Blog Post Eight. Developing data into design.

 The last of the brainstorming sessions seemed as though it was going to be the least productive for me due to being the only one in the group looking at the issue of Aboriginal Rights. I brainstormed my problem statement with 3 other students who were looking at the issue of Data Surveillance and asked for their ideas and opinions surrounding my issue. The ability to present my issue to a group of people who were fresh to the concepts allowed a variety of engaging and unique ideas to be formed. Collaborating with students who hadn’t been absorbed in the topic for weeks made the activity more engaging and allowed us to break beyond ideas which had been over-used and exhausted. The brainstorming session resulted in an abundance of ideas circulating around the issue of Aboriginal deaths and torture in custody and began to look at how design could be used to address this issue. Five ideas which I have pulled out from this session are as follows;

1- A generative design system which stands as a simple website visualising a heartbeat and how this pulse would change in relation to reports of and Aboriginal person being arrested. The system would aim to visualise the fear and unknown of being picked up by law enforcement and the lack of safety in this space.

2 – A data visualisation which aims to present the ridiculous and absurd stories which are the basis for a significant proportion Aboriginal arrests. The design would aim to show how different the treatment is in comparison to non-aboriginal people and highlight the ridiculousness of these arrests.

3 – A service design which aims to give accountability to law enforcement. This would allow Aboriginal people to tag themselves or someone they know at the point of being arrested, and give them the ability to get in contact with lawyers and the public when they feel unsafe or mistreated.

4 – A data visualisation highlighting the difference between aboriginal and non-aboriginal arrests and how many of these result in torture, mistreatment & death in comparison to the reasons for arrest. It would aim to simply show the large difference between the two people groups and allow users to call for change to this.

5 – A generative design system which aims to remove the red tape and closed door aspect of the issue. The system would allow Aboriginal people to release a live video and audio feed to a public platform when they feel threatened and unsafe. The feed would alert lawyers and social workers outside of the law enforcement arena to be able to intervene and address the issue themselves.


My current proposal has been developed from the 2nd idea explained above.The design would be a data visualisation which would explore the length of time that an Aboriginal person was arrested for in relation to the reason for their arrest. Depending on the results of data found, this would hopefully include ages and outcomes of the arrest aiming to also highlight the young children as well as the deaths in custody aspects which highly contribute to this issue. The data visualisation will intend to be an emotive and powerful representation of people’s stories simplified into an easy to navigate and understand design with a purpose to evoke change and accountability within the justice system. To achieve this, a large collection of data will need to be collected which would have to include the crime for which an Aboriginal person was arrested, the length of time for which they were held and the result which came from the arrest (whether this be death, mistreatment, neglect or a lack of justice when it comes to those responsible for these human rights violations). If this information were able to be sourced, I feel that I would be enabled to create a strong data visualisation design which could challenge viewers to reconsider the treatment of Aboriginal people in within our government’s law enforcement system.

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