blog ten

In the past two weeks, I’ve deduced that my subject of focus wasn’t really appropriate for the criteria that we are answering. I literally feel like where I was a couple weeks ago trying to figure out my design solution. Or perhaps is it how I defined or structured my thesis. Thus it was evident that I needed a whole refinement. My concept I had established through a profound amount of research and understanding, possibly straying too far from the sidewalk with it all.

As well as that the language I was fixating didn’t really make sense and was not apt to the true intention of what I was interested in. The term “pseudoscience” was not clear to me because I did not know that it had negative connotations of “phony” and that isn’t the tone that I want to advocate because it confuses the reader my stance on it. I clearly wanted the reader to know I was all about pro-alternative treatments for anxiety in Australian adults and speaking to my group and tutor made me realise how incoherent my actual concept was.
The research blogs helped me identify systematic and unorthodox practises of how people resolve mental predicaments. And what interested me the most was not rather the treatments but the clients themselves. What is more important in these instances are not the profits of capitalisation but the life and wellbeing of clients. These approaches are set with guidelines which could easily undermine or overanalyse a person’s psyche that doesn’t explicitly apply for every single human being and thus, the service of mental health does not achieve to understand the client.

Initially, my idea of creating a service design of a flotation tank was rejected because it did not define itself as a service design, nor did it include any VC elements. The concept by now was solidified after doing a whole heap of research to recreate a service design of a free-flow water mattress that responded to meditation. But I’m guessing I’m approaching the whole practical side of it incorrectly and need to take a step back and understand what I’m trying to achieve. I cannot do a product design because it isn’t relevant to VC (I had thought designing for a space was included as a VC element but I’ve seriously been thinking about it incorrectly). As a result from the feedback, I was told to emulate these ideas into an interactive map that can begin as an inspiration or a guide for someone to being meditation or bring themselves to mindfulness.

My thesis: I want to challenge and respond to why alternative treatments aren’t commonly practiced amongst young adults in Australia for anxiety. I wanted to evoke a sense of mindfulness as a holistic approach for long-term mental improvements.



blog eight and nine


With a focus in conventional treatments for mental health (focused at young adults 18-25 years old) I wanted to understand why there is no highlight in alternate methods of therapy, better known as pseudoscience. It is a conflict amongst topics because the practice of pseudoscience is bittersweet – there are skeptics and there are advocators.

Upon research reading investigative journalism on the “clinical diagnosis of mental health” does not seem to exist ( simply because there is actually a lack of evidence of chemical imbalances. This results with pharmaceutical industry profiting off efficacy of suppression and addiction. But however, that is an opinion. And there are skeptics such as ( that demands physical experiments/results to prove metaphysical improvements otherwise it can be simply be mistaken as a placebo. I may be writing biased here, only because I’ve been isolated to both practices of Eastern and Western medicine (not specifically for mental health though) but I’ve witnessed the healing of both. I believe that we should be more open to an amalgamation approaches of therapy. There is evidence that pseudoscience can be used to treat anxiety and PTSD (especially through methods that subdue the person within a deep meditative state) and the New-Age movement is increasing.

So within my group brainstorming session, we distilled a specific question of our controversy relatable to these young adults:

“why is pseudoscience not practiced commonly amongst young adults in Australia”

That is due to lack of research and funding hence awareness for the public. Pseudoscience is mostly an esoteric kind of initiation as medication is once the conventional clinical approach.


The approach that I had about designing a system to suit my controversy was completely wrong. Thus the mindmap below is a refinement of the one we did in class that explores more coherently the idea of my proposal. The mindmap led me more towards bringing light upon the co-existence of both the physical and mental being. To my understanding, the obscured language and assertion used to promote pseudoscience as a mental health treatment seems unappealing to many as there aren’t any scientific/physical evidence that require no emotion/opinion. Thus, someone’s understanding must be made through a personalised experience.



Due to the lack of funding and research, the option of alternative treatments for mental health given to Australian young adults (18-25 years) is scarce in numbers. Another probable perception is that pseudoscience is uncommonly accepted as a healing mechanism because of it’s intangible nature and obscurity; and one’s centralisation of the physical being. As a result, the actor in the controversy introduced is the physical being and what isolates the physical being is the gym. With the promotion of a healthy fit lifestyle and requirement of hard evidence and repetition for prevalence, it is a paradigm to target a specific physical-focused audience. Hence, I’ve decided to set my context at a gym location (preferably next the toilet/showers) whereby my goal is to set up a parameter for these gym members to challenge the existence of intangibility.

