chickenosaurus image
Visual Identity by Nina Bennett

ACMI & Freeplay Independent Games Festival present

Chickenosaurus: an experimentation into play for all-ages


This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Sat 8 Jun 2024

10am – 12pm

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Led by Science Gallery Melbourne's Bern Hall (Assistant Curator), Mel Huang (Academic Fellow, Art & Computer Science) and Jesse Chambers (STEAM Learning Delivery Manager), this hybrid drawing/workshop/presentation will illustrate how we created a 3D-printed bone graveyard education program to make cursed animals, an AI-powered experience to animate dancing franken-creatures and a curatorial vision that championed the act of drawing.

The Chickenosaurus project – part of the Not Natural exhibition – is an experimental immersive play area, where visitors are encouraged to draw their own chimera creature to animate and display in the gallery. There are plenty of creative spaces and play areas for young children in museums and galleries; but what do these spaces look like for people aged 15 and up?

Enter a world inspired by the fictional (maybe soon to be factual) idea of the chickenosaurus: a theoretical experiment to reactivate ancient dinosaur genes in modern birds. Take part in the experiment as we bring the Chickenosaurus experience to Freeplay! Together, we will draw, scan and animate our own chimeras whilst exploring how one seed of an idea grew into a series of multidisciplinary programs and initiatives to further explore the very serious topic of genetic engineering in animals.

About the facilitators

Mel Huang is an interactive designer and developer for the arts and culture sectors collaborating with institutions such as Powerhouse Museum, NGV, Art Gallery NSW, Science Gallery, Dark Mofo and The Australian Ballet. She is currently the Academic Fellow, Art and Computer Science and Lecturer at The University of Melbourne. Spanning works across data visualisation, interactive design and live performance, Mel is passionate about the creative applications of technology in the arts and an advocate for multidisciplinary projects and practices. She is the co-organiser of Creative Technology Melbourne and proud board member of Chamber Made.

Bern Hall is the Assistant Curator at Science Gallery Melbourne. An eclectic mix, her academic background spans a diverse range of fields including neuroscience, physiology and design. Interested in the different ways we see the world, all of her passions collide in the experimental space of Science Gallery. Weaving and whirling her way through many disciplines, she thrives in the messy middle – a place full of sparks, conversations and ideas.

Jesse Chambers is the Deputy Head, Learning Programs for Science Gallery Melbourne, working with secondary schools to explore the collision of art and science through interdisciplinary STEAM programs. With experience across zoos, science centres, and schools, he enjoys working at the intersection of formal and informal settings to help teachers leverage learning in unique spaces that inspire curiosity, connection, and creativity.

Chris Bennett is the Technical Coordinator for the learning program at Science Gallery Melbourne, where he performs all the behind-the-scenes program magic. Originally trained in chemical engineering, Chris worked in a polymer laboratory before feeling the call of a more creative career. This led him to the performing arts, where he served as a prop master and musical producer. During COVID, Chris started his own prop-making business, creating props for film, TV, and the cosplay community. In his free time, Chris is an avid learner who loves exploring eclectic activities like blacksmithing and making a drill-powered pepper grinder.


Swinburne Studio Level 1
ACMI, Fed Square

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