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Our Approach

Improving lives through design-led community engagement

Our Approach

Improving lives through
design-led community
engagement

We understand that people’s lives are culturally, socially, physically and financially shaped by the groups they belong to. Our commitment to people and improving lives through design extends beyond individuals and clients to communities, because that’s where we can make an even bigger impact.

We aim to do good. We aspire to contribute to making society better. We do this by fostering connections and relationships with others in Aotearoa and across the globe who are likewise delivering services of value to the public.

We nurture partnerships with people. We understand that authentic engagement is only possible when there is trust. Organisations first have to trust what we can do before agreeing to collaborate with us. Communities have to be confident that we will respect their point of view before they share their stories. We believe the value of trusted partnerships is reciprocal and it forms the foundation of our approach.

We build relationships. Strong relationships built on trust are crucial to the success of the work we do. Our collaborations with Te Tihi o Ruahine in Manawatū include Te Mauri Moemomā, a digital tool that utilises Māori understandings of wellbeing to actualise and measure holistic outcomes for tamariki, taiohi and whānau; and Whakatutuki Moemoeā, a project exploring the experiences of young men and their whānau and the challenges facing them when re-entering the community after prison. Our work investigates the role that people and services play — or could better play — as part of this experience.

We have a strong working relationship with the Centre for Social Analytics at AUT. Our collaborations with Director Rhema Vaithianathan probe the social implications of data, including a pilot project exploring community perspectives on the use of algorithms by government.

Other research projects include Our Data, Our Way exploring community perspectives to the use of data for the Data Futures Partnership and our collaboration with the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand eliciting people’s perspectives to algorithms and their use in Aotearoa. This research allowed us to work with the super teams at Antistatic and Brainbox.

We continue to collaborate with the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey. Our work with them spans Earthquake Early Warning systems with the Crisis Lab, participatory design approaches to city-shaping and building resilience and exploring ideas of Creative Resilience.