BLOG 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

After bouncing back from being 2 and a half weeks behind on the tasks, I had collected a bunch of resources and information that support my focus. Through this research, I came to realise my own thoughts and feelings about the issue, and why I have come to trust so many stories and views, where there’s a new spectrum that most don’t seem to realise.

During my semester break, I took the opportunity to visit the House of Welcome, a refugee supports centre that undertakes full recognition of dignity, equality and human rights. They are a centre that facilitates and house many people that are in such an event. I found this to be a very insightful visit, as I gained the opportunity to experience the lifestyle and stories that these neglected group of individuals experience on an everyday basis. It brought me to the understanding of producing a proposal that allows the public to also realise these circumstances. As I kept this at the back of my mind, I reworked the tasks accordingly, not only to reframe my analysis, but to add more support to my proposal.

Defining the problem statement:
In relation to this, I decided to allow my focus to span across all affects of perception briefly, where I still maintain the framing of a new perception. I used a series of questions to frame this analysis:

WHO DOES THE PROBLEM AFFECT?
Essentially, the problem that I’m faced with is primarily affecting both refugees and the general public. With multiple factors affecting the relation between the two demographics, it rapidly shifts our thoughts and feelings about refugees as the media updates their information. Secondly, it affects the government, mainly their policies, and reputation. As government conflict and change arise, so does the aims and tasks of the media, thus shaping multiple viewpoints. Finally, it affects the reputation of Australia on a global level and how the perception of Australia as a government is constantly tarnished.

 

WHAT ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE PROBLEM?
The boundaries of public perception and government relations is forever changing, and is networked to an extent where its tangled. The structural implications of the government and their policies towards refugees and asylum seekers is the main focus of this boundary.

The more change that the government internally experience, the less chance that the policies against refugees will be improved, or even altered at all. The organisation of this structure fails to comply on an international level, as well as improving Australia as a nation. How this is viewed to the public is essentially corruption. As part of Australia’s humanitarian programme, we agreed to accept 12,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq who had recently been internally displaced. While this agreement took place in November 2015, by March 2016, it was reported that 9,000 refugees were interviewed, 1,600 were granted Visa’s, and only as many as 29 were officially resettled.

How this ‘progressive’ agreement affects the Australian public is more sensitive. Does it give us faith that the government have these policies under control? Are they allowing such policies to go through the system without systematically working on how to patrol them? Without a formal structure in our government system, the information the media deliver to us is filtered. Moreover, the more we ponder and accept what the media is filtering through, more and more negative judgements are dumped upon refugees and asylum seekers respectively. Therefore the perception is altered.

Hypothetically, what would happen if this system of information distribution and government programmes was solved and/or remained unsolved? If it was fixed, the public opinion would be shaped for the better, allowing more positive awareness and a stronger emphasis on third party organisations that deal with this issue daily. Australia would be seen as a more reliable and organised country. The volume of outrage is set to increase if Australia as a government and as the people if we remain consistently inconsistent. Detention camps will continue to develop in congestion and the level of understanding these people will become bleak.

WHEN DOES THE PROBLEM OCCUR? WHEN DOES IT NEED TO BE FIXED?
As the public is continually exposed to this nature of information through the media and political announcements, it’s quite evident that this problem is occurring everyday, and even if this problem was fixed, the perception will always be present. The people of Australia are still reliant on their opinions about the issue, as they are never exposed to another conflicting opinion.

WHERE IS THE PROBLEM OCCURING?
The media is linked to a whole network of information that is shared around the world. While there is a constant problem of this crucial information being filtered, the realities of it are very different. The government are treating this problem in a way to send their information through to remain relevant, no to sustain trust from the public.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT THE PROBLEM IS FIXED? IMPACT ON STAKEHOLDERS?
The public needs to be constantly provided with the realities of refugee / asylum seeker lifestyle and allow them to address the situation truthfully. There are so many conflicting negative opinions on this issue, when the focus should be on the information that the people of Australia aren’t ever aware of. Allowing an unfiltered display of information allows for a more controlled and confronting opinion that makes sense, as well as an organised government that prevents internal arguments and progresses on making this issue more relevant in today’s society.

Summary of Possibilities:
1. A visualisation highlighting the future of Refugees and Asylum Seekers:
The negative public perception of this group of people can be improved, or even altered if there was more recognition of the real problems that they face daily. A first hand experience or confrontation that attacks this view and shines light on the way these people are seen can change the way we perceive them in the future.

2. A visualisation on refugee and asylum seeker treatment on an international level:
Allowing to show the comparison of Australia on an international level will portray why unfair treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is a continual thing. Expressing the facts can allow for this change.

3. A visualisation of immediate living standards as a confrontation between media information and reality:
Creating a chance for the public to experience what it’s like to be a refugee, without having the need to go out of their way. Making this in the pure context of emotion and instant feeling, it’s a way to be critical of what Australia is faced with on a daily basis.

4. An installation of confinement:
While metaphorically placing objects that has instant connection with the user, the idea of this installation is to physically experience the living conditions of refugees, ultimately exemplifying their persistence with government systems. While trauma and desperation are two leading descriptions of these standards, one can only imagine until they’ve experienced it.

5. An installation of confinement (2):
Essentially tearing down the installation where there are only lines marked to represent the intersection of walls and placement of objects. Every user’s reaction will be either different or confronted by the fact that the media’s access to information should be the same as the information that’s reported to the public.

Draft Proposal: Installation of Confinement:

Each year there is a conflict between the arrival to Australia on an asylum seeker boat, and the government enforcement that is placed upon these people seeking asylum. Because of their seemingly illegal attempt to flee their home country in search for asylum, Australia is currently in a position where they need to manage accordingly to the numbers. Moreover, the lack of substantial and pure information through social media networks and media news has allowed the public to shift their perception to information that is ready to be outsourced.

To increase the awareness and acceptance of this demographic, I plan to set up a represented installation of the living conditions the refugees are dealt with in time of migration. With this installation, the general public have the option to interact with this installation to show their support and respect for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as sending their own message across as the general public unit.

As this proposal mainly relies on a strength in numbers, the ability to send a message across to a wide audience has never been easier. Why aren’t we utilising these resources?

With this plan, the achievement is split up into three entities, which relies heavily on resources and space: Awareness, interaction, acceptance.

Peter Andreacchio (11768381)

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