POST 10 – A Fair Go: Collectivisation could be key to social betterment

James Meland-Proctor

In class I spoke with Nathalie about her proposal for her issue, which focused on the pay gap and gender imbalances in workplaces. She explained that certain industries are either feminized or male dominated and that perhaps mentoring was a way to address that. Her proposal was for an app, which networked employers with people for mentorships in the hopes to focus on women more, but overall address gender issues in the workplace head on. While she maintained that women did not have their fair share of work opportunities, she was hesitant to make it a solely female focused issue – with her desire to help male teachers and nurses, whilst still providing a means to give women a leg up in important business roles. If there is one thing I have learnt from my colleague is that my design solution is not something that will end the issue all together, rather just lessen the effects of a small facet of that issue. It becomes difficult sometimes to remind yourself of this, but at least when focusing super close on a small part of the problem, it creates traction and leads the path for other innovations and ideas. This was especially evident through idea sharing in class as my own design proposal improved after my peers heard about it.

Earlier this year in September, Falzon (2016) wrote an article titled ‘Australia does not have a welfare problem’. Now that title aptly summarizes my positioning on social inequality in Australia, in that every year the gap between rich and poor Australians widens with certain groups of people being disproportionately affected by these changes. It has been overall a growing global phenomena that the level of opportunity in developing countries is not as good as it used to be. In Australia particularly, we see this through the privatization of tertiary education, the rise of graduates trained in areas where there are few jobs, and politicians attempting to welfare services and public money where they can. Honing in on social welfare as a response to addressing a very large problem, I have envisioned why it is there are problem surrounding welfare payments and why it is so easily overlooked by politicians and the public. There exists the perception that people who take welfare payments are somehow bludgers and scammers. The main reason I have deduced for why this is, is that because while corporate welfare for businesses, hourly rates, salaries and bonuses are all things that are determined by the market while welfare is taken from tax payer money. Understandably, people may disagree with how their taxes are spent, however a study showed that more money was spent giving money to corporate welfare over lifting people out of poverty.


In deducing the reasons for stigma surrounding welfare, I thought that what if there was a welfare system which instead of being government and tax payer funded that it was entrenched in the market. There exist hundreds of insurance, superannuation, and other companies which work to invest and make money for their stakeholders. By empowering young people on youth allowance or single mothers on Newstart to take an active participation in their financial situations, you are starting to remove the stigma and even dissolve the ideas around social welfare payments as being a cop out. The service would still act as a way for people to pool their resources, but like people on these payment systems they are not getting resources for free, they still have to work to make what they would ordinarily earn from a lower income job. While I am still figuring out how exactly the service would work.

  1. You would pay a fee, the business then trades with other business and earns a premium/profit for themselves and then doles out payments to people when you need them
  1. You join, you purchase a scheme that is right for you and your needs, the businesses harnesses the buying power of all members, and offers things like health insurance and other deals (OurGo, 2016)
  1. People come together to use their collective purchasing power to negotiate and unlock things that were inaccessible to them individually, such as housing or certain medical and health procedures.

In this sense, financially marginalized individuals are taking their economic futures into their own hands by participating in market systems together like an institution.



Falzon, J. 2016, Australia does not have a welfare problem. We have a poverty problem | John Falzon, the Guardian. viewed 27 September 2016, <;.

OurGo | Join a new campaign to help young Australians take back their economic future 2016, OurGo. viewed 27 September 2016, <;.






Lara Meacock



(Meacock, 2016)


PROBLEM STATEMENT: Enforcing gender is a large inhibitor to gender equality. Any kind of gender stereotype can create unrealistic expectations that inhibit individualism.


So what’s the problem?

Gender is a social construct and it does not have the same meaning as sex – although it is often seen that way. Gender can make people who don’t t into the stereotypical binary (male/female) genders feel as though they are sub-par. Gender stereotypes also de-normalises people who do not associate with either gender, or do not believe their sex represents their gender.

What’s the potential change?

Gender becomes optional, and stereotypes surrounding these genders become eradicated. It becomes widespread considered ‘normal’ for a person of any sex to assign to either gender or to none at all. Expectations around: how people of each gender “should act”, and the roles they partake in; diminish.


My preposition is for a service design. The main aspect of the design will be a support forum page, which will be supported by a launch event and promotional hash tag – #BEYOU.


The service is providing young adults (18-24yo) who may be struggling with their identity and understanding equality – particularly in terms of gender – with a website that inhabits a safe space for people to express their issues with gender, dispels myths around gender and shares stories of people nding and exploring their individualism.

The website will promote equality and show that gender shouldn’t de ne what people are able to do in life. All people should be treated the same – no matter what they identify with.

image 2.png

(Meacock, 2016)


There are many current forum websites for people struggling with mental health and being victims of assault – however the main issue I have with these websites is that they are poorly designed and uninviting. I want a beautiful simplistic design that explores liberating stories of people who have overcome the pressures of society by nding themselves – including inspirational pull quotes and photographs to outline that these issues are human – and they are totally real.

