News & Events

Winter Workshop

Our next Digital Cultures Institute workshop will focus on design and its role in shaping the everyday. From UX to UI, platforms to products, design mediates our relationship to the world and steers us towards particular practices. Yet all too often, design reinforces dominant ways of being and doing, rather than challenging them. 

For this meetup, we’re lucky to be joined by Dr Sarah Elsie Baker. Sarah is a Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator at Media Design School, with research interests focused on design and social inequality, especially in relation to user experience, ethics, and critical design.
Sarah will discuss some recent developments in design such as transition and speculative design. What are the kinds of values and methods necessary for a more inclusive, more future-oriented design? In short: what does it mean for design to be truly critical? She will cap off the talk with a short participatory session on feminist design futures. 

In the remainder of the meetup, I’ll introduce a new research project recently awarded to DCI by Netsafe. “Angry by Design” will investigate whether toxic communication is encouraged by the design of platforms. Do particular design patterns and features influence users into being more angry? As the project is just getting underway, this session will particularly welcome feedback on your experiences online.
Saturday, July 6, 2pm-4pm
Te Mārama Room, Auckland Central Library
44-46 Lorne St, Auckland, 1010

Because of limited places in the venue, please email me directly if you’d like to come. Feel free to circulate to others who’d be interested. 

Autumn Workshop

The Digital Culture Institute’s Autumn Workshop is a single day retreat, allowing participants to meet, discuss, and develop their work in a focused but relaxed setting. Drawing on both readings of each participant’s work and an informal presentation, the morning session will allow participants to receive input on their specific projects. In the afternoon, participants will turn to the question of method. From fake news and automation to the anxieties of social media, the rise of online gaming and the pervasiveness of algorithmic governance, digital cultures increasingly shape the contours of everyday life. And yet these objects of study can often be difficult to access or even to clearly demarcate, frustrating traditional means of investigation and analysis. What kinds of limits do these methods encounter? And how might we invent a new set of methods native to digital cultures that could better reveal their novel conditions? These questions are key, and yet in Aotearoa, work on digital cultures often falls between disciplinary edges. Though interdisciplinary, the workshop thus seeks to bring together a group around a set of shared concerns or challenges, supporting critical discussion in a casual atmosphere.

When: The workshop will run from 10am-4:30pm on Saturday, March 23. We ask that participants commit to staying for the entire day. A nominal fee from participants covers the cost of coffee, tea and a vegetarian friendly lunch.

Where: The workshop will take place on a tranquil hobby farm/lifestyle block in Dairy Flat, about a half hour drive or 45 minute bus ride from central Auckland. Directions will be provided and pickup from the nearby Hibiscus Coast Station for bus travellers can be arranged.

Who: The workshop will be facilitated by Luke Munn, director of the Digital Cultures Institute, though much of the input will come from participants themselves. In bringing together a diverse array of students and scholars across Tāmaki Makaurau, the workshop aims to connect those working in the digital cultures space.

Applying: Limited places are available, and at this first event, we particularly welcome emerging researchers interested in ongoing dialogue around digital cultures. To apply, please send an email to with an abstract or summary of your current research project, a short bio about yourself, and a brief paragraph as to how the workshop would benefit your work.

Future Events

We’re currently developing a programme of events. If you’re interested in hosting an event, or partnering with us, we’d love to hear from you.

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