Post 10: Reflection & Proposition

There is always one great positive that outweighs any other about having tutorial times. One thing I am glad to have is being surrounded by people who are familiar with the topic and who have been there as a weekly constant to be familiar with my own personal research. They have seen the ideas and the concepts scraped, developed and explored. It would be rather annoying to repeat myself every week about my idea, but having that space to verbally explain my idea is its own channel for developing.

As a pair we were able to discuss my previous problem statement, understand the tone needs work with improvement of vocabulary choices. From there we commenced a game to bounce ideas back and forth to clarify and simplify my ideas. In effect, that gave me an understanding to narrow down my problem, and directing a proper line of action,whilst learning what my draft proposition is effective at doing and whether it was appropriate.

During my time to open up my ideas, my tutor – Chris, was able to listen in on my draft proposition and became another mind to bounce ideas from. Though I felt as though I had been able to explore all my options, at the time being firm to make something generative. I was in my own fault, had ignored the possibilities that data visualisation had to offer to solve my problem statement.

Proposition: Mental Health: Blurred Lines

(Data Visualisation)

Since the digital age, the internet has been constantly evolving and adatping. As a result, on certain social platforms – for example Facebook – has developed an online culture amongst young adults that use terminology from mental health and use them in a joking and mocking context. As a result of this, has created a space where mental health is humorised and desensitises the severity of the issue.

From preliminary research, those who have done this can be loosely grouped into three categories:

  1. Those who do so as a means to cope with their own battles with it
  2. Those who want to talk about it but can’t do so unless in this light-hearted way
  3. Those who are completely uninformed by the severity of it

The change we want through our design is directed at those who are unaware of how they are using their words online. We want them to become informed and mindful of their actions. Though it may be quick and easy to type a seemingly innocent joke online, their words can cause a detrimental effect on those who are battling something within themselves and can cause the reader to take offence. We have noticed that this online culture doesn’t get transformed in the mannerism between people when they interact in the real world.

The best result from our design is to give everyone an enlightenment and revolutionise the way we interact online and hope it can transcend into the real world too. This mindfulness can help as one of the small steps taken to battle with the many other issues that revolve around mental health.

‘Mental Health: Blurred Lines’ would be a motion graphic video that composes of data visualisations on the usage of terms like “depression”, “kill myself” “rather be dead” on Facebook. This short video will be a story telling that slowly guides the watcher to understand how a small joke can escalate and make them reflect when they thought the line was crossed. This will guide them to ask questions of whether this sort of dialogue would still be appropriate in the real world.

 


Negley. K, 2013, New York Times OPED, Keith Negley, viewed 26 September 2016 <http://www.keithnegley.com/NYT-schizo&gt;

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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.

Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

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This is the final brainstorm as a result of working together with my group during the large studio class time. We had stemed out three different ideas, trying to resolve the problem and find an appropriate solution.

My group comprised of a total of five members doing Mental Health as well. Since our first meeting we had learnt that we had different objectives and researched a different area to the overall larger topic. This was of great help, as when we did gather together we each shared different outlooks and perspectives as we had chosen to research different areas. This was highly beneficial as we were able to compare our findings and guide others. Our own personal research was not confined to our own personal research limitations. Our idea generation was well explored whilst exploring each other’s ideas.

However the counter to this would be that our idea generation was still limited to what we all knew, due to the time constraints, my peers did not personally research deeply into my ideas and they could not provide any extension upon my own.

The amusing part of our collaboration was that we had a mutual understanding of the brief, and at the time of the creation of this mind map was that we were all on the more confused side of what is asked from us. As a collective that meant we were all lost together about what was expected.

Post 6: Scraping the web for Data

The internet has become a growing resource for information. With so much data available on the internet, to reach what we need and to find credible information is by searching, and filtering through to find the most utilisable data.

As the internet is being filled with data, new technologies are being created. Lucky for the most of us there are search engines and data scrapers to refine our searches. From that point we are able to collate the data into documents that can be utilised in design.

At this point in time I wanted to collect data to back up my idea that there is desensitisation evident on social media. So I looked up different searches along the lines of:

  • “Today is…”
  • “I’m so depressed..”

