Stemming from my in-depth engagement with the scholarly article from McCallum and Nguyen which guided a lot of my research and mapping throughout this process, I wanted to focus on a way that people can be informed on the refugee issue beyond influence of media and policy makers. In this way, it’s important for people to engage in the issue beyond the leverage of political and metaphorical language that saturates the Australian media.
As such, my proposed design response “Make Your Choice” really emphasises the idea of “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…” to give the Australian public a first hand understanding of the issue facing asylum seekers, particularly as they have to little influence over the decision being made for them. This would function as a digital screen based “choose your own ending” story, an interactive design that follows the life story of an maritime asylum seeker. The audience is allowed to make choices, being prompted with questions at different stages – however, no matter what the audience chooses, the narrative still follows the same direction. In taking away the audience’s choice, I want to demonstrate the distinct lack of influence that Asylum Seekers have over their own lives.
Having discussed the potential of this idea, there seemed to be a need to have this develop into a program that is essentially service design but also allows an in-depth understanding of the issue at hand. Therefore, the need for some sort of generative info-graphic to be revealed at the end of the narrative was brought up as a way to reveal how choices are made by people who have access to them were made. As such, the potential to have a flow chart of the different decisions that people made during the narrative to enforce the lack of choice Asylum Seekers have seemed to be the more sound proposition for this concept.
As well as this, the need to direct tone through visual style is something that is going to be be vital in terms of engagement with the narrative. Mentioned was “The Boat” by SBS, an motion graphic digital narrative, that employs an illustrative finish to aid emotional response. However, as I’m not confident in my ability to achieve something on that level, one of the visual engagement techniques discussed was how the narrative could employ abstract visuals in order to shape to narrative beyond the literal – in such a way, we aid the audience to develop their own understanding of the issue at hand.
There is potential to create a deeply engaging piece of service design which also crosses into the field of generative design, however I will need to be able to thoroughly map the function of the site and create arresting visual language in order to completely aid in-depth understanding beyond media influence. It needs to balance being a narrative with the potential to influence, without crossing in the area of making up people’s minds for them in order to aid personal engagement and conclusions.
Project Title: Make Your Choice
Issue: Media using metaphorical led language to shape false narratives surrounding the asylum seeker crisis within Australia.
Possible Change: Allowing the public to form their own point of view on the refugee crisis beyond the influence of the media in order to create a new level of empathy rather than sympathy.
Design Action: Lead the user through a the narrative of a refugee’s life under the guise of a “choose your story” adventure but have the same narrative no matter the choices made by the audience. Collate data of choices made by the user into a generative data visualisation at the end of the experience to emphasise the choices we make vs the lack of choice refugees have.