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Our People

Meet the people who make Toi Āria tick

Our People

Meet the people who
make Toi Āria tick

Our team draws on an eclectic range of skills and experience to bring to life its commitment to fostering positive social change through design. The skills and expertise of our team members include design, customer experience, public service, academia, business, science and art.

We strive for outcomes that improve the quality of public policies and services that positively affect the lives of people in a way that is meaningful to them. The combined inquisitive spirit of our team members enables us to listen with openness to those people and focus on the needs and behaviours that are relevant to influencing change.

Throughout our work, we cultivate transformative engagement by removing hierarchies, encouraging generosity of spirit and nurturing a balance between vulnerability and expertise across all participants.

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OurPeople_AnnaBrown_01.jpg

Anna Brown

Anna is the Founder and Director of Toi Āria. She believes that design has a role to play in delivering public good. Her expertise is in participatory design and she is interested in how conversations and community engagement can drive social change. Anna is Associate Professor at Massey where she supervises postgraduate design students and is chair of Massey University Press. Before joining Massey, Anna ran a graphic design business and still likes to keep her hand in with her favourite discipline, book design.

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OurPeople_AndrewTobin_01.jpg

Andrew Tobin

Andrew is a founding Toi Āria Associate. With 20 years’ experience in helping organisations to become more authentically led by their end-users, he’s excited by the focus of Toi Āria on public good, and by the freedom to innovate that our unique business model makes possible. Andrew is a public engagement expert with a special interest in designing ways of having meaningful conversations with New Zealand people that result in policy and services being more relevant to them. He has a broad experience design track record in private, public and NGO organisations.

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OurPeople_TimParkin_01.jpg

Tim Parkin

Tim is an Associate of Toi Āria. He comes from a design background with a focus on developing community engagement tools to help create positive social change. These include initiatives for increasing youth involvement in the political process; engaging citizens in the governance of social services; and advancing concepts of inclusive design. Tim is an Associate Professor at Massey University, where he leads the Visual Communication Design programme.

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OurPeople_AnaReade_01.jpg

Ana Reade

Ana is a design researcher and Associate of Toi Āria. Ana acknowledges the human need to live by your values and that these are unique to each individual. It is this understanding that supports her empathetic approach to research. Ana’s expertise in the areas of research, facilitation and design collaboration comes from more than 20 years of on-the-job experience working with corporate and public sector organisations.

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OurPeople_SimonMark_01.jpg

Simon Mark

Simon’s role in Toi Āria is as a researcher and writer. He believes that the good society can only be judged on the wellbeing of all its citizens, and on its commitment to equity and justice. He thinks that asking those most affected by services to help fashion those services is a fine idea. He brings to Toi Āria his work experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas (including for Volunteer Service Abroad in Vanuatu and MFAT in London), and the experience of having written a thesis on cultural diplomacy.

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OurPeople_SakuraShibata_01.jpg

Sakura Shibata

Sakura is a photographer based in Wellington (Aotearoa NZ). Her photographic interests lie in conceptual investigations into our multifaceted connections to place and our environment through subject matters including, but not limited to, the historical, mythological and scientific. These themes are analysed through digital and film photography and are inspired by personal explorations and commonplace experiences.

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OurPeople_MattLaw_01.jpg

Matt Law

Matt is a recent 2020 graduate from Massey University, Wellington. He is a designer who since working at Toi Āria has found a passionate drive for delivering meaningful community-centred design solutions. Currently working on a GAPP (game + app) inspired by te ao Māori concepts to encourage the power of dreaming and strengthening whānau wellbeing, Matt values the co-design process and challenging himself to new ways of seeing, being and doing.

Our Collaborators

Emma Blomkamp
Dr Emma Blomkamp is a facilitator, researcher and strategic designer, best known for her work in co-design for behaviour and systems change. Her research and practice focuses on creative and participatory approaches to systemic design, especially through policies and services that aim to improve public health, access to justice and community wellbeing.
eb@emmablomkamp.com
www.emmablomkamp.com

Thomas Le Bas
Thomas completed his Bachelor and Masters in Design from Massey University, Wellington. He is a designer who likes to work with people and technology to help make things that have a positive impact on the world, which is precisely why he found himself at home with the Toi Āria family. Currently, he works as a Design Manager and Digital Product Designer for Lightspeed.
me@thomaslebas.com
www.thomaslebas.com

Postgraduate Students

Emma Forde McNaughton, MDes (2021)
Public Matters: exploring the potential of design to facilitate meaningful political engagement for young voters in Aotearoa through a more accessible legislative submissions process.

Elizabeth Goodwin, MDes (2021)
"I don't see anyone else like me": creating an online community with parents of disabled children during COVID-19.

Sam Rye, MDes (2018)
Kanopi: a systemic and strategic design project exploring how to improve the environmental and social outcomes of biodiversity conservation projects.