In addition to these inspiring stories there will be a forum section in which people can either post their stories or questions publicly or anonymously to the admins of the page and other people visiting the site. There will also be contacts to helplines and additional services for people who need further assistance.

Here are some examples of the kinds of people who I would want to feature on the website:

  • People who resonate with a gender, feel strongly about their gender, but

have not let society inhibit their actions and opportunities in life.

  • People who have felt as though their characteristics have undermined them

within their gender & have tackled with con dence issues to understand that not tting into a neat gender box of societal standards doesn’t in any way make them sub-par.

  • People who do not identify with a gender and how they found con dence through that
  • People who have found liberation through transcending genders



(Meacock, 2016)


In order to create awareness and hype for the site I wanted to organise a free event creating awareness and promoting the issue.

This event would be a conference style event with many speakers sharing their stories of how gender stereotypes have been hurdles in their lives and what they have done to overcome them. These speakers would be some of the people featured on the site in the “OUR STORIES” section. Each of the speakers would have an allocated time to speak about their experiences and then sit upon a board for a Q&A.

Some of the people I’d consider having as speakers are; Ruby Rose, Kate Bornstein, María José, Rain Dove, Dr Susan Carland, Clementine Ford, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Mr Tura Lewai, Sam Killermann, Roxanne Gay, Andi Zeisler & Ivan Coyote just to name a few!!

Here are some links to some of these speakers talking about related issues:









RUBY ROSE (This isn’t her speaking, but is a film she made exploring what it means to be gender fluid. She has also spoken in interviews about this topic but I thought this creative reflection was more expressive of her experience)


There would be several take-aways from the event to promote the hash tag and create awareness for the website. This would include stickers, t-shirts, badges and a yer with information and excerpts on speakers. There would also be other promotional effects such as a snapchat lter, photobooth, instagram page and other social media outlets.

image 7.png

(Meacock, 2016)


Meacock, L. 2016,  #BEYOU, Preposal,  University of Technology Sydney.

Post 10: Constructive Idea Discussion

By Basilia Dulawan

Reflection + Summary

Sharing my draft proposal with a few peers as well as Jacquie was a really beneficial exercise as it challenged me to think about how I would actually approach the design proposition, what parameters I needed to include, and shown what needed to be stronger in my proposition.

Initially the generative system I proposed was going to rely on data generated from Twitter, catching tweets that used the phrases “He is a…” or “She is a…”, but the problem that Jacquie highlighted was that it was too generic and the responses can be taken out of context. Jacquie suggested that I instead create a survey with a series of semi-specific questions that participants can answer. Additionally, to avoid skewing the results toward people who share similar mindsets to me, it was raised that I shouldn’t just post this on my Facebook page, but use Reddit and other survey forums to allow a greater variety of people to respond. This was a critical realisation for me as I wanted to be able to produce a variety of honest answers, but didn’t think beyond the way in which I know how to scrape the web for data, which is Twitter. The next challenge was writing semi-specific questions that didn’t probe at a certain response.

Another key moment that came out of this discussion was Jacquie suggesting that I speak to Chris Gaul and Thomas Ricciardiello about ways in which I could make the generative system update in real-time, and use processing to make sense of the data generated. Overall, through this discussion I was able to distill what it is I wanted to investigate further, and how my proposition would respond to this.


Project Title: RE-THINK. 

Practice Type: Generative System (with a side of Data Visualisation)

The Issue: Gender Inequality in Language

The Possible Change: Awareness about the gender inequalities that exist in society’s everyday language and the realisation that it is through language that we support the continuation of Gender Inequality. With this awareness, people can make a conscious change in the words they choose to use toward Women and Men. 

Design Action to support change:

A key moment in my research was listening to filmmaker and documentarian Lauren Greenfield emphasise the power of words, and how they shape the development of young girls. I was particularly inspired by her work for Always with the initial #LikeAGirl Campaign which she aimed to change the perception of the ‘Like A Girl’ phrase, from an insult to an empowering compliment that girl’s can own. Coupled with another key finding of the way in which we raise boys and girls that made me question –  Why is it that society raises boys to be brave, but girls to be cautious, and lady-like?

The common element throughout my research was, language. How women refer to other women, how women refer to men, how men refer to women, how men refer to other men and how we describe ourselves. For my design proposition I want to explore gendered language, and how it is used, if used, by 18-25yr olds on social media. I aim to create a generative system that aggregates data/user responses, then visually plots these words on screen. As the data grows over time, the visual produced will update in real time – increasing the size of words that are more commonly used, plotting new words and changing the colour of the text depending on what gender it was used to describe. What I am hoping to achieve is a visual that illustrates the gendered language we  as 18-25yr olds use, and with this, bring an awareness to the change that needs to occur in our everyday interactions simply by the language we choose to use. I hope that this generative system that can be visited online, makes everyone – specifically 18-25yr olds, more aware of the words that support the continuation of Gender Inequality and thus more conscious about the words they choose to use toward men and women.