My google sheets didn’t work the twitter archiver very well. I then attempted to use another recommended application called “Data Pipeline”.

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I did go through those first searches to begin with but I then preferred to have results showing intellectual discussion. I chose to search up “mental health cope” and “mental health joke.”

 

 

I preferred how it was presented in a preview. This showcased the most popular tweets. When I received the data results on excel, the results showed all the retweets which were repetitive despite receiving 500 tweets. I learnt the importance of filtering within a search, to exclude, and the importance of knowing which words would retrieve the best results. From what I had gathered I had learnt:

  • Twitter is self-aware of joking about mental health can be a coping mechanism
  • There is an invisible and undefined line when a joke about mental health is inappropriate
  • New Zealand has a terrible mental health system
  • There is a belief/trend that only those with mental health issues may joke about it
  • intellectual discussion can happen, it is not all angry ranting

 


North Concepts Inc, 2016, Export your Twitter Searches to Excel, viewed 4 September 2016 <https://northconcepts.com/tools/twitter-search/?q#climatechange&searchButton=>

Post 7: Issue Mapping

It is interesting to see how the tables have turned. I was not present for class for the first session of brain storming and issue mapping, and this time around last week I was present and had merged with two other groups to produce our mind maps. The issue with this was that we were all unfamiliar with the field in which we were researching Mental Health. Being in a new group was enlightening, as I learnt from their research as well and their process.

map1.png

Map 1: Actors around Government

We looked at the immediate actors and influencers in the “Government” theme. Though we were focused on the government, there are many actors who are only merely funded by the government and their credibility and influence is dependent by how involved the Government is. Many resources come from Charities and NGO’s, and an interesting idea was that some areas have a lack of funding

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Map 2: Controversy & Debate

This map was listing and creating themes of the various controversies that surround Mental Health. We listed ideas that had opposites as well as flesh out the reasonings behind one controversy could lead to another controversy.

 

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Map 3: Controversy – Stigma

For the next map we focused heavily on the reasoning behind Stigma. This was a good theme to focus on as it related to all our research. We were able to narrow the relationships that had the existence of stigma, we also narrowed on the ideas and the possibilities for its existence. We branched out how in same areas they are glamourised or romanticised but completely forbidden in a corporate setting.

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Map 4: Actor & Questions – Doctor

We chose to analyse the Doctor as an actor of Mental Health. They are seen as a reliable and credible source for the issue, however as we answered more questions to create a map for it became multifaceted. A doctor has a heavily clinical expression of Mental Health and yet has the most influence. There are many politics behind their opinion as well as they are still human and can have fault of negligence.

 

Overall:

I found the revisiting of mapping an interesting one. Though it initially would have been quite repetitive, I had been taken in with a new group. We had different ideas, and due to having different themes within Mental Health we had a lot of research backing each other. The task past swiftly and we each demonstrated a strong understanding of the layers around Mental Health. I also learnt from sharing what approach I was having, that my peers did not understand eHealth or were quite unaware of it which will continue to be interesting for myself.

 

Post 5: Approaches to Design for Change, Design-led Ethnograph

I was randomly assigned to another person in my class to interview. The interview I conducted was to open my interviewee’s mind and make her more conscience about her feelings of her day. I started off my interview with warming her up and making her comfortable in this setting. After going through the warming up phase, I began prying my interviewee with my questions.

Expectation:

My questions were to ask them a series of questions that would let them discuss how they feel and ask whether they are conscious of their emotions. From these questions, I asked about their habits and reactions when they feel a certain way. I had expected my interviewee to understand the basics of Mental Health, to understand it to be an issue that was at large in Australia. Another large expectation I had was when I pried for her habits that she may attempt to continue to act in a way that would deepen those emotions.

