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NEW INC & Ace Hotel New York Present A Somewhere Good Spiral

  • 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm | Tuesday April 12, 2022
  • Lobby |
NEW INC and Ace Hotel New York Present A Somewhere Good Spiral with Naj Austin, Johann Diedrick, Van Newman, and Annika Hansteen-Izora

NEW INC and Ace Hotel New York are happy to host the minds behind Somewhere Good for an introduction to the world-building and thought process behind their highly anticipated iOS app.

For CEO Naj Austin and her team, current online spaces don’t just lack imagination, they’re rarely designed to consider one’s full identity. Somewhere Good is a social platform for intimate community conversations, a new way to come together in shared curiosity, dreaming and play. All interactions happen within worlds – quirky, expansive audio spaces that refresh every 24 hours. The Somewhere Good team thinks about it like a kickback with the homies – some of the best conversations can’t last forever and you can’t wait to go back.

A “Somewhere Good Spiral” builds from the team’s internal practice of posing every decision as a question first, allowing curiosity to guide discussions like, “When do Black people feel safe?” and “What is consent in the age of the follower?”

This evening’s “Somewhere Good Spiral” centers the process of building digital products, from the ground up, through the team’s various identity lenses and experiences. The event will also feature a sneak peek of the app and a Q&A with the team.

Somewhere Good is set to launch in the Apple store later this month. Learn more about Somewhere Good.

ASL interpretation will be provided on site.

Somewhere Good speakers:

Naj Austin, CEO & Founder

Naj Austin (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Somewhere Good, an audio platform designed for community conversations. She previously founded Ethel’s Club, a wellness space for people of color, and has spent her career in the real estate & tech industry building digital and physical products making the world a more intentional space. Through her work she helps people feel more deeply connected to themselves and one another by centering conversation, identity and community. She was recently named one of Inc’s 100 Female Founders transforming America, A Woman Making NYC Better by Time Out NY and has been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, HuffPost, CNBC, TechCrunch, Bustle, Marie Claire and Forbes among others.

Johann Diedrick, Director of Engineering, Artist at NEW INC

Johann Diedrick (he/him) is an artist, engineer, and musician that makes installations, performances, and sculptures for experiencing the world through sonic encounter. He surfaces resonant histories of past interactions inscribed in material and embedded in space, peeling back vibratory layers to reveal hidden memories and untold stories. He shares his tools and techniques through listening tours, workshops, and open-source hardware/software. He is the founder of A Quiet Life, a sonic engineering and research studio that designs and builds audio-related software and hardware products for revealing new sonic possibilities off the grid. He is the Director of Engineering at Somewhere Good, a 2022 Future Imagination Collaboratory Fellow at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, a 2021 Mozilla Creative Media Award recipient, a 2020 Pioneer Works Technology resident, a member of NEW INC, and an adjunct professor at NYU’s ITP program. His work has been featured in Wire Magazine, Musicworks Magazine, and presented internationally at MoMA PS1, Ars Electronica, Somerset House, and multiple NIME conferences, among others.

Van Newman, Head of Product

Van Newman (they/them) is a writer, strategist, spacemaker, music producer and DJ based in Brooklyn, NY. Their work lies in connecting dots, closing gaps and creating spaces that don’t exist through building products and cultivating communities that live across the digital and the physical. Vanessa currently leads product at Somewhere Good, a social platform designed to center identity and intentional connection. They are also currently a Hillman Grad Productions Mentorship Lab 2022 television writing mentee, where their mission is to write stories in which new, queer realities can be seen, felt and understood on the screen.

Annika Hansteen-Izora, Head of Design

Annika Hansteen-Izora (they/she/he) is an art director and designer from East Palo Alto, CA now working out of Brooklyn, NY. They are Head of Design at Somewhere Good, leading design across both product and brand. They’ve supported design across brand, product, UI, experiential, editorial, digital and advertising with brands such as Ethel’s Club, MTV, HP, and Samsung. Their work has been featured by AIGA Eye on Design, It’s Nice That, Vogue, the Creative Independent, and others.

New Museum x Ace Hotel

The New Museum teams up with Ace Hotel New York and Ace Hotel Brooklyn for an eight-part series that animates a shared faith in discovery, a mutual devotion to artistic pursuits. The year-long lineup will sanctify the hotels with co-curated pop-ups, artist conversations, screenings and more.