List of immersive shops, creative technologists and folks who are making amazing things with story and code.

Klip Collective — Nightscapes at Longwood Gardens

In November I turned to Facebook asking…

Could use some help… I’m working on a list of immersive shops, creative technologists and folks who are making amazing things with story and code. This is intended to be the start of an open resource. The work can be diverse — docs, brands, installations, product, experimental narrative, art and/or culture jamming. The hope is that this can be focused on the teams and/or individuals, not just the work. You can list yourself if you like too.
All suggestions welcome. I’ll compile the results and combine them with the research that we’re doing at the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab. If possible can you please help to spread this? Thanks so much in advance.

The following list was curated from various responses to the post and direct messages I received. Big thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion! Please let me know if I’ve missed anything. Thanks!

Folks exploring story & code

Steve Berrick

“Steve creates software driven experiences for interactive systems and performance.”

Notable work: StickMan, The Automobile Lab

Campfire

“Campfire was born from our passion for storytelling. Yes, our founders made The Blair Witch Project. But if you think it was just a movie, you’d be mistaken. It was a tale that evolved in the press and online and through genre fans and dozens of other little experiences to create an experience much larger than any single film could contain. The movie was just the centerpiece in a complex series of encounters. Legends were seeded. Stories evolved. Advocacy grew. And the film became a sensation before it ever reached a single theater. This transmedia approach to telling stories across multiple channels and media was a new way to create and manage a brand launch. Since this lofty beginning, we’ve applied these principles to generate unprecedented buzz and engagement for dozens of companies.”

Notable work: The West World Experience, Resistance Radio

Denman Digital

“We create digital tools and interactive experiences that connect, inform, and inspire.”

Notable work: Legacies 150 (a project by the NFB)

Electric South

“Electric South is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa. We are creating the production, tools and distribution system for media in 21st century Africa through funding, incubating and exhibiting the work of African creators. We provide support and mentorship to digital visual storytellers in Africa. We are also creating platforms for African storytellers to explore their worlds in new ways, for new audiences. We fund and support storytelling across the continent in a variety of creative mediums including Virtual Reality, interactive web documentaries, short and feature non-fiction and other mobile-based content. Our focus is on underrepresented perspectives and daring, timely and urgent stories.”

Ensemble

Ensemble is a team of multi-disciplinary designers and designers who, through augmented installations and environments, offer interactive experiences in the public space.

Notable work: The Benevolence Machine

Fake Love

“Fake Love is an innovative experiential design agency, crafting award-winning work that creates real emotional connections. We concept, design, fabricate, animate, generate and invent anything you can imagine. And some things you can’t.”

Notable work: Station to Station, Music Lifts you Up

Felix & Paul

“Felix & Paul Studios is dedicated to storytelling through the medium of cinematic virtual reality. The studio combines technological innovation with a unique, pioneering and in-depth approach to the new art of virtual reality storytelling — creating high-end original cinematic experiences…”

Notable work: MIYBUI, Nomad Herders

Jam3 collaborated on The NFB’s Bear71

Future Lighthouse

“​Time travelers. Builders of worlds. Psychonauts. We tell stories in virtual reality”

Notable work: Tomorrow

http://futurelighthouse.com

Hackastory

“Our world is changing rapidly, but how do you deal with constant change? And is there a way to figure out the future of journalism hands-on? The solution is in learning by making, especially in interdisciplinary teams with code, design and journalism skills.”

Hyphen-Labs

“Hyphen-Labs is an international team of women of color working at the intersection of technology, art, science, and the future. Through our global vision and unique perspectives we are driven to create meaningful and engaging ways to explore emotional, human-centered and speculative design. In the process we challenge conventions and stimulate conversations, placing collective needs and experiences at the center of evolving narratives.”

Notable work: NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF)

Jam 3

“As architects of experience, understanding culture and behaviour is core to everything we do. To unlock this, we use every tool at our disposal: ethnographic research, interviews, analytics and data, testing, testing, and more testing. And in this space, no project is ever called “done”: we continue to update and optimize until someone tells us to stop.”

Notable work: Dunkirk WebVR, Bear71

Julian Jungel

“I direct and code large scale interactive installations and I’m curator and mentor of Tinkertank and lecturer at Institute of Animation.”

Notable work: KRITZELBLOCK, Lagging Legs,

Klip Collective

“Klip Collective is an experiential art shop in Philly. We integrate projection, lighting, and technology with storytelling to create compelling experiences.”

Notable work: Passage: Migration, Nightscapes

Kaho Abe

Kaho Abe is a game designer and media artist based in NYC interested in improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. She is currently the Artist in Residence at the NYU Game Innovation Lab, where she designs and builds games with custom controllers with the hope to bring people together face to face. Some of her notable projects include Hit Me!, Mary Mack 5000 and Ninja Shadow Warrior. More recently she has been exploring the possibilities of Costumes as Game Controllers.

Notable work: Hotaru, the Lighting Bug Game

Laura E. Hall

“Laura designs escape the room puzzle games with 60 Minutes to Escape in Portland, Oregon and around the world as a freelancer, she is the author of Katamari Damacy for Boss Fight Books (Fall 2017).”

Notable work: Resident Evil Escape Experience, Spark of Resistance

Steve Berrick and Stelarc collaboration StickMan

Local Projects

“Local Projects is a media design firm for museums and public spaces. While innovation drives much of today’s design, we’re interested in creating projects that endure. We’re reinventing public space through media, creating meaning and connections in places as diverse as Memorials, Times Square, and art installations. We focus on engaging audiences through emotion and technology, developing new ways for people to interact with art, cities and one another. We gather stories through collaborative storytelling projects…”

Notable work: The Frontiers of Augmented Reality, A Museum of Collective Memory

New Reality Co.