 

Questions Outline:

  1. Hey! Hows your day been? What is the most memorable thing you’ve done today?  Do you think that made you happy/sad? Did it influence you in anyway ? Do you think you’re quicker to share bad news or good news more often? What do you remember more? (referring to bad good news)
  2. Do you think you’re a more optimistic person than you are a pessimist?
  3. What are some behaviours and habits you have when you’re feeling happy? What do you do? Do you treat yourself with good food, or share it with your closest friends. Do you snapchat it?
  4. When you’re upset, what habits do you engage with? Do you watch sad movies? What movies? Why?
  5. When you’re feeling these things what are you trying to do? Do you try and make yourself feel happier? Or worse?
  6. What do you think makes a good mental health?
  7. Do you think it’s an important issue in Australia?
  8. Why do you think so?
  9. Thank you for sharing this with me.

 

Results:

What I have discovered from this brief interview is that we as human go off in tangents, some ideas are not understood completely straight away and sometimes its the interviewer’s job to direct the interviewee into the ideas that the interviewers wanted to flesh out on.

Through asking these questions I believe my interviewee took notice of the things she did during the day, she also seemed overall more positive and delighted by the small things that happened for example she said one of her highlights were to buy her coffee for the day. Another enjoyable factor about this interview was that she was transparent and was brutally honest about her day as well as her opinions on her good and bad days.

I was fortunate to have interviewed someone who believed themselves to be optimistic. Her answers to my fourth question is overall predictable however one interesting idea is her lack of engagement with technology when she’s happy as she believes she enjoys ‘living’ as she has put it. She wasn’t able to get in depth what she does when she feels on the lower side of things as she doesn’t indulge in films but she does listen to more depressing music.

My interviewee was delighted to share that it isn’t in her nature to become more depressed if she is upset, she would call herself out of her mood and is perfectly able to cope with her emotional state. She has a strong attitude that highs and lows are fundamental to human feeling, and she allows these feelings to pass and appreciates them.

 

Probe:

My probe was for my interviewee to go about her everyday and be aware of the conversations she was having. I asked her to create a digital ’emoji’ care package in response to the conversations she was having. This experiment was to get her to be aware of the conversation she was having, to be sensitive and to be selective of the right emojis to respond. With our interview in her mind this would help her appreciate the words and actions she can contribute to the other person.

 

Results & Analysis:

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Emoji’s are becoming a new way of expressing emotions and helps contextualise the words we send digitally to each other. They help aid in the understanding of ideas. What I had gotten my interviewee to do was basically understand the words and conversations she was having.

The emoji care packages she has made a brief and short, but each collection shows an interesting story. I didn’t ask my interviewee to tell me the contents of the conversation, but these emoji care packages have been diverse. Visuals are usually quite positive in nature, there are a few sad emojis but overall the positive emojis are used more often.

 

Next Time:

If I had the chance to conduct this interview again, I would lengthen the questionnaire, in order to flesh out ideas further. I also would get my interviewee to collect the responses from those she was speaking to as well. Also ask for a further summation interview to ask how the probe went and if she felt she had learnt anything from the experience as well.

Post 3: Mapping the participants (human and non-human) and constructing an image archive

This is just one of the mind maps produced by my class group. Unfortunately, I was absent that particular week, however, I am forever thankful thatI was put in a group of intelligent girls who were able to assist me with understanding what I had missed.

It is easy to forget everyone that is involved with a part. My group was quick to explain that there are many who touch and participate with the issue. It’s also important to understand the motives behind each actor and what power they have about the issue, and whether their influence can influence another actor on the topic.

 

 


1.  This particular piece is an editorial image to accompany an article in the New York Times. The content of the article was about the relationship the author had with her daughter as she was battling chronic depression and her fear that had her daughter had inherited it because she showed signs of it as a child. This isn’t true though. What I love most about this piece is how colourful it is, and it doesn’t rely on the symbolism of colours (for example it isn’t entirely Black and White) to convey depression. IT plays with textures and it is overall quite stylistic. It doesn’t show depression to have the individual as the main salient in the image. It understands there is a relationship outside – the daughter.

 


2. This is also an editorial piece that was accompanying an article. This article was about Anxiety disorders, and this piece shows those who can be affected by it. This image without context does not scream out Anxiety disorder, nor does it suggest any mental illness. The idea that is conveyed is that it can “affect any age, culture or gender, but its prevalence varies depending on which region of the world you look at.” I find this striking and just like the previous image it doesn’t overuse the dark and cool tone colour palettes, or the visual metaphors.

