Claire Robinson (@spinprofessor) is Professor of Communication Design, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Massey University’s College of Creative Arts and a member of Massey University’s Senior Leadership Team. She is also a New Zealand political scientist, political commentator, speaker and graphic designer. Claire is a two-time finalist in the Fairfax/Westpac Women of Influence Awards in the Arts and Culture category and a finalist in the Education category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards in 2017.
Claire’s areas of research expertise include the visual communication of political messages, political advertising and marketing, leadership image, media bias, and election campaigning. Claire has worked in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Director of Public Diplomacy and Outreach (2009) and as a Foreign Service Officer (1985-90). She worked as (departmental) Private Secretary (Women’s Affairs) for the Rt Hon. Jenny Shipley in 1991.
Claire’s first book Promises Promises: 80 years of wooing New Zealand voters was published in September 2019 by Massey University Press.
Claire is one of the leaders of the Design + Democracy Project, a Massey University research unit exploring the role that design can play in advancing 21st century citizenship. Working in partnership with industry, government, and the social sector the project uses design and technology to engage young people with the political process. The Design + Democracy Project was responsible for producing the hugely popular and award winning youth voter advice application On the Fence during the 2017 and 2014 New Zealand general election campaigns, and VoteLocal in the 2016 local body elections. On the Fence and VoteLocal won gold pins at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards in 2017 and 2018, and VoteLocal won the Social Innovation category at the 2017 Good Design Australia Awards.