Original proposition recap: My design proposition is to present a number of people with the photo of a homeless individual and allow them to draw on, annotate and respond to the image.
Reflecting on what I learnt in discussing my proposition:
In sharing my idea with someone else it immediately became clear that I had not responded to the situation in a sensitive enough manner. Including the image of a homeless person and their story for the audience to interpret dehumanises this individual and doesn’t consider the life or story of this person. I hence quickly determined that it would be better to get the respondents to react to the physicality of the space in which they have erected temporary dwellings.
I had originally just thought I would have all respondents react to the same image however my colleague suggested it might to be interesting to include more than one and to know the story behind the image, which might be revealed at the end of the process.
Overall, it was benefit to talk through the idea with someone else as with a fresh perspective and can suggest improvements that might have been overlooked in brainstorming process. It was particularly important to have my attention drawn to the lack of sensitivity in my initial proposal as; the social issue of homelessness deals directly with the individuals themselves.
REVISED PROPOSITION –
project title. I am here because…
practice type. generative and data visualisation
the issue. the public perception of homelessness. The project directly responds to a comment made whilst I was collecting data through the interview process. “If they can’t afford housing, they probably can’t afford a phone.”
the possible change. Educate the public to consider some of the stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding homelessness.
design action to support the change. I propose to present a number of people with photos of places where homeless people are living. The respondents of the target audience, 18-24 yrs old, will be invited to draw on, annotate, and respond to the image in any way they see appropriate. At the end of this process they will write a rationale as to the taken action. The responses will be documented in a book or website format.
the possible change. Educate the public to consider some of the stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding homelessness, perhaps more directly related to invisible homelessness.
design action to support the change. I originally acted under the assumption that respondents would react negatively towards the homeless person, however it is likely that respondents may be empathetic to the homeless situation.
I hence propose a three-part installation in which upon entering there will be a shelf on the wall with an image of the environment a homeless person is living in. The attendants will be invited to draw on, annotate and respond to the image in any way they see appropriate. On the opposite side they will fill out the following information:
I have been living in a __ bedroom apartment/house (please circle) in _______ (suburb) for ____ years now.
These responses will be submitted into a letter box and put onto the exhibitions website.
They will then be directed into a space in which the reality of living on the street is mocked up in the gallery space – look, feel & smell all being considered. The audience is asked to sit in one of these spaces at attempt to understand the realities of living on the street.
At the end of this process the audience will be given the story of the homeless person living in one of the spaces shown in the first stage.