Nienke Huitenga is an award-winning independent immersive designer and strategist. In her work she blends media strategy, digital concepts and immersive experiences. She designed media strategies for transmedial stories like Human Birdwings and The Modular Body (directed by Floris Kaayk), which reached an audience of millions. In 2016 The Modular Body was awarded the first ever Gouden Kalf for best interactive work (a Dutch equivalent to the Oscars).
▲ Listen to this interview with Nienke on NPO radio 1 about her work (Dutch)
▲ Check her ongoing media strategy projects here
Currently Nienke is developing WIN//\\WIN, a consensus algorithm – a participatory performance to discover common ground in a complex conversation about sensitive subjects of our times. This project was developed in collaboration with James Bryan Graves during the spring edition (2019) Sandberg@Mediapark Masterclass.
Also, she’s directing ROZSYPNE, an interactive roomscale VR-story about an old lady trying to persevere daily life in the Eastern-Ukrainian warzone, with the MH17-crash at her doorstep.
▲ see my immersive design portfolio for project descriptions
▲ Since 2018 Nienke is a member of the Immerse\Interact advisory committee (formerly Non-fiction transmedia) of the Creative Industries Fund NL. The committee advises on applications for project grants of the Grant Programme Immerse\Interact.
Studying film, tv and media culture at Utrecht University was the basis for her broad interest in the way we shape our lives through the media we share. Right after graduation she got the chance to design her first media strategy for Human Birdwings, directed by Floris Kaayk. The project gave room for her transmedia talent and broad knowledge of media culture, audience engagement and the immersive effect of the media landscape.
That same year (2011) she started working as a lecturer at Communication and Multimedia Design in Breda (Avans Hogeschool). Teaching and working with a diverse team of experts has opened a broad design horizon where she saw the potential of bringing strategy and interactive experiences together. During her 8 years at CMD she led the immersive storytelling program, helped redesign the curriculum and was a member of the education board.
She believes the way we tell stories matters. Our digital connections and experiences shape the here and now. All new interactive forms of storytelling will impact your world. In 2013 she met Albertine Piels and Hay Kranen at the first IDFA DocLab Academy where they found a common interest to tackle a new landscape that is emerging in the field of journalism: a battle between being flexible in finding the right form to tell your story as a crucial new skill to get ahead in the competitive digital space, understanding the technological trends, while holding on to journalistic ideals. From this fascination she co-founded Hackastory in 2015. Hackastory guides newsrooms locally and internationally to find their own creative fit to connect with their audience.
▲ Nienke has worked with Hackastory for BBC, Open Society Foundation, RTL Group, RTLNetherlands, VERS BETON, KRO NCRV, NOS, Knight Center for Journalism (ISOJ), Nuba Reports (Kenia), VRT, RTV OOST, K, Efecto Cocuyo (Venezuela), La Silla Vacia (Colombia), Code4SouthAfrica (Cape Town).
▲ She developed hackathons, workshops, design sprints and innovation challenges. She coached teams to redesign their own future workflow by using creative and strategic co-design methods.