Ngā kōrero i a tātou | Stories around us

For Purpose was engaged by an environmental organisation to develop a place-based storytelling campaign encompassing a physical art installation, campaign microsite and social media sharing.

This experimental project was part of an initiative to devise, test and measure ways to grow people’s connectedness to the natural world and shift mindsets around our connection to the environment.


Environmental agency

Impact area
Place-based participatory storytelling

What we offer
Campaign and Digital Strategy
Content Creation
Website Design and Development




Coloured gradient graphic backgournd with white headline in a circle that reads Stories Around us.

Kei tēnā, kei tēnā tōna ake, ka puritia, ka tukuna. Ka tangata whenua ki roto i a tātau.

The Challenge

Our partner wanted to test and measure whether sharing stories of connection with specific natural places might make people feel more connected to nature and more likely to act in environmentally friendly ways.The data collected from the project would be used to drive their environmental mission forward. Our role was to: Produce a physical art installation that captured public and media attention Create an immersive digital experience that captured people's stories and reflections of place and nature. Inspire the public to share their stories on-site and via social media. The complex nature of the installation would require consultation and collaboration with arborists, forest, parks and places specialists, artists, fabricators, local board and council staff, and local iwi. The project needed to raise awareness and promote interaction and engagement via multiple physical and digital touchpoints and channels.



Infographic on white background with headline Audience experience flow and illustraed icons of the steps in the process of teh Stories around us digital immersive experience.



The Process

Working with the client in a Discovery process, we laid out the project vision and objectives, target audiences, campaign narrative, creative concepts and channel plan.

We mapped user journeys to craft a user experience flow between the place-based and digital campaign touchpoints to create a user experience that would:

  • Generate awareness through audience-generated stories and a social media campaign.
  • Provide place-based visitors with an interactive experience that would motivate them to participate, share and connect with place and nature.
  • Invite visitors to visit the campaign site, share their stories and complete a survey to gather data.

We worked with local artists Elliot Collins and Ross Liew to design a place-based interactive artwork that would share the artist’s personal story of place and invite visitors to do the same.

Visitors would write their stories on stickers designed to become part of the artwork, then engage with a digital experience via a microsite that captured research data.

Our vision was to create an immersive website that adds to the on-ground artwork experience with a rich content layer that uses images, video and audio to tell the hero ‘artwork’ story alongside users' stories in an intimate, emotive way.

This project was part of an experimental initiative, where our partner was engaging in a discovery process that involved rapid testing and prototyping of concepts designed to shift mindsets. Although this project did not reach the launch phase, it was exciting to have the opportunity to be involved in a speculative project that allowed us to explore creative approaches to using participatory storytelling for social and environmental impact.



Computer generated graphic shows the installation on grass in front of trees.
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A dark coloured gradient background graphic under mock ups of digital screens displaying various pages of the website.
 A dark coloured gradient background under 3 cell phone screens displaying various instagram posts of the project.



Story concept

Kia maumahara darling, my wife remarks, others have walked here long before you pressed your hand against the pūriri. This place has always been here, but not like this.

Nō mai rā anō tēnei whenua, engari kāore i pēnei mai tōna āhua. Nō mua mai i te orokohanga e noho takatū ana ia ki a tātau. Koia te tuakana o te kōhatu, o te pungarehu. Ko tūāpapa tōna tūrangawaewae, ko pitomata tāna kai.

This place feels magic. It tingles with light and life and hums a tune you feel you can join in on. Arā, ko tōku tūrangawaewae.

The wind blowing across the Waitematā gives the waves their obsidian glint. The harbour hides abundance in its belly, I’m told the tāmure once ran in their thousands. I listen carefully, to the wind telling stories, scenting the air with oysters and sunblock.

This is one of those indelible places. Kei tēnā, kei tēnā tōna ake, ka puritia, ka tukuna. Ka tangata whenua ki roto i a tātau. They become part of our story; this is a place we carry within us.

Being a tree is about waiting. I can feel you gathered around me. Your feet on my roots, breath on my leaves, your children in my arms. Ko Papa tōku orokohanga. He pihinga, i whātoro atu ki a Rangi. Soon I’ll send a leaf down to the ground when I no longer feel your presence, ka toitū te tangata, ka toitū te whenua.

Words by Elliot Collins


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