To achieve this, my system will be conducted through a simulation of sensory deprivation tanks. Being deprived of the senses that connote the surrounding physical environment and the essence of weightlessness will soon seep the person to enter realms generated from their brain. The visual and auditory hallucinations, cognitive perturbations yet awakenings and relaxation seem to be experiences akin to those who have written about it. Below are links of Australian companies and journalists/bloggers that vicariously articulate their experiences and results and why they would definitely recommend it as a meditative tool or holistic rejuvenation.


What is floating?

After the 75 minute session, post-float interview is conducted and direct conversation between the person and worker is to understand what the person has learnt after the experience (particularly what had replaced their five senses). The outcome of the personalised experience will introduce acknowledgement of the coexistence of the physical and mental vortex. Data will be extrapolated and perhaps be used to condone awareness of the existence of intangible alternate treatments.

blog six


  • Despite the amount of spam, the most commonly used platform for Twitter is iPhone because it is the most convenient in any context as an interface.
  • The hashtags in total connote the  people tweeting are tenfolds more physical/material people than those who spoke about their mental health.
  • Language is taken as assertions and interesting to evoke voices these users depict themselves as they interpret this hashtag (particularly in a space of 140 characters)
    “Red wine #IFeelGreat”
    “Going to run sunbanks on my day off. This time last year I was a nobody in my mind. Change your mindset #ifeelgreat”
    “Start to generate your financial freedom #IFeelGreat”
  • There seems to be a fair and equal ratio of male:female on Twitter through these hashtags that explore their emotions and wellbeing
  • Language on digital interfaces is hard to portray and can be opened to many interpretations. Thus, is text in social media the most prevalent tool in communicating? I think a sensory ascension that includes a whole user immersive experience will definitely be memorable



blog seven



Non human and human actors involved as factors of mental health


Synthesising the information and topics was the arduous process of it all. From what of the criteria is required to create the foundation of our research. My group and I collaborated a mindmap of social problems on different interpretations of mental health. We started conjuring polarising subjects to evoke discussions but it was pretty difficult to relate back to our individual study.

The depiction of mental illnesses in media and legal systems were very intriguing to me as it manifests how easy the labelling of “mentally ill” can be misconceived and manipulated. It’s particular upsetting that media perpetuates stereotypes that induce hatred and ignorance, which contributes to the globalising fear that is dividing humanity. I guess in all essence, my interest in mental health is how people respond emotionally and physically to it.

14242332_1368227046540352_5986735353815644045_oFortunately Chris was able to give us some direction by refining Keegan’s topic on the void between men and their initiation of seeking help with mental illnesses. The approach was more or so to keep asking “but why?” Why does this problem occur? Why does that affect us? Who perpetuates this notion? With this approach, we asked why do men not seek help? If because of male societal stereotypes, who/what then is perpetuating the stereotypes? The following map produced actors that could be explored extensively. With who is perpetuating, comes with the dual nature of who is challenging and can be explored.

14207632_1368317286531328_7513352550885829805_oMy research in the past seven weeks have been circulating around the design system of treatments and identification. But it was difficult, particularly that mental health is totally broad and it was required for the problem to be refined.

Prior this semester, the study of the psyche and spirituality became highlighted to me and I went on a bizarre journey imbuing myself with knowledge for a period of time. And with an interest of Eastern culture and their remedial treatments (having been experienced resorting a Chinese doctor), it aligns with the study of pseudoscience (which is considered the alternative medicinal treatment for mental health). Pseudoscience is a holistic natural approach that promotes optimal well-being and good health. It is built on complex systems of theory and practice whereas science is distinguishable from revelation, theology or spirituality in that it offers insight into the physical world obtained by empirical research.Then I asked myself “why? Why is pseudoscience not practiced conventionally amongst Australian adults (18-30 years)?” However upon my research, it was denoted that pseudoscience can easily be perceived as fraudulent amongst others due to the fact that the intangible results cannot merely prove prevalence. Unfortunately, there is also a clear lack of funded research. I can only deduce that, with a conversation I had with my partner, that it is a long and arduous process that may seem unachievable to some. With the efficiency of efficacy of medication, though it can create a dangerous relationship with the user – battling dependence, suppression, addiction. And with pseudoscience, it is much more of a transformational change.

So with this sudden fine tune, I can somewhat distill my focus on the design of alternative treatments. It is an interest as to why people do choose (and the following impact) as well as why people choose not to. The target audience is particularly for those adults who are in their independent stages of their lives (18-30 years).

blog three




Those that we have deducted would know an extensive amount of Mental Health are those whom personally experienced, studied or in the workforce. Those who do not know quite a lot are those who are actually of high influences in young adult/teenagers lives (mostly media and the internet)


With my group we concluded how engaged these participants are with mental health and the most influence are those whose professions and studies are in fields of mental health. And those who are least engaged are those who we deal with commonly almost every day.


