 2013. Value $20,000. See

“Autonomous social media visualisation”. Contracted research for Crowd Convergence, 2013. Value $10,000.

“Interactive Visualisation of Australian Prints and Printmaking”. Contracted research for National Gallery of Australia, 2012. Value $10,000. See

“Digital Cultural Interfaces to Environmental Data”. Contracted research for Questacon, 2012. Value $18,000.

“Data Aesthetics in Retail Space” with Robert Foster (f!nk). Contracted research for Make Design Objects, 2011. Value $27,000.


  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2020, 'Emergent Archives - Stories from the Corley Explorer', Making Meaning - Collections as Data, State Library of Queensland, State Library of Queensland, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2019, 'Climate Visualisation for Impact and Affect', Visualisation Matters conference 2019, University of New South Wales, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2019, 'The Streets of Your Town: Gathering Stories of Place and Home for the SLQ Corley Collection', Digital + Place symposium, Australian National University, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2019, 'My Climate 2050'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2018, 'ANU Climate Coaster - website'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2018, 'The Corley Explorer'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Bode, K 2018, 'To be continued: Collections as collaborations', Digital Humanities Australasia conference 2018, Digital Humanities Australasia, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2018, 'Visualising Raynal: Design as digital humanities', Digital Humanities Australasia conference 2018, Digital Humanities Australasia, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2018, Visionaries Explorer.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2017, 'Ungodly cocktail - visualising three editions of Raynal�s "Histoire"', Joining the Dots - The Art and Science of Data Visualisation, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2017, 'Three Hundred and Sixty Six'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G, Lorber-Kasunic, J, Sweetapple, K et al. 2016, 'The Mediated Artefact: Design as Interpretation in Digital Heritage', The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) 2016, The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ), Canberra, Australia, pp. 68-69.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2016, 'Speculative design: Aka throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks', National Digital Forum 2016, National Digital Forum, New Zealand.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2016, Font Sort.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2016, #fundtTrove Explorer.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2016, Blob Brooch Craft ACT (2016).
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2016, 'Digital, Material, Engaged & Undisciplined: Introducing a Bachelor of Design at the Australian National University', ACUADS Conference 2016: Adaptation, ed. Charles Robb, Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), Queensland University of Technology.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2014, Data Columns MoAD (2014).
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2013, Virga Make Retail Store Melbourne (2013).
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2013, 'Autonomous social media visualisations'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2012, 'Twitter Modern Classics'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G & Whitelaw, M 2015, 'Colouring digital collections: Challenges and opportunities for the use of colour metadata in cultural collections', 4th Museums and the Web Asia, MWA2015, Museums and the Web Asia 2015, Melbourne, Australia. Available:
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2015, 'Data, Computation and Creative Collaboration - reflections on interdisciplinary digital design and research', ACUADS Conference 2015, Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), Adelaide, Australia, pp. 11pp.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2015, 'DaDa Visualisation', International Symposium of Electronic Art ISEA 2015, ISEA International, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Whitelaw, M & Hinchcliffe, G 2014, 'Discover the Queenslander'.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2011, 'Data As Script - A critical lens for interface production', Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference, ACUADS 2011, ed. Mr. Gordon Bull, Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), Canberra, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2009, 'Pushing your button', Cumulus 38 South: Hemispheric shifts across learning teaching and research, ed. L. Fennessy, R. Kerr, G. Melles, C. Thong, W. Wright, Cumulus 38° South: Hemispheric shifts across
    learning teaching and research, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2008, 'Losing Control: Looking beyond the surface of the aesthetic interface', International Symposium of Electronic Art ISEA 2008, International Symposium of Electronic Art, Singapore.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2006, 'Interface to Learning: Creating a Design-centric Learning System', Thinking the Future: Art, Design and Creativity ACUADS 2006, ed. Su Baker and Susan Fereday, Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), Melbourne.
  • Hinchcliffe, G 2005, 'Engagement, experience, meaning: critical concerns for eLearning technologies in design education', Designs on eLearning Conference, Designs on eLearning: Teaching and Learning with
    Technology in Art, Design and Communication, London, England.

He is seeking Honours, Research Masters and PhD students wanting to complete practice-based research. Areas of interest include dynamic/computational/generative design; representing digital collections; new and emergent forms of design practice; data poetics; or any of the research interests listed above.

Updated:  25 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: