2020 Melbourne Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio, in 40 plus categories

the awards create future recognition from awesome projects

recognition of your team, clients and suppliers

Key Dates

4 February - Launch Event
26 March - Standard Deadline
30 April - Late Deadline
18 June - Judging
23 June - Rating Closes
25 June - Winners Announced
11 August - Awards Presentation

Bangarra Knowledge Ground [DRAFT]


Project Overview

An Australian performing arts first, Bangarra Knowledge Ground is a unique digital experience that documents every detail of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s rich 30 year history and beyond. Choreography, set design, costumes, dancers, music and imagery are beautifully displayed and documented through a custom designed and developed smart content relationship matrix, encouraging longer and deeper exploration pathways.

As Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company, Bangarra are passionate about continuing the storylines of Australia’s First Nations’ people and cultures.

A digital representation of Bangarra’s on stage presence, Knowledge Ground has been expertly crafted to embody the physical experience of their performances through design, articles, imagery, video and audio content. It provides a platform for Bangarra to engage their audiences before, during and after every performance and season.

Project Commissioner

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Project Creator



Beth Walsh - Creative Director
Michael Walsh - Technical Director

Project Brief

Hidden away in Bangarra’s archives was a treasure trove of designs, choreography, costumes, props, imagery and video from their rich 30 year history. The brief; bring together thousands of these content pieces in a simple and beautiful experience for audiences, creatives and students.

The website couldn’t be a blog where content would be buried in endless page results, rather a solution that surfaced relevant content based on user journeys through the site.

The website had to allow Bangarra to make continuous updates to both old work and bring brand new productions to life, automatically placing updated content in relevant locations throughout the site.

Integral to the experience was a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, places and connections. Bangarra take seriously their role in furthering the cultures, stories and lives of Australia’s First Nations’ people. The site aims to educate audiences on the storyline of each production before, during and after a performance. The site is also a growing chronicle of information for use by up and coming indigenous creatives and dancers as well as students that will use the site for research.

Project Need

Bangarra has become part of the complex weave of Australia’s First Nations’ songlines as this ancient culture continues to be passed down, growing and evolving in accord with the times. The website provides Bangarra a platform to educate and nurture the future custodians of their culture and a place to digitally embody the creative and cultural significance of their work. It strengthens Bangarra’s position as representatives of their community both in Australia and abroad.

The website is a first within the performing arts sector positioning Bangarra as digital leaders in the community. The site educates audiences and Rekindling students and is the largest collection of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance in the world.

User Experience

Collating thousands of content items into a single site had to be carefully planned and executed. Firstly, thirty years of content was reviewed, culled and refined to ensure Bangarra was represented in every piece.

By understanding Bangarra’s audience engagement patterns, a smart content relationship matrix was designed. This ensured that no matter how users enter Knowledge Ground, exploration can occur via organic pathways without the need for defined linear journeys. Bangarra did not want a blog, they wanted a leading digital platform experience that would be highly engaging and easy to use.

Dynamic and unique page layouts support a content lead experience, connecting to audiences through movement, sound and colour, evoking an emotional response to the work.

Each template is crafted to hero the content, featuring Bangarra’s evocative videos, audio and photography. Led by a strong content strategy, guiding principles were defined to ensure content was carefully selected, written and edited to reflect connections to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and culture.

The content relationship matrix was specifically designed and developed for Bangarra, providing an intuitive content management system to handle thousands of content items. Content relationships are the key to displaying relevant content on every page. As new items are added this dynamically updates and places the content based on its unique relationships.

Project Marketing

An immersive exhibition at Carriageworks launched the website in December 2019. Knowledge Ground supports and enhances Bangarra’s ability to educate their audiences, furthering the understanding of First Nations’ culture and raising awareness of their organisations advocacy in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The website positions Bangarra as leaders in the performing arts sector supporting fundraising efforts, ticket sales and brand awareness in Australia and abroad. With each new production, Bangarra can direct audiences to Knowledge Ground forming a deeper connection with their work and the continuing storylines.

Project Privacy

Users are shown an Acknowledge of Country video which is required viewing on first entry to the site. Acknowledgement of Country is an important sign of respect for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. It is a statement of public recognition of the traditional owners of the land and cannot be skipped for this reason.

Use of Bangarra Knowledge Ground is subject to the Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) Policy, acknowledging the rights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want to protect and control the use of their cultural heritage.

Digital services have overtaken entertainment and leisure. They influence what and how we watch or listen to, where and how we eat, dine and play, how we book and how we interact before during and after entertainment events. We're looking for nominations that make entertainment even more entertaining.
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