downtheholeFor some time now our little start-up Voist has been largely neglected. All of our attention has been taken up with the very intensive task of developing our latest venture Mapify. We have been on a bit of journey, down the rabbit hole, coming across a variety of curious adventures and cautionary tales along the way. The cautionary tale being – if you are going to attempt to address some of the social issues linked to regeneration and neighbourhood development with tech based solutions; then be prepared for the unexpected at every turn.

Almost two and a half years ago now we arrived in Church Street, just off the Edgeware Road, cameras in hand ready to work alongside some truly influential local organisations and tell their story. With a massive redevelopment scheme beginning in the area, this community wanted to document what was important to them, and present it to those involved in changing this unique corner of London. After three months of consultation work with the community, we realised that what was needed was on online platform that the community could use to highlight what was important to them and to help organise a collective response to the areas redevelopment. It was from this point onwards that Alex and I began our decent down the rabbit hole, entering the world of tech development, co-design and urban renewal.

Attempting to get your head around the world of urban development coupled with kick starting a tech development arm of your company; can leave you feeling a little like Alice in Wonderland at times. Anything and everything is possible. However, after a whirlwind two years that has included an Accelerator program, thousands and thousands of post-it notes, pitches, neighbourhood plans, investment, experiment after experiment, iteration after iteration. Here we are, about to launch Church Street’s Urban Room in collaboration with PDT, the Neighbourhood Forum and Farrells architects. It is here that we will finish the our final stage of community consultation and showcase the Mapify Church Street story.

So we do apologise for our silence, but we are officially BACK. If you are feeling particularly curious yourself and would like to hear more about our adventures down the rabbit hole, then please pop down to 99 Church Street from the 15th of September and check out the URBAN ROOM. It will be worth the journey we promise.