Distortion oriented displays (DOD) are an interface approach for supporting navigation through large visual datasets without losing context. They are particularly well suited to applications such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Unfortunately such applications are characterized by vast quantities of data requiring substantial time to upload and display. This is completely at odds with the requirements of a DOD, in which the dynamics of the interaction are of paramount importance. STAR (Self Tuning Architecture) addresses this disparity by dividing the interface into a set of tuneable, independently threaded modules responsible for key tasks in the system. The dynamic response of the interface is continually monitored and the modules tuned or detuned to achieve the best display possible within the response constraints of the system.