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May, 2011: MOACAT kiosks win American Association of Museums MUSE award

Image: MOACAT online

I'm delighted to report that the MOACAT kiosks won a Bronze award in the 2011 American Association of Museums MUSE Awards, in the "Interactive Kiosks" category. These prestigious awards attract entries from museums all over the world. The judges said:

"The MOA CAT kiosk application, developed by Rory Matthews for the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, is simply one of the best examples of multi-entry, richly-layered, completely findable, museum catalog applications we have seen. Providing way-finding and an easily navigable web of related information about the museum’s collections provide opportunities for all types of museum visitors to find connections to the objects found in the cases around them and those stored elsewhere. This is certainly an example to be explored by other museums interested in this kind of collections management and access. The application integrates with Google Earth to highlight collection object origins, which provides yet another opportunity for personal and academic understanding of this collection. “A tour de force of combining Google Earth, CMS, video, audio, and high quality photographs,” said one juror."

The success of the MOACAT system owes an enormous amount to the excellent data and asset management that MOA already had in place when I was brought on board, and to the continuing hard work and intelligence of the MOA team. They gave me the best project background briefing I have ever had, and they considered the interactive kiosks to be an important integral part of their overall plan from the outset. It has been a very happy collaboration and this award reflects on everyone concerned.

Learn more about the project here.

Visit the Muse Awards website at www.mediaandtechnology.org/

September, 2010: Lod Mosaic website goes live

Image: MOACAT online

The Lod Mosaic is a spectacular late third century CE mosaic, discovered in 1996 during highway construction in Lod (formerly Lydda), Israel.

Birds and ferocious wild animals are depicted. There is also a panel completely filled with a lively marine scene of fish, dolphins, and shells, together with two merchant ships. The juxtaposition of animal hunting scenes and a marine scene, combined with the lack of human figures on any of the floors, makes the Lod Mosaic highly unusual.

This website accompanies the mosaic on a tour of major US museums, which began at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on September 28.

The site uses VR object techniques to enable visitors to explore the mosaic in detail.

Visit the web site at www.lodmosaic.org

September, 2010: Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver: collections website goes live

Image: MOACAT online

I have designed and produced a web version of the MOACAT touchscreen kiosks (see below, and my project pages) which enables site visitors to search the museum's extensive collections. A Resource Shelf reviewer writes:

"MOACAT is not only an interesting and informative resource but is easy (maybe even fun) to use with excellent search interfaces and presentation of results. Individual records look great and are easy to navigate ... The more time we spend here the more we love everything about this database. One of the best user interfaces we've seen in a long time with graphical elements (color, size of buttons, typeface, and more) that are simply superb."

Visit the web site at www.moa.ubc.ca/collection-online

Read the full Resource Shelf review here

June, 2010: Judith H. Dobrzynski interviews me for her Arts Journal Real Clear Arts weblog

March 2, 2010: The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

image: Mourner 75

I have designed and produced a website to accompany this ambitious US tour, working with photographer and VR specialist Jared Bendis and project director Len Steinbach.

The site features high resolution 360° imaging with 3 viewpoints of each sculpture, and a 3D 360° view that can be viewed with red/cyan 3D glasses.

Visit the web site at www.mourners.org

Read the Arts Journal review here

January 24, 2010: MOACAT system unveiled

image: MOACAT installation

The new Multiversity Galleries at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, opened January 24, 2010. The installation includes fourteen 24-inch touchscreen systems that allow visitors to explore the 36,000 objects in the collections via the MOACAT system that I have designed and produced. The computers are deeply integrated into the galleries, with custom graphics and 3D modelled orientation to help visitors understand where they are and what is around them.

The MOACAT system also includes an ambitious Google Earth implementation enabling visitors to explore where objects in the collection originated.

November 2009: Interactives delivered for Medieval and Renaissance galleries at the V&A

image: Renaissance Home

I have designed and developed a number of interactive systems for these spectacular new galleries including Inside the Renaissance Home (screen shown), a search the collection system, and three different page turning interactives for precious books including three of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.

The page turning interactives include many custom Flash overlays that allow visitors to explore and learn about the page content without interfering with the view of the page.

September 2009: Interactives on show in the new Ceramics galleries at the V&A

image: Renaissance Home

I have extended the search the collection system, originally developed for the Gilbert Collection galleries, for these beautiful, light galleries.

I have also designed and developed a "Tell us what you think" system. This enables visitors to browse video comments from other museum visitors, and to record their own comments.

June 2009: Interactives for Gilbert Collection at V&A

ROH collectionsI have designed and produced a "Search the collection" system for the V&A's Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. It is installed on public computers in the galleries and is designed to be easily updated with data from the Museum's collection management system and images from their digital asset management system.

The system will be extended for use in other galleries in due course. It can be given a new design skin to suit each environment, and many options can be customised by the client in a browser-based administration system.

September 2008: New collections website for the Royal Opera House

image: ROH collections website

The Royal Opera House recently embarked on an exciting new project to open access to the rich and varied materials housed in ROH Collections to as wide an audience as possible. This website is the foundation stone of that project, and allows members of the public to search, for the first time, the Collections Catalogue and the Performance Database. It also includes special features on highlights of the collections.

I designed and produced the website for the Royal Opera House and my team developed backend tools to facilitate data updates, image processing and to enable in house staff to create new special features.

Visit the web site at www.rohcollections.org.uk

May 2008: Hidden Treasures interactive unveiled in new V&A jewellery gallery

image: Hidden Treasures

The V&A opened the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery on 24 May 2008. The gallery displays 3,500 jewels from the V&A’s jewellery collection, one of the finest and most comprehensive in the world. A multi-media programme, Hidden Treasures, was commissioned for the new gallery to enable visitors to explore in detail a selection of jewels.

I designed and produced this interactive which is installed in two touchscreen kiosks adjacent to the jewels themselves. The style is immersive and visually-led, focussing attention on the craftsmanship of the objects and on aspects of them that cannot easily be seen even when viewing the actual objects.

Visit the web version at www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/hidden-treasures/flash/
Please note this site is designed specifically for broadband access.

January 2008: Royal Warrant awarded

image: royal coat of armsOn January 1, 2008, I was granted a Royal Warrant. My warrant was granted by HM The Queen in connection with the e-Gallery touchscreen kiosk system, used in the Queen's Galleries, and with the Royal Collection website that I design, develop and maintain.

Royal Warrants are granted to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for a minimum of five consecutive years to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales. The practice of granting Royal Warrants (originally Royal Charters) goes back to 1155, in the reign of Henry II.