An array of participants and stakeholders that lie as massive influences on someone’s mental health. We’ve interpreted it on a personal depth, judging based on the design of their services or how it will affect them immediately. Thus counsellors may have the least influence due to how their service is merely designed whereas the Liberal Party may have total influences on mental health due to medical reforms.




one: PinterestScreen Shot 2016-08-29 at 7.10.30 pm


As I searched for anorexia, what was intriguing was the immediate support that was offered. Being a backdrop of yellow that extended across the full resolution of my screen, I could see it was an expression of building a faceless connection with the user. The link was an external link to a national organisation that provided support for eating disorders. However, when I refined my search for “anxiety”, “depression”, “addiction”, “psychosis”, “schizophrenia” all came up with null results of support. Pinterest has a particular niche market for young women as the website has “a dedicated focus on young, socially and technologically mobile women” (Hausman 2013) as the target audience. But what a blatant effort in attempting to build a relationship with the target audience by generalising women to only being affected by eating disorders. This is another incident exemplifying the misconception of mental health and how other dispositions can be easily ignored.

This differs from the text sources as Pinterest doesn’t really explicitly explore into the fields of mental health unlike the authors of sources from previous blog posts. This is business all with capitalistic intentions rather than a passionate interest or occupation and are not very well educated in the said matter. Thus, their message to the user is short and the middle man of another service.

Hausman. A, 2013, ‘How Pinterest created its own niche market from facebook users’, viewed 29 August 201 6 <;

two: Lobotomies


It was absolutely chilling to even look at the patient and see the annotations of her “improvement” and stare at her through her eyes in both photos. No one can compare the mental state she was living in prior nor post surgery, or depict what the meaning of time and space was for her. A lobotomy was a treatment process for mentally ill patients that they believed was prevalent in curing. It is a psychosurgery that requires an incision to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The incision equipment is normally a chisel that was placed through the nose or between the eyelid and eyeball. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for the function of thoughts, rationality and personality. “The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goal” (Miller 2002). It was advocated then because of  it was recognised that reducing the complexity of psychic life would reduce such dispositions for them. However consequences of the patients were often stuporous, confused, and incontinent. “Following the operation, spontaneity, responsiveness, self-awareness and self-control were reduced. Activity was replaced by inertia, and people were left emotionally blunted and restricted in their intellectual range”(Partridge 1950). It is adamant that this practice remains ceased.

This is different from amongst the texts I’ve collected as this is archived documentations of lobotomies – something that isn’t evident with my collected texts. Everything was quite recent and relevant to current contexts though with this historical insight, I actually do really empathise with people coping with mental illnesses prior 1970’s.

Partridge. M, 1950, ‘Pre-frontal leucotomy’, pg. 470-471, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford

Miller. E.K, 2002, “The prefrontal cortex: categories, concepts and cognition”, Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society of London, viewed 29 August 2016 <;


three: Suckerpunch Film (2011)


Going on from the latter, this film really spooked me on all levels and no one (other than my boyfriend) seems to agree with me. Quick update of the plot, Babydoll (as pictured) is initially put in a mental hospital by her step father (who murdered her sister and is institutionalising Babydoll so she cannot testify as she witnessed it all). The result of the lobotomy is manifested within the plotline of her transcending dimensions – the film is what she perceived in her mind (and actual eyes): fantasy of brothels and how “dancing” allows her to transcend into another fantasy of violence, blood, aggression.. when in all actual fact she’s actually a vegetated state sitting in a wheelchair of a psych ward. That was my interpretation of the film after all.. and loved the interpretation of how fragile a mind is.

This is a visual representation and of course it’s going to differ from texts as films seep into a cave of possibilities. It activates a sensory relationship with the user (well for me it did).


four: coca cola ad



The salient element behind the ad is the vibrant colour red that attracts the user immediately and my eyes are straining as I’m typing this with the image above being so absorbing with the red. The central vector is create by the placement of the bottle in the middle where the opened bottom creates vectors with the bottom of the ad. There is a clear succession with figure and ground and a complementary relationship with eating.

