Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero

My Expertise

Artificially Intelligent art and technology projects that explore unpredictable scenarios using immersive and networked visualisation systems.


Fields of Research (FoR)

Digital and electronic media art, Photography, video and lens-based practice, Fine arts

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ARC Laureate Fellow

Chair Professor of Digital Innovation | Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture

Executive Director, iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research 

Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero is an ARC Laureate Fellow and research artist. He is a Chair Professor of Digital Innovation; Executive Director of the iCinema Research Centre; Director | Research of EPICentre, Visiting Professor IUAV University of Venice, Visiting...view more

ARC Laureate Fellow

Chair Professor of Digital Innovation | Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture

Executive Director, iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research 

Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero is an ARC Laureate Fellow and research artist. He is a Chair Professor of Digital Innovation; Executive Director of the iCinema Research Centre; Director | Research of EPICentre, Visiting Professor IUAV University of Venice, Visiting Research Fellow University of California Santa Barbara, Member of the Editorial Board of Quodlibet Studio Corpi and Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts.

Recipient of 22 ARC grants, 29 international grants and large-scale commercialisation. Creative research outputs have been peer-selected by curators, juries and festival directors for presentation in 116 first-tier international galleries, museums and festivals. 

        Clare Stewart, Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival:
positions Australia as a creative and technological leader in the film industry”.

The Cambridge Companion to Australian Art:
 takes interactivity to a new technological level…a depth of enablement not matched in other art….

Professor Peter, CEO ZKM, Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany:
     “a tour de force, a world-first cinematic innovation that integrates artificial intelligence with the technologies of interactivity, 3D, colour, sound and the moving image”

My Grants



ARC Laureate FellowDennis Del Favero
ARC Project Title: Burning landscapes: reimagining unpredictable scenarios  
Project Funding: ARC FL200100004 

Project Partners: Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, Data61, Pau Costa Foundation, San Jose State University, University of Melbourne

iFire project transforms the traditional artistic paradigm of wildfire visualisation as the human-centred depiction of predictable events by harnessing revolutionary advances in art and technology. Through application of an advanced artistic framework, it demonstrates how globally distributed users and digital systems can collaboratively depict unpredictable wildfire landscapes in real time and at real scale. Anticipated outcomes include a cutting-edge platform that provides life-like experiences to understand their behaviour and dynamics, and the increasing uncertainties they pose. It explores the depiction of these scenarios through a range of applications for the fire management, film, museology and contemporary art industries. iFire delivers transformative developments in how we visually understand, explore and respond to unforeseen and multi-located wildfires. It maximises artistic and technological insight into the unanticipated experiences involved by enabling users to safely navigate a range of risk-laden situations in experientially compelling settings, using an advanced digital platform. Its unprecedented assembly of global expertise and infrastructure creates a framework that eliminates previous hurdles by facilitating users to share and explore these environments across multiple locations, enhancing collaborative deliberation, contextual awareness and group training. The end-result is a portable artistic technology offering a suite of innovative capabilities that facilitate industry uptake and commercialisation, while engaging with a range of stakeholders to establish Australia’s leadership in the cutting-edge visualisation of wildfire scenarios.


ARC Project InvestigatorsDennis Del FaveroMichael Scott-MitchellMaurice PagnuccoCaroline WakeSusanne Thurow, Lawrence Wallen, Kip Williams and Ben Schostakowski
ARC Project Title: Reformulating set design aesthetics via a dialogical model of interactivity  
Project Funding: ARC LP170100471

Project Partners: Sydney Theatre Company, National Institute of Dramatic Art

The iDesign project transforms contemporary performance design through the application of novel forms of dialogical aesthetics, i.e. developing the capability for users to create and adjust set models via a touch screen or keyboard and to immediately review them as life-sized virtual renditions. Leveraging the 360-degree AVIE visualisation platform networked to laptops and tablets, users can begin drafting their designs within a detail-rich 3D environment that digitally replicates of the real-life venue their production will be staged at. Using a range of interaction methods, such as gesture, mouse + keyboard as well as voice input, they can sketch or import architectural forms and props, and refine these by adjusting numerous parameters, such as size, colour, texture and placement. An integrated AI system that, for example calculates sightlines and occlusions, can assist in fine-tuning designs to grant audiences the best possible view of the stage action. iDesign’s real-time lighting tools can imbue the virtual model with atmosphere and mood, allowing creative teams to trial and test the capability of a theatre’s lighting grid through direct plug-in with conventional industry software.


ARC Project InvestigatorsDennis Del FaveroClaude SammutFabri BlacklockCarol OliverSusanne Thurow, Matthew Connell and Arul Baskaran
ARC Project Title: Redefining museum experience as an immersive networked narrative  
Project Funding: ARC LP180100126 

Project Partner: Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

netARChive investigates the emergence of novel forms of immersive and networked narrative in museum settings. It reformulates our understanding and experience of geographically multi-located collections and the ways in which they can be aesthetically explored. It experimentally applies an artistic system that transforms the display, engagement and organisation of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ collection across its multiple venues. Anticipated is a demonstration of how users can explore these distributed collections in concert with a database system, with benefits that impact the sensorial scope and scale of museum experiences. The project’s aesthetic framework enables innovations in the way we conceptualise, create and experience multi-located museum collections through the delivery of a networked artistic visualisation system. It establishes how users can interactively organise, explore and interconnect a vast range of artefacts and data across the diverse venues of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) in Sydney and its metropolitan context. By doing so, it artistically engages the new digital opportunities that are poised to advance the development of the Australian museum sector in the 21st century.


