Newsable was a news and civics collaboration with Julie Starr to explore the use of emerging media tools to make complex issues understandable,  telling stories in context and over time.

In 2016 we ran The Newsable Lab as a Colab studio project at AUT with Bachelor of Creative Technologies students. Newsable Lab encouraged students to explore ways to engage young Aucklanders in an informed and meaningful conversation about housing issues using creative technologies tools and approaches.  Students were provided with an open-source resource toolkit developed by myself and co-researcher Julie Starr (a former AUT journalist in residence). Guest speakers such as Herald Insights Data Journalists Harkanwal Singh and Caleb Tutty, and developer/data geographer Chris McDowall introduced students to data storytelling and visualization concepts.

The studio resulted in a diverse range of projects that explore housing issues, often from unexpected perspectives. Some sample student projects from the studio are:

  • Flattie, an app that helps students find affordable housing.
  • Nest, an interactive physical data visualization that shows how far the student allowance will (or won’t) go.
  • How to Look at the Housing Crisis, an animation that addresses the economic complexity of Auckland’s housing issues.

I also supervised an MCT Special Topic related to this studio theme, Glen Innes: Untold, which explores the use of 360 video and social media to engage the community in discussions about housing and change in Glen Innes.