Advertisements has always been an exploitation of manipulation, if the intentions are capitalistic of course. This is more or so a paradigm of advertisements manipulation human mental capacities which makes it different to any of the text sources I’ve collected.


five: Samaritans Poster


The photographer involved in this collaboration is Nadav Kander, a London-based photographer, artist and director, known for his portraiture and landscapes. A series of colour coordination brings out depth of the message of the poster. The purple text represents the background and facade of words that the figure is facing whilst the brown text represents the true thoughts which coincidentally his jacket is brown (alludes to the nature of the weight on their back). The nature of composing purple text with brown is to imply of a deeper approach. This poster has a very modernistic approach but simplistically reverberates the service of Samaritans which once again differs from the text sources I’ve mentioned above.


six: physical and the metaphysical



Based on my experiences of chiropractic sessions, I understand the practice to be a completely natural holistic approach of improving mental health, integrating physical life with it. There was a profound establishment on the understanding of my central nervous system and how my skeletal system is the fundamentals of transportation for these nerves. And with proper nutritional dieting, ceasing terrible habits, regular exercise and adjustments I felt like I was harnessing my energy with my utmost peak. Our mental health is as important as our physical health because they coexist together to live harmoniously.

The disparity between this poster and the text sources is that there is a relatable substance in the poster that I’ve experienced and can concur on. The matter of the academic texts I’ve collected has never been subjected to me in my life and cannot base my past experiences to relate.


seven: eastern remedies

There is a clear disparity between Eastern and Western practices on the treatment of mental illnesses. Western principles circulate around the medicinal industry which requires a professional degree to pursue whereas Eastern practices are based on holistic and natural herbal remedies . I asked my parents about their knowledge since they’ve been subjected to it all, growing up in South Eastern Asia whereby Chinese protocols are followed in their societies. Both Western and Eastern medicinal practices are prevalent and both do have their pros and cons with Western being practical but synthetic and disorienting to human’s natural cycle; and Eastern being completely natural yet time consuming and impractical. Western practices allow further technological examinations whereas Eastern practices require a physical inspection of the nose, mouth, ears, inquisition and heart beat. Depression in an Eastern context is considered to be a problem with circulating Qi (energy) around your body. The main organ responsible for circulating Qi is recognized as the liver with the heart and spleen playing supporting roles. Qi is also a fundamental concept in Feng Shui, which depicts the way of living using the energy around their space. Feng Shui can also play a massive factor on someone’s energy which affects their personality and moods for those whose particular niche is spiritual.

This differs amongst the text sources as it provides insight into another context that we’re not accustomed to. However, it does align with naturopaths with their ethics and practices being so similar and all.


eight: insecurities 

The image depicts a perfect depiction between vulnerability and insecurities. In the waking life, the figure seems so complacent and naive towards the figure’s reflection in the mirror which adds to their influence. Should the reflection and what one sees be the result and leading figure of someone’s life? Absolutely not. The website which provides the information annotates “Listen to your self-talk. Once you realize that some aspects of your internal voice may be contributing to your body insecurity, it’s time to pay closer attention to these thoughts. Negative self-talk reinforces itself and creates your reality. The only way to stop it is to become aware of it.” Very powerful words, acknowledgement is the door to acceptance. It’s a very bold move but profound.


nine: astral projection

This image is a great representation of one’s creativity when it comes to astral projecting. Astral projection is the planar we enter once we are asleep and I like to believe that dreams are the manifestations of your subconscious. Many self discoveries are acknowledged through this realm and can help ascend your soul. The practice of dreaming becomes undermined (especially the ability to lucid dream) as it is viewed as a common trait in every human. But could it possibly be a much more deeper platform and a medium that can be used to understand the mental capacity of a human brain. In fact, not just a human brain but rather every being as it is homogenous in every species to sleep.


ten: anti-smoking campaigns


Very succinct and crude message to smokers to exaggerate on the detrimental effects. This organisation achieves a unique approach to grab the attention of consumers. The yellow is bold and highlights itself amongst the asphalt. It is geographically placed next to objects whereby smokers are enforced to be i.e a trashcan to throw away their cigarette butts if that is in a very civilised society otherwise message will go unnoticed. This differs to the other text sources as it is a social experiment conducted to achieve their purpose.



blog five


Interviewee: Rosie Gearside

On the 18th August 2016, I conducted a probe with Rosie. The interview followed afterwards. In total it went on for 11 minutes.

The probe was based on intuition and the guidelines for a mental health assessment (MHA). It has become a particular subject of interest when it comes to the legal definition of mental health and under whose authority can implement an assessment. And the subjective nature of this deduction can be easily manipulated. So I have created a short simulation, testing my intuition using the protocol of an Australian MHA and have divided into the following groups:

  1. General Appearance
  2. Psychomotor Behaviour
  3. Mood and Effect
  4. Speech
  5. Cognition
  6. Thoughts Patterns
  7. Level of Consciousness

And stated within the groups were a few paradigms that inspired the assessment activities for my final deduction of patient #001 Rosie Gearside. I initiated the whole process at 11:00am with shaking her hand and asking her to memorise the number 31648 and immediately destructed the paper with it written on.

