Scientists, creatives, technologists and environmental activists have set up an innovation lab in an empty dress shop in the Whangarei CBD. All in the name of activating the CBD. It’s called Strandlab.

Strandlab has been set up as cross disciplinary research and innovation lab and a creative technology hub located in the The Strand Shopping Centre It’s all about rejuvenating the CBD, activating the technology sector and activating Whangarei as an innovation hub in NZ.

The month long pilot pop-up started 6 May 2019. Talks, residencies, workshops, installations and activations will carry through until the 7th June. Residents have included artists, scientists, cultural experts, 3D Modelling, augmented reality and virtual reality experts. Strandlab also hosts remote working corporate employees from Mozilla Corporation/Mozilla Firefox, digital artists and international game designers.

A number of peer to peer industry workshops have taken place already including Projection Mapping, Green Screen, Social Media and User Experience Design (UX). Students from a variety of institutions are also visiting for talks and classes. In particular, Digital Arts at Northtec are actively working with us host their classes in our space and have input from industry experts on content. The Green Screen workshop was run by NorthTec tutors for industry and students together – leading edge practice in the tertiary sector. To follow along in detail with these activities take a look at the Strandlab FB page.

According to Dr Maggie Buxton (Director of AwhiWorld), Strandlab is a space designed to disrupt thinking and to activate and innovate. “It is all about getting everyone excited about rejuvenating the CBD.” Dr Buxton has worked in similar labs in Europe and has not seen this particular way of working enacted in NZ until now.

Strandlab is a collaboration between core partners AwhiWorld, Northland Chamber of Commerce, Mahuta Digital, Propagarium Research Group and #creativetechnorthland

Supporters include Bell Tech (tech equipment), Fastsignz Whangarei (signs), NDSL (3D printer) and Spark Business (Broadband)