Post 8: The First Stage of a Design Proposition

By: Jannie Mach

As a designer, it’s difficult to think of a creation that will benefit others. The idea of generating or building a platform that helps people or the saying ‘changing the world to a better place,’ takes time and dedication.

Brainstorming and looking at Asylum Seekers and Refugees, the group discussed about the problems on:

  • Attitudes to Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Perceptions of Attitudes to Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Mental Health of Detainees
  • Legal Framework in Australia

It’s a great starting point. To be able to see the group member’s initial concepts and develop more in time. At the beginning, I had an idea of a guideline or a program that helps the professionals particularly nurses to feel and be aware of the Asylum Seekers and Refugees as well the environment. An ability to gain trust, sharing different views, appreciation and meeting the middle from both sides. However, I needed to research more on the legal and obligations, which makes me considered other options due to the period of time and causing an immensely shift- I want to work with the emotions/feelings.

Who? All ages- the Asylum Seekers/Refugees with Mental Health problems such as PSTD, depression,anxiety, physical ill, symptoms of impairments and more. Specifically in Detention Centres.

What? The lack of awareness and requirements to seek better health system like clinicians as well as social workers. Fixed? The reducement of deaths that’s happening and the need to stop right now.

When/where? The detention centres, which creates a space that has this ability to influence them to self-harm or suicide.

Why? Is it important that the problem is fixed? Yes, it’s inhumane. The treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees. What impact does it have on all stakeholders? Australia’s is a high- income country, which causes unlimited problems meaning adapting to their current models and it’s difficult to change. There’s usually tension and conflicts in the links between mental health services, organisations or funding bodies that goes against agencies operates in isolation. The importance of looking and finding balance towards financial affairs.

The five concepts:

  • A guideline for medical staff to treat the Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
  • A design object to enable detainees communicates with the public like a phone booth to share their stories, concerns and just listen.
  •  A visualisation data that displays the emotions from the detainees by collecting data from various sources.
  • An app that can connect with other Asylum Seekers and Refugees to share their thoughts e.g. Good Morning Text (Jer Thorp)
  • Using an urban space- an interactive data to visualise the feelings from the detainees.

A man was found attempting to damage his wrist “with a small ring of metal” and was restrained. He tried to break free, saying, “I want to die, let me die.”

A detainee, apparently upset after meeting his lawyer, “wrapped himself in toilet paper and attempted to get hold of a lighter”. In another incident, a woman “poured boiling water over her lower limbs.”

A man was seen to jump from a top bunk with “a torn sheet around his neck,” while, separately, a detainee who “swallowed anti-dandruff shampoo was on the floor of the tent vomiting and … appeared to be unconscious.”

Draft Proposal: The Fallen Tears for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

I’m at a stage where I need to thoroughly plan on how I can make it possible…I’m leaning towards data poetics- inspired by Kate Sweetapple. I have this abnormal notion of using human ‘tears’ to somewhat create a powerful meaning to send a message about the treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the horrifying detention centres. Tears are emotional, it symbolises sadness, happiness, anger and more. Ultimately, it’s a good representation or an object to display the emotions although, I’m going to use water drops to signify the meaning.

I imagine a beautiful visualisation data that shows water drops with information about the stories, which gathers emotive feelings from Asylum Seekers and Refugees, which gets printed in a letter format and distributed to the public. At this moment, I need to do visual research on data poetics and start to collect data on specific words. The data will be sourced from newspapers or social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Overall, Mental Health towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees is a huge major problem the need to fix or create a start: ‘A visualisation data displays the emotions from the Asylum Seekers and Refugees by using tears to strengthen the message.’

Notes: I want to do something like my design probe. To play with an emotive feeling that touches the public and give a voice to Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

Koziol, M. & Hasham, N. 2016 , Self-harm in detention centres at epidemic levels, internal documents show, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 13 September 2016, <;.