  1. General Appearance
  • Body build ­
    She could not properly identify her body weight nor height but she was tall-ish and looked healthy.
  •  Smell ­
    She smelt wonderful.
  1. Psychomotor Behaviour
  • Hand Shake
    I rated her shake a 2/10 in terms of intensity maybe because we normally wouldn’t shake hands but perfectly caught her off guard
  • Clapping game
    She hadn’t known of it but we could only make it to 2 claps. Solid effort but she tells me she’s clumsy.
  1. Mood and Effect
  • Jubilant, didn’t show signs of aggression or attitude towards me. She was very excited and eager.
  1. Speech
  • Lyrical Test
    She coherently read/rapped the verses of “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent (which caught us by surprise) and ovation was imminent.
  1. Cognition
  • The Number 31648
    When prompted for the number a while after memorising, Rosie was able to recall within a split second.
  • Recalling Months In Reverse Order
    She prevailed with such ease and a standing ovation was imminent
  1. Thoughts Patterns
  • Area 51
    I wanted to induce Rosie into a tangential manner of thoughts when I asked her “What are your thoughts on Area 51?”
    “Well to be honest, I don’t know a whole about Area 51 but that is the point of it”. My analysis is that she gave a succinct and well thought out answer that encapsulates the total truth.
  1. Level of Consciousness
  • Sensory connection with the Mind
    Placing my finger an inch from her nose, I highlighted to focus on my finger yet had my foot slightly touching hers. I asked her if I was touching her at all and she replied with ‘No’ which she failed.

Overall, Rosie is mentally functioning at an optimal rate, with physical being on par (aside from the handshake and coordination). My deduction for this simulation is then according to the criteria of MHA not mentally ill. (The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, n.d.) Her opinion of this structure was that it is creative and interesting on the particular factors that legally define people as mentally ill But the activities I’ve implemented seem rather redundant to the truth because a façade can be an illusion. Whilst the factors can seem “legitimate”, I feel like the system can be easily manipulated with such a subjective assessment. Mental Health is very broad and there is a large spectrum of thresholds so it cannot be generalised with one test. Perhaps there should be more focus and understanding in identifying the dispositions of mental health.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, n.d., Mental State Examination, viewed 17 August 2016,<

blog four

I’ve distilled a particular branch of mental health, which is addiction, and analysed a mental health service designed for it. Australian drug expert Dr Alex Wodak and author “Breaking the Ice” Matt Noffs have proposed last month for Australia’s first ice-smoking supervised rooms. Currently there has been no affirmations whether the Government nor Police have given support. The service is resolving for a “politics and crisis management” that is evident in current epoch (Park 2016). Rather than complying for prohibition as a rational solution for those with a mental addiction, it is suggested to attack the problem taking a step back from an objective stance. Rather than ceasing numbers, perhaps the approach should be understanding the user itself and the factors required for a clean rehabilitation. Thus, Wodak and Noffs have proposed that equipment will be provided to encourage safe with the supervision of professional staff and “air ventilation will be supplied to purify the air of toxic chemicals inhaled in a confined space” (Park 2016). These methods are reminiscent of the “supervised injection rooms in Europe” (Park 2016) which seems to be prevalent in reducing the fatalities of heroin use in Germany. Though, there is one medically supervised injection site in Kings Cross. (

The centre is designed with bright white light so it is easier to locate veins whereas in most public spaces, blue lights are used to discourage users. The booths are created for up to two people, with walls to allude privacy yet the ambience of the room follows medical protocols. The staff at Uniting are designed to support, educate and suggest options with heroin addiction. They are also medically certified to supervise users at all times. However, it does not mean they condone drug use. The intentions are more deep rooted. They are “recognising that drug dependence is chronic, with relapse being an in-built part of this, so our focus is on harm reduction.” (Uniting 2016).

United, 2016, ‘Join Our Team’, viewed 23 August 2016 <;

Park. A, 2016, ‘Drug experts plan Australia’s first ice smoking room despite Government opposition’, ABC, viewed 23 August 2016 <;

Uniting, 2016, Inside The Injecting Centre, viewed 23 August 2016, <;

Uniting, 2016, Floor Plan, viwed 23 August 2016 <;