Reflections & Proposals [ Post 10 ]



Since post eight my direction has slightly changed. Or my wording rather. After my session last week testing my idea on my class mate Camilla, we discovered the title ‘Stand Up For Women’ wasn’t really appropriate when the idea was to change define masculinity. She suggested that the idea of asking men to stand up for women suggests they don’t already and that they are the perpetrates which might deter them from even coming near my project. It was decided to change the project to ‘Stand Up For Men’. The move is to ask men to focus on themselves, their mental health and ‘manly’ expectations. Camilla made some really interesting points about Australian society. Camilla comes from Sweden and commented that the masculine expectations are very different there. She noticed how Australia is a young country and that they are heavily dependant on sport in their social atmosphere. Sports athletes have become heroes in Australian society. They have become role models for society. We agreed that I need to use them as endorsements to encourage others to be involved.

In post eight my concept was to ‘Stand up for women’ to change males behaviour in group mentalities and settings. To overcome the stigma that standing up for a women makes you a ‘WOM’*or ‘whipped’. My concept has grown and evolved to ‘Stand up for Masculinity’, a social media campaign which asks you to define masculinity and reconceptualise it. It gets to the root of ‘Stand up for Women’ and addresses it directly ‘so what is masculinity?’.

It has a feminist undertone without ever using the word. It makes men turn inward on them selves and think what kind of man they want to be. Females play an important role in that they can prove wrong common conceptions of masculinity.


Project Title

Stand Up For Masculinity

Practise Type

Generative Design

The Issue


The Possible change

Creating a new understanding and definition of ‘masculinity’ one which does not box males into gender stereotypes and hopefully leads to better treatment of them selves and subsequently women.

Design Action to support change

To create a social media campaign which utilises peoples opinions to shape a new understanding of masculinity which supports gender equality. Influence by the #itsokaytotalk campaign the aim is for ‘I think its masculine’ to become a hashtag  and building social media campaign.

The basic parameters for the generative design include:


A detailed flow chart will be developed to help me find the best process for people to become involved and share their opinions.


*  WOM – A slang acronym standing for ‘Women Over Men’ used when A boy prioritises his girlfriend over his mates.


Post 10


My chat with with my partner was very insightful and helpful. I found that they really liked my idea but thought that it needed a few touches to really make it much more effective. After explaining to them the concept behind the topic of prison rape, it was really good to see that they displayed a genuine interest in the idea. Prison rape is a topic that is often made fun of or is taken lightly. It is rarely taken seriously outside of context through mediums likes film, media and comedy. The ideas that my partner gave me involved improving my visual metaphor of dropped soap in terms of data visualisation and overall, making it more effective and relatable. Speaking to my tutor, I found that they also said the same thing and It was very insightful to hear what they thought. I thought it was a great idea to do a separate data visualisation for multiple institutions. Now that I have my solid idea, it is just a matter of creating it.


For my design intervention, I would like to propose a data visualisation about prison rape and the lack of support for victims. The name of this project will be called ‘Don’t Drop the Soap’.

The piece will be multiple data visualisations representing the amount of prison rapes that occur in different institutions. I would also like to compare institutions with other countries to compare and show that it is a worldwide problem.

The key idea behind my data visualisation is using soap as a visual metaphor. This is playing on the saying “Don’t drop the soap” which is a line that is used to mock the act of prison rape.  Each bar of soap will represent a percentage of the prisoners in each institution. Some of the bars of soaps will have dents, cracks and imperfections representing the percentage of rape victims within the society. Certain bars may be smaller or missing to represent the projected percentage that have no reached out or open up about being victims. The reason behind using such simple imagery is to show how little we think about this topic and or how it is often brushed off.

I would like to make this data visualisation as an interactive micro-site as this way I could say a lot with less. In this case, I feel like having the data speak for itself will provide a strong and thought provoking message. I would also like to increase awareness by having posters of a single bar of soap with a QR code. The imagery of the bar of soap is a strong metaphor that does not instantly deter away the viewer on the topic.

Ideally, I would like my audience to feel shocked about the numbers of victims that go unheard. I want to get them to think and question why there are not many support for prisoners and why it is instead made fun of.  By creating this sort of awareness, I hope to be able to bring out the beginnings of support for victims of prison rape.





For eight weeks now I have been researching and reading up on the topic of gender equality. As broad as this topic is, I have (only just) been able to (slightly) focus my efforts and grasp the areas that truly spark my interest such as the pay gap, child marriage and