(In)tangible Heritage of Greater Geelong: Public City Space as Virtual Museum

Mediated Intelligence in Design

“The Geelong Digital Outdoor Museum will no doubt encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the many hidden gems and untold stories in our region … … It’s fantastic to see the clever innovation coming out of the MInD Lab and the possibilities of ethical technology.”

Mayor Stephanie Asher quoted in ‘Treasure hunt goes digital’, Geelong Advertiser (3 September 2021)

The project developed Geelong’s first immersive intangible exhibition in a virtual platform which integrates intangible heritage stories into places of public significance. 


The city of Geelong in Victoria, Australia, has a rich industrial past that has changed dramatically over the past decades. The city is evolving in a new wave of industrial changes and the community is growing. As the city is evolving, new histories come to life while existing heritage is displaced. Our project safeguards the heritage of the city by reviving its intangible stories from the archives, the sites themselves and members of the community.


As part of our project we developed a portable museum prototype called Geelong Digital Outdoor Museum (GDOM).


Funded by Greater City of Geelong’s Arts & Industry Commissions, the GDOM platform connects the citizens and visitors of Geelong with the local heritage of the city. The value offered to its users are three-fold: 


  1. A location-based story telling platform, connecting the visitors and inhabitants of the city with the local heritage, anytime and anywhere, easily accessible through a web-browser.
  2. Revival of the disappearing memories of the city, revealing individual and collective memories of how some of these places have been used in the past, disappearing cultural practices and local traditions.
  3. An extensible and flexible digital storytelling platform, for heritage professionals, content creators and the community,  which can also be adopted for educational purposes and/or as virtual repository of local heritage.


GDOM presents a novel design approach using 3D scans of physical sites as a canvas for presenting documentary video, photos, plan drawings, newspaper articles, letters and more. This approach allows visitors to simultaneously explore places and uncover their history, wherever they are.


You can see GDOM at https://gdom.mindlab.cloud using your smartphone, tablet or computer.


Project Team (Deakin):
Dr. Domenico Mazza
Dr. Sofija Kaljevic
Prof. Tuba Kocaturk
Anahita Sal Moslehian

In collaboration with:
Malcolm McKinnon


GDOM was supported by the City of Greater Geelong through the Arts & Culture Arts Industry Commissions.

‘Treasure hunt goes digital’, Geelong Advertiser (September 3 2021), image copyright Geelong Advertiser