“New Reality Co. is an award-winning creative boutique specializing in the choreography between cutting-edge technology and immersive narratives, invoking an emotional connection between audience and subject.”

Notable Work: Giant, Tree

Nest Collective

Together we explore our troubling modern identities, re-imagine our pasts and remix our futures. In all our works, we prioritize the acknowledgement and stating of our different individual perspectives and privileges, and our work strives to convey this dialogue.

No Mimes Media

No Mimes Media is a passionate team of designers, writers, producers, strategists and technologists who create & produce groundbreaking stories and experiences.

Notable work: Imagine Dragons Destination Unknown

Novo

Novo delivers the premiere social entertainment experience through cutting-edge technologies. Our events showcase the latest virtual reality and motion simulation technologies in a space where you can dance, laugh, and have fun with friends.

Notable work: NovoReality

Nyxxx

“Nyxxx (SWE) is an artist collective producing performance art where the audience experiences the works from within. During the past six years, Nyxxx have done pieces, workshops and practice based research in collaborations in a wide range of contexts. Nyxxx consists of a sound designer, a light designer, a dramaturg, a director, a game designer and a visual artist. These are Elize Arvefjord, Kerstin Weimers, Tova Gerge, Ebba Petrén, Gabriel Widing and Albin Werle.”

Notable work: Tactical Meditations

One More Story Games

“For us, the story comes first. We’ve been working on developing our storytelling platform with a team of gamers, geeks, storytellers (and programmers!) to work towards a community for collaborative story game creation. With StoryStylus, you’ll be able to create living, breathing interactive story worlds with photographs, videos, and audio. But most importantly, people will get to experience rich narrative, make decisions that impact their experience of the story and dive deeper into the storyteller’s imagination.”

Notable work: Danielle’s Inferno

Party NYC

“We create weird & wonderful experiences by combining design and technology.”

Notable work: Evolution of Imagery, Rhythm of Love

RAYCASTER

“RAYCASTER co-founded by Ziv Schneider and Shirin Anlen is an interaction design studio focused on innovation in the fields of nonfiction storytelling, cultural preservation and speculative making. Co-founded by Ziv Schneider and Shirin Anlen, the studio’s work highlights the use of open source and community oriented technologies across various evolving immersive platforms, exploring new ways to challenge existing constructs through engaging in alternative realities and future narratives.”

Notable work: Tzina:Symphony of Longing

ready salted code

“readysaltedcode CIC is a not for profit organisation providing innovative digital computer science STEAM focused education & curriculum opportunities. We provide workshops, training and produce data driven dance performance to highlight, engage and encourage people into loving computer science education, as much as we do.”

Notable work: Musical Gloves

Kaho Abe — costumes as game controllers

Sandpit

“Sandpit blends design and technology to create captivating experiences in the digital and physical world. At Sandpit we are excited by the intersection of creativity, design thinking and technology to provide our collaborators opportunities to interact with and deeply understand their audiences. We feel that broadcasting generic communications is not effective in creating a personal connection between our collaborators and their message. Instead, those we work with are looking for ways to meet audience expectations for interactive engagement that is meaningful and surprising.”

Notable work: The Story of a Lamp,

scatter

“We are a team of artists, designers, technologists and producers who share the belief that emerging technology has the power to shape culture. We are dedicated to guiding the path of technology towards positive cultural impact. Our mission is to elevate new media projects — across VR, AR, MR and site-specific installations — to foster critical dialogue and evoke emotive experiences. We have expanded our team and are excited to continue collaborating with leading technology companies, brands, artists, and filmmakers to translate their visions into reality from technically-grounded creative ideation through to implementation and production.”

Notable work: Zero Days VR

Second Story

Second Story is a network of experiential design studios working across the cultural and brand landscapes to elevate the art of storytelling. We build stories you can step inside of.

Notable work: Thomas Cole Parlor

Stitch Media

“Stitch Media is an award-winning digital media production company specializing in interactive multi-platform content. Stitch is recognized for interactive storytelling using innovative technology, program enhancements and cutting-edge game design that blurs the lines between reality and fiction.”

Notable work: Together Tales

Story Hacking Lab

“We design, prototype and run powerful narrative universes across different platforms. We focus on Story-Driven, platform-agnostic projects that create unique narrative experiences with an artistic edge. Stories are experiences not screens.”

The Project Factory

“From kids mobile games through to transmedia projects like Sherlock, Home and Away and Downton Abbey, we conceive of and provide apps, sites, products and services that expand consumer engagement; increasing revenue and TV audiences. For broadcasters and production companies, we work as a close partner, understanding how to work alongside television productions, storylines and business imperatives to deliver positive returns on investment.”

Notable work: Sherlock the Network

VRTOV

“VRTOV is an independent Virtual Reality production studio specialising in documentary and real-time interactive VR.”

Notable work: Turning Forest

About the Columbia DSL

The Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab (aka Columbia DSL) designs stories for the 21st Century. We build on a diverse range of creative and research practices originating in fields from the arts, humanities and technology. But we never lose sight of the power of a good story. Technology, as a creative partner, has always shaped the ways in which stories are found and told. In the 21st Century, for example, the mass democratization of creative tools — code, data and algorithms — have changed the relationship between creator and audience. The Columbia DSL, therefore, is a place of speculation, of creativity, and of collaboration between students and faculty from across the University. New stories are told here in new and unexpected ways.

Join Columbia faculty and industry innovators as we explore the current and future landscape of digital storytelling.