3. This image is a comic, and though comics are not always seen as a visual style with the same integrity as an editorial piece or classical artwork this one is relatable. It is something that is appropriate for our era, in which mental health is only ever brought up because it is too risky to speak about it in a serious manner. It is minimalistic and its message is just as so.

4. This is an example that uses a lot of the visual metaphors but in a more tasteful manner. The photograph is black and white with a warm undertone that is contrasted against the many blue toned works. Mental health is described as an invisible disease, therefore many visuals try and communicate the feeling and sensations that can’t be seen. Depression is described as a feeling  of drowning. This photographer and model have recreated this but captured it as a sensation that you feel trapped in.

 


5. This is one image from a series that Edward Honaker did after he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The series is black and white, as many of this theme are. This photograph plays with white space, usually in the context of design it is breathing area and it is peaceful. However, how Honaker frames it, it is isolating and it is an abyss.

 


6. Beckey Netley is another photographer that decided to reach out to her camera and photoshop while she was going through her mental illness battle. Her images are surreal but unlike the common trend of black and white photography, they are colourful and almost whimsical. This piece is titled paper thin, and she expressed how she felt fragile and weak during her battle.

 


7. The photographer known online as Beethy had suffered from severe anxiety in 2009. He describes the sensation as being overwhelming and it was so bad that he had gotten suicidal. However, the photographer understands that it is something he has to live with for the rest of his life. He used a model to help capture how he felt. It is destructive, it shows vulnerability and its in colour. It shows mental health as more destructive than in previous images.

 


8. This is an illustrated poster about child depression which is something that isn’t often talked about. It depicts it as a layered and complicated sensation. It is colourful, and relies heavier on textures. However, the child within this image isn’t distorted in any way.

 


9. This is a simple illustration that is similar to Gemma Correll’s illustration, it relies on visualising the relationship between depression and the victim. The depression is personified and is shown as darkness which is starkly contrasted against the main person in the image. The relationship is subtle, depression is consuming but isn’t seen as chaotic as depicted in Beethy’s photograph.

 

10. This is a similar to the other images, it is a photo manipulation. His images are described as being an educational resource for those who may not understand what people with depression often encounter. He used his photography as a therapy for battling his depression like many of our photographers. The images aren’t all black and white in his series, they use visual metaphors to describe emotions.


Beethy, 2012, Anxiety, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://beethy.deviantart.com/art/anxiety-314402192>
Correll, G. 2016, Nope, Modern Met, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/gemma-correll-mental-health-illustrations>
Elenabs, 2016, 10 Things you may not know about Anxiety Disorder, The Huffington Post, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/10-takeaways-from-the-largest-study-on-anxiety-around-the-world_us_5750a498e4b0ed593f13df97?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063>
Flynn, D. 2016, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://dutchuncle.co.uk/dermot-flynn>
Honaker, E. 2015, I’m Sorry, Daily Mail, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3240571/Photographer-suffering-depression-captures-mental-illness-haunting-series-self-portraits-raise-awareness-disorder.html>
Hopkins, C. 2016, Haunting Photography, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://www.refinery29.com/depression-photo-series-christian-hopkins?crlt.pid=camp.mUOFQRM6FWxD#slide>
Netley, B. 2014, Paper Thin, Becky Netley Photography, viewed 22 August 2016 <https://www.facebook.com/BeckyNetleyPhotography/photos/a.171566429587623.41394.171561799588086/722400021170925/?type=3&theater>
Park, E. 2016, Mapping Individuals, viewed 22 August 2016
Sampson, C. 2014, DEPRESSION, CSPhotography, viewed 22 August 2016 <https://www.facebook.com/christiansampsonphotography/photos/a.910789085666180.1073741837.125853560826407/610569542354804/?type=3&theater>
Scarry, B. 2009, viewed 22 August 2016 <https://www.flickr.com/photos/bottscarry/3918617182/>
Wang, A. 2012, Depression, New York Times, viewed 22 August 2016 <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-depression-inherited.html?_r=0>