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ALISON WAIN

Materials Conservator and Big Stuff buff, lecturer in heritage at the University of Canberra

Heritage is my passion and I love sharing it, especially the big stuff. Bringing people together through large technology heritage is like sharing a bottle of wine, but with bigger glasses and more rust...

PROJECTS

THE LATEST FROM THE BLOG

Shared Concerns Between Large Technology and Kinetic Art

Big old machines and kinetic artworks might seem to be worlds apart, but they share challenges that turn traditional conservation ethics upside-down...

PROJECTS

Laser cleaning of heritage

Are lasers the conservation tool of choice for the future? Ever cheaper and more portable, they use electricity rather than harmful chemicals and the new ultrafast pulse lasers provide "cold ablation" with no heat effects. We are researching the use of lasers to clean Moruya granite (shown here on the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and heritage affected by bushfires.

Big Stuff

In 2004 I founded the Big Stuff community with people interested in sharing ideas about the preservation and display of large technology and industrial heritage. We run tri-annual conferences (next one 2022 in Portugal/online) and are starting a series of webinar discussions. 

Mind the Gap: Heritage and the Law

Keeping heritage machinery and industrial facilities operating preserves their intangible heritage, but comes up against laws and regulations designed for modern machinery, and differing perceptions of risk and value. This project brings together heritage, legal and game theory skills to chart new paths through legal and professional thickets.

Molonglo radio telescope

Built in the 1960s this historically significant radio telescope near Canberra is still an operational research insteument. This project explored ways for the community to access its scientific, educational and historical opportunities.

Connection mapping for industrial heritage sites

Industrial places grow and change with the needs of the communities around them, and change continues after their service lives end. Making choices about their future means understanding their past relationships, and this project aims to create a tool for mapping their past connections to inform their future roles.

                                     

                                      In progress....

Bushfire clean-up for heritage

Cleaning up heritage places covered in greasy sooty dirt is slow, hard, upsetting  and not always successful. Could lasers help? This project will investigate the potential of lasers to use the power of light to get rid of the dirt and smell, and reduce the need to replace damaged heritage materials.

                                         Stay tuned...

 

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