Post 10: A Data Visualisation-The Fallen Tears

By: Jannie Mach

I began to research for data poetics and data visualisation as a starting point. I was inspired by ‘Dear Data’ by Stepanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi. The use of hand-generated sets of codes brings unique quality, which informs a change of experience or the environment.

I collected a series of monotone watercolours to get a sense of the abstract shape and form due to the idea of adding an extra layer of information on top. However, I thought of an interactive data that allows the user experience to understand and learn the back-story of Asylum Seekers on Mental Health to help donate and upgrade clinical facilities.


  • The target audience and the location of the interactive data?
  • The engagement can be an art installation due to the open spaces towards specific audiences such as organisations, groups, community, and individuals.
  • The emergent practices- is it either data practices or service design?
  • The need to research on the aspect of government finance and the assistance/benefits towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

I had further taken the critical feedback and look for another engagement aspect rather than an interactive screen. I want to be able to capture an emotional response immediately from the public in a clever and effective way. I believe that researching in a new topic area such as Government Finance will be on a very tight schedule.


Design Proposition

I like the idea of using design as a sensitive tool—applying with a touch of emotion. The Fallen Tears is a visualisation data to help raise awareness about mental health problems towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australian Detention Centres, which studies found a large number of individuals involve high levels of emotional distress.

The use of generating an advertisement/campaign to show and provoke the public attitudes and perceptions by inflicting various emotions such as empathy, sadness, anger, shock, appalled and more. The target audience ranges from 18 and above due to the placement of the advertisements will be distributed into open spaces.

The data will be poetic and delicate. The use of ink blots or water ink to determine the visual style. I’m intrigued on the free-form of the shape meaning the way it spreads and projecting is very quite captivating. Why? To symbolise the ‘human tears’ and the significant of water due to them of arriving by boats. Plus, the ink blots are used for psychological interpretations. Moreover, to create a powerful meaning and making a sentimental statement saying, “it’s inhumane” and “they’re humans too.”

The Fallen Tears will display facts, statistics, narrative and storytelling from the Asylum Seekers and Refugees with Mental Health issues. For example, it will suggest an insight for the audience with arrays of moving stories to motivate and prevent from this tragic happening in the detention centres. The advertisement will contain information on:

  • How many Asylum Seekers/Refugees in detention centres
  • The amount of Asylum Seekers/Refugees is affected by Mental Health including all age groups like children
  • The death rates: looking for suicides happening in the detention centres
  • The facilities/clinicians
  • The professionals like doctors and nurses

The source of the data focuses on the platform such as websites, newspapers, journal articles, videos as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter. I’m gathering and collecting data from 2000-2016 the latest.

Overall, to give an emotional response and provide/project a voice for the Asylum Seekers and Refugees—who’s suffering from Mental Illness with a beautiful visualisation data.

Notes: At the moment, I am struggling to find a mass of resources and trying to reveal some aspect of the relationship between human and non-human actors. I need to experiment with the water inks due to the shape will control the data.

The feedback from tutorial says, that I need to embrace data visualisation and the use of water inks touches on the journey of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, which is a very nice way to aim for data poetry. I have to try and look for something more specific rather than a campaign/advertisement to create an edge or more proactiveness. Also going deeper and further pushed the proposal—to take emotional resonance—to tug with someone.

I agree, and it’s essential for me to design something more unexpected within the timeframe.


Gormely, A. 2011, BODV XII, Tumblr, viewed 18 September 2016, <>.

Dachary, C. 2012, Cecile Dachary, Erin Louise, viewed 18 September 2016, <;.