We’re working with some of the best tech talent in Techies in Residence, including Richard from Zoo Creative, who are working with Housing Rights on their project.

  • Tell me a little about yourself and your organisationMy name is Ciaran Harley and I set up Zoocreative in 2003, having first worked in other design studios … and not particularly enjoyed the experience.  I was joined by Mr Richard Walsh (the Talented Mr Walsh) in 2006. Since then, we have ploughed our own field, working hard to define the exact work we want to do and who we want to do that work for.  We have at times “taken a few wrong turns” but after 15 years, we now have a good idea of who we are. If Zoocreative entered “First Dates” on Channel 4, I would describe it a small, opinionated / feisty,  attractive and somewhat voluptuous creative studio. That should attract a few potential dates. Or perhaps not 🙂

    • What attracted you to the Techies in Residence Programme?

    We enjoy working with 3rd Sector / charity organisations. It appeals to our politics and our sensibilities. The vast majority of our work is in this sector and it has been the source of our greatest pleasures and achievements.

    • What attracted you to working with (the organisation you’re working with)?

    Housing Rights NI offer protection for people to securely enjoy one of the most fundamental human rights … the right to a roof over your head. It is easy for us to see the value in working with an organisation like this and we hope that our work with Housing Rights NI makes a difference.

    • Tell us a little about what’s exciting about this project?

    Our project with Housing Rights NI could potentially bring critical information and therefore timely intervention to people facing the threat of homelessness.

    • What challenges do you think you’re going to face in this process?

    The challenges we face include ensuring that our solution speaks to everyone and not just a subsection of potential users, as renters can obviously be any age for example. Our solution needs to have broad appeal and deliver the right information to people while maintaining their interest.

    • What scope do you see for your solution beyond Northern Ireland?

    Wherever there are humans there are homes … and therefore potential homelessness. I think that the solution itself (technologically speaking) could easily be adapted to function in differing housing contexts in different countries. The fundamentals are the same, only the specifics would possibly need updated.

The Techies in Residence programme is an initiative of Social Innovation NI, managed by the Building Change Trust, which in turn has been funded by Big Lottery Fund and also Comic Relief. Innovate NI have been appointed by the Trust as Managing Agent for the ongoing development and delivery of Techies in Residence.