Introducing Votemoji – A characterful way to engage in the election, created by MDS Design students.

With just a few days to go until the NZ general election, a group of MDS Bachelor of Media Design students are helping to inspire young voters by letting them wear their values on their sleeves – literally.

Housed at the Ellen Melville Centre in Freyberg Place, Votemoji is a live activation created by a group of four students from Media Design School’s Bachelor of Media Design. The students, who are in the second year of their degrees, came up with the concept as a response to the alarmingly low rate of young people registering to vote.  

“We think it’s really terrible how few people our age are enrolled to vote, so we made that the core of what we wanted to evolve this project around,” says Flynn Palmer, Votemoji Project Leader.  “We wanted to make something similar to Bitmoji that people could share on social media. A nice, cute looking insta-trend that will encourage people to vote, as well as letting them express the things that they value in their community. It’s a win-win.” 

[This project] will encourage people to vote, as well as letting them express the things that they value in their community. It's a win-win."

The activation is installed at the Ellen Melville Centre – which is also a voting station for the CBD – and will be open for a week leading up to the General Election on Saturday October 17th. Flynn and his team have transformed the community lounge to create an immersive, branded space, complete with a badgemaking station where passers-by can transform their Votemoji into a wearable token.   

Visitors are presented with an app that lets them choose from a wide range of features to create their own colourful avatar, which is turned into a badge on the spot. The group wanted the design to be as visually versatile as possible, so the characters aren’t gender-specific and users can choose any skin and hair colours under the sun.   

“Making the badges means you can actually have a physical touchpoint, rather than it just being a digital experience. The actual process of designing the badge on the iPad through to seeing it being made is quite cool. It’s very engaging and very physical,” says Palmer. 

As part of the customisation process, each Votemoji can also be adorned with accessories representing three key issues or ideas, so voters can walk away with a physical representation of what’s most important to them as an individual. The set-up doubles as a good reminder for locals to enrol to vote - the Votemoji team encourage all visitors to do so in order to 'earn their badge'.    

We are here to encourage the all-important dialogue with yourself about what is important to you, and encourage you to use your voice to make it happen.”

Votemoji will be live until the end of the week (Friday 16th October).  Head to the Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place, between 11am-3pm to take part.  

Badge Station

Votemoji was conceived by MDS Students Flynn Palmer, Jayden Dunick, Annie Gasparich and Miki Zhuang.

Ellen Melville Centre
Votemoji pathway