Blog Post 10:Reflection and Proposition

Over the last two weeks, I feel like my ideas for the design proposition has changed quite a bit from the original ideas I had from earlier blog posts. I had been thinking over about basing my research on finding out the resettling process from the perspective of refugees and asylum seekers, thinking about possibly figuring out a way to map their emotional state and matching it with key stories via primary research. But although I had been fascinated with this idea, mapping the emotional response and relying on the visual representation to evoke empathy seemed rather too static for the general audience.

So I went back to the previous blog posts (post 8 and 9), to rethink over some of the design proposal ideas I pitched out. The two ideas I was interested in was the service design aiming to connect Australian individuals and refugees on a more intimate level – something akin to a social forum, and the second idea was looking into generative design, focusing on gathering data from the current Australian public in regards to their current knowledge/opinion/stance over the refugee crisis and turning the collected data into a visual representation.

However I felt like these ideas I generated didn’t quite address my problem statement to an appropriate depth, more like just scraping the surface of the problem. So instead of being fixated on the previous design ideas I had pitched out, I decided again to take another step back and take a further look at the generated problem statements and tried to come up with new concept ideas. Breaking down the statements/questions, I defined them into two core concerns:

  1. Raising awareness
  2. Assisting resettlement / transition process – creating safe space.

Design Proposal

Project: Stories for Us

Practice: Campaign / Generative Design System

Issue: The low level of awareness, interest and engagement amongst the younger Australian audience (aged 18 – 25) is contributing to the slow alienation of the resettled refugees struggling to find their place in a foreign and indifferent environment. The project aims to encourage active awareness among this demographic and further contribute towards developing a safe space for the refugees in an emotional, social and physical context.

Possible Change: The campaign/service design will encourage the audience to learn more about the cultures of the participating refugees and asylum seekers, breaking down stigma and barriers instilled by the media in their fear mongering and political propaganda. By building friendship between individuals in the local neighbourhood, both parties will cultivate a sense of ‘safe space’ together starting from their homes.

Design Action to Support Change: This design proposal aim to breakdown social barriers between Australians and refugees through storytelling workshops conducted in a comfortable environment. Australian volunteers will be helping refugees to learn more about the English language, and together they will be writing a narrative that explores and reflects common values between them. These stories will be presented quarterly, and at the end of the year from each local community they will be voting in one narrative to be compiled into a book for Australia’s domestic release, sharing the collaborated works between the young people with the rest of the Australian audience to raise further awareness and break down harmful assumptions spread by the media. Through this proposal, both parties (Australians and refugees) will be able to learn more about each other’s culture first hand without the intrusion of third party influence.