ARC Project InvestigatorsDennis Del FaveroMichael Thielscher, Baden Pailthorpe, Brian Dawson, Craig Stockings, Rhys Crawley and Robyn Van Dyk
ARC Project Title: memorySCAPE: The commemoration of war using a database narrative framework  
Project Funding: ARC LP180100080 

Project Partner: Australian War Memorial

memorySCAPE explores the emergence of artistic innovations in the commemoration of war through the use of an advanced database narrative. It reformulates commemoration as a dynamic dialogue between visitors and memorial archives. It experimentally applies an aesthetic framework that transforms the display of the Australian War Memorial’s Afghanistan collection through platforms that meet the challenge of reflecting on contemporary conflict where traditional documentation is being replaced by digital interaction. Anticipated is a demonstration of how users can explore frontline experiences assisted by an interactive archive, with benefits that impact the meaning of memorial processes. The Project’s aesthetic framework facilitates cutting-edge developments in the way we imaginatively address the commemoration of the Afghanistan conflict by delivering a frontier artistic archive and display system. It demonstrates how users can interactively organise, explore and interconnect a heterogeneous range of digital material related to the experiences of defence force personnel. In explaining the processes of interactive dialogue and creative reassembly of data underlying this new form of remembrance, the project transforms our understanding of the way in which artistic and technological innovation can impact on Australia’s memorial culture.


ARC Project InvestigatorsDennis Del FaveroMaurice PagnuccoMichael Scott-MitchellTomasz BednarzSusanne Thurow, Georgia Rivers and Lyndon Terracini
ARC Project Title: Transforming rehearsal design using an interactive spatial aesthetic  
Project Funding: ARC LP190100563

Project Partner: Opera Australia

iModel investigates an interactive spatial aesthetic that facilitates the digital modelling of operatic rehearsal design. It applies an experimental 3D artistic system that reshapes concepts of spatial design through collaborative interaction between creative teams and digital systems. It demonstrates how designers and technicians can immersively design a rehearsal in real time at up to 1:1 scale, assisted by an intelligent and evolving database. It transforms our understanding of operatic design and the way it can be aesthetically explored, with outcomes that optimise and streamline design processes in the performing arts industry. The project provides a transformation of operatic rehearsal design by providing a 3D networked virtual rehearsal modelling system. It delivers increased economic efficiencies by robustly testing performative, scenographic and technical design components and their spatial interaction prior to fabrication and staging. The end-result is a distributed solution offering a suite of capabilities that facilitate broad industry uptake by enabling companies to model, rehearse and evaluate designs for their venues and for global touring. While enlarging the creative scope of experimentation leading up to the live stage rehearsal, it ensures the integration of design and production departments within a performing arts organisation and builds a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration across its creative and technical teams. While focused on opera, the outcome will also impact the art, design, event, film, and music sectors, as each involve rehearsal processes that can be enhanced through distributed immersive prototyping.


Project Investigators: Dennis Del Favero, Susanne Thurow, Ursula Frohne

Project Title: Exploring the Capabilities of Digital Aesthetics for Archiving Installation, Media, Performance and Sculpture Artworks in Dynamically Accessible Form

Project Funding: DAAD, Germany & Universities Australia

Project Partners: University of Münster and LWL Museum of Art and Culture, Münster


The Project aims to conceive an augmented aesthetic framework for archiving ephemeral artworks that can encapsulate and convey their dynamic nature. Conventional documentary methods tend to capture only static aspects of temporary installations, media, performance and sculpture artworks, struggling to communicate the multi-dimensional experience they offer to their audiences. To address this shortcoming, researchers based at iCinema and University of Münster (Germany), as well as industry representatives at the LWL Museum of Art and Culture (Germany), are exploring artificially intelligent digital methodologies and networking solutions as means to animate archival holdings of the artwork on location in their original urban sites. The research team is developing its theoretical concepts in relation to LWL’s archive of world-acclaimed Skulptur Projekte public art festival, which spans over 1,600 photographs, videos, scale models and sketches. These document the creation as well as the temporary exhibition of artworks by more than 200 artists, including Bruce Nauman, Hito Steyerl, Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer, Sol LeWitt, Josef Beuys, Pierre Hughye, and Alexandra Pirici.

My Qualifications

1999    Doctor of Creative Arts (Media Arts), University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

1989    Master of Art (Visual Arts), The University of New South Wales (UNSW)

1985    Grad. Dip. (Visual Arts), The University of Sydney (USyd)

1976    Dip. Ed. (Literature), The University of Sydney

1976    Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), The University of Sydney

My Research Activities

As Executive Director of the iCinema Research Centre, he has delivered a range of cutting-edge competitively funded projects, including Nebula, an artificially intelligent virtual reality installation for the Sydney Film Festival and SIGGRAPH(Tokyo); Retrospect: War, Family, Afghanistan, an interactive multi-platform defence heritage interactive database project for ABC Online, TV and Radio; and iDATA, a 360° 3D browser that enables navigation of ZKM’s vast digital media collection. These outputs form part of a strong industry uptake, such as with Rio Tinto, and commercialisations of immersive visualisation technologies, such as with Shenyang Design and Research Institute of the China Technology & Engineering Group. He is currently working on a one-to-one scale rehearsal design modelling system for Opera Australia, a 3D stage design prototyping system for Sydney Theatre Company, a networked display system for multi-located museum collections for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and an artificially intelligent immersive visualisation system that can simulate unpredictable wildfire scenarios for frontline personnel and researchers.



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iCinema Centre
Room 601, Level 6
Civil Engineering Building
Gate 11 via Botany St
UNSW Kensington