Post 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

At the start of the class, we were asked to succinctly write the problem that we were focusing on. I had originally written down:

“Since the digital age, the internet has been ever evolving and developed an online culture amongst young adults that uses certain slang and visuals that humorise the severity of mental heath”

Though at the time it seemed like an appropriate summation, upon reflection I feel like the piece I had written was harsh and overly biased. This is something I will focus on and refine before the third task.

With this issue and problem in mind. From last weeks final brainstorming session, my final had come up with three ideas:

  • Using Data Visualisation to compare the vocabulary that is used online against what may be said in real life
  • Data Visualisation of misused of certain phrases that involve mental health or “I’d rather kill myself”
  • Generative: a platform which collects all the emojis that are used in connection with tweets/ social media posts addressing or mentioning mental health – whether as a serious comment or an ignorant statement
  • Generative: a wall that collects these social media quotes and puts them together, where everyone can see and are presented with the data
  • Generative: a device that prints out stickers based on how you feel, and these stickers are scattered around to create advocacy.

Though these ideas do something, their main purpose is to bring awareness on the problem that I’ve highlighted. I know I can’t be overly ambitious and try and change everyones’ mentality about the issue but I can try and encourage discussion as this leads to another issue of mental health being too “taboo” to be discussed.

 

I propose that I create an event or platform to bring the online dialogue into the real world. As many who talk about mental health off-handedly are doing one of three things:

  • it is their coping mechanism
  • it is the only way to talk about mental health
  • it is an ignorant statement

Comedy and mental health isn’t always considered something to work together. Mental Health is a very serious and sensitive topic, this may hurt those who do have mental health issues  and feel as though with humor we are belittling their suffering. However, mental health as we have seen has become more relatable in satirical comics as mentioned in my third post here. Though this idea hasn’t been completely fleshed out, the idea is to bring comedic guests who can lightheartedly talk about their dealings with their own mental health battles. Their charisma and personality can create a comfortable atmosphere that allows and encourages a forum for discussion.

Author: Danyen Rosa Nguyen

Visual Communication Student at University of Technology, Sydney