Infront Insight #06: Sebastian Chan


Inside the store.

A shot from outside. Love the reactions of passers by.

A view from upstairs.

Apple had this leaflet floating around on the tables in the shop advertising our next talk. Vince Frost.

This was INfront’s bar tab at Grasshopper. Wave the tape to magically get food and booze for free.

Grasshopper bar tucked away in a lane behind George St.

A cozy affair inside. Very Melbourne.

On the way out.

Last night we (INfront) put on our 6th Infront Insight events at the Apple Store in Sydney. This time around we got the amazing Sebastian Chan to present for us.

Seb’s the Head of Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in the past (Caryn and I designed the Powerhouse Museum web site years ago, and we’ve done other website work for them since) so it was great to catch up with the guy.

Before the talk I Googled “Sebastian Chan” and found lots of images of the guy speaking (he recently did a TEDx talk). It took me 3 pages before I found an image of Seb behind the decks. Yup, rewind back to the mid 90’s and Seb was up on a very different stage. I used to load up on drugs and dance to this guy’s electro music at raves (specifically analog electro, Clan Analogue to be precise).

His talk about “Museums of the Future” was awesome. I had no idea he was doing so much online technology work for the Powerhouse. Some of the stuff he was presenting was mind blowing. Heat maps for what content people are looking at online, even heat maps to track how people walk through an exhibit. It’s all big brother like technology used for good and makes me want to work harder at understanding my own web statistics and using that data to further improve both exposure and user experience.

Afterwards we hit Grasshopper, a bar tucked away in a lane off George St (you would never know it was there) for drinks and some great bar food. We’re about to lose Seb to New York, it’s a big move but he’s a wanted man with a lot to give and I wish him all the best.

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