POST 08 – BRAINSTORM & PROPOSAL

This weeks process was extremely helpful and I will further demonstrate so with examples in post nine.

In this weeks class we began to really break down the issue we had been investigating for the past seven weeks and look at how a seemingly small solution, in the grand scheme of things, can hopefully implement change.

Keeping in mind that what we create must stick within the parameters of either data driven visualisation practice, a generative system, and/or service design, we realised that our most commonly referred to solution was data driven.  We first wrote out our issue statement which I broadly reflected was; “Women’s rights are overlooked as human rights as they only serve 50% of the population thus change is unlikely.”

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Map of possibilities (Doust, G. 2016)

From here we broke that statement down and I concluded that some possibilities for a solution might be;

01 /  DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

This evidently broad sub category was my first point as it was initially what I was interested in investigating. Given the nature of the project I have obviously expanded my research into many other streams and these have shaped and shifted my ideas. Beginning with this point we found it hard to nut out any real possible solutions as it was so broad and there are many great campaigns going around. A most simple idea would be to create awareness of the charitable organisations. Another possible solution would be to create a generative system which maps out the countries and rural areas where education is not given to girls as well as the rates of child marriage. Whilst this would be extremely interesting, gathering this data would take much longer then five weeks.

02 / GENDER PAY GAP

I have found myself returning to this sub category throughout these blog posts, thus I thought it would be key to investigate. I think it was something I wasn’t set on at first, but it is a blatant example of how gender inequality is prevalent on a most basic level. We began by thinking of how a small solution could be to “show” the pay gap. This could be a generative system which collects the wages of men and women in different occupations; maybe on a website or more stand alone document and thus these findings demonstrate a variety of occupations with the rise and fall of their wages. A simple differential would be between the men and women and the audience would witness the ever change wage distribution that either sex receives every day/week. 

03 / GOVERNMENT LAWS AND FUNDING

Expanding from the first concept we noted that another sub category of the issue statement would be the laws and funding provided for the acknowledgement of women’s rights as human rights. The fact that our own government don’t have the necessary legislation for equality says a lot about how society is to view the issue. Problems such as the lack of revenge porn laws and backwards funding for domestic violence demonstrate how women’s rights aren’t being treated as human rights. A concept for this possibility was difficult to grasp as it is something which the majority of people do not think is within their control. Creating a service design which helps the people feel a part of the system may assist. A possible idea could be to have an app which informs its users of the issues going on and how it needs support. Their support is then sent to the government and pushes the peoples opinion. I am quite naive as to how how government work though so the first step could be to learn about that.

04 / WOMEN’S NEEDS AND EXPENDITURES

The discussion of legislation for women also brought up the topic of taxing hygiene products. I categorised  this separately as we investigated how spendings differentiate between the sexes. Basic necessities like feminine hygiene (tampons) and medicine (the pill) need to be better considered then only 50% of the populations problems thus not worth subsidising or providing. My group members brought great insight with examples such as mens razors not being taxed and from here it clicked how I might combine the categorised issues we had discussed today into one proposal.

Proposal / CONSUMER GOODS AND THE COMPARISON OF PRODUCTS.

We establishing that the pay gap undoubtedly demonstrates how women’s pay is unjust, but we actually weren’t sure how as it’s hard to actually see it. This was running in the back of my mind as we discussed the taxing of feminine products which then lead to discussing how women’s razors are pink and men’s are black or blue. Apart form this obvious (and stereotypical) colour difference, there is a significant price gap between the two.

I intend to do further research into women’s and men’s consumer goods and see how they are not only portrayed but also cost. If the research reflects the discussion we had in class, this will be a clear example of how women are not given basic rights a man has. It also shocks me that women would not only be paid less but also expected to spend more. No wonder women “need” a man.

Most importantly I see this directly targeting persons ages 18-30 as they are either students or beginners in the work force with very little earnings. Every cent counts in this age bracket and thus a solution to this problem would be perfect.

I will investigate a majority of consumer goods; from hygiene through to clothing. Once the research has been led, I believe the results will inform my emergent area of practice. At the moment I see it as either a data driven design which is exhibited on packaging itself or a service design which informs patrons of the better purchase (e.g. a man’s razor is cheaper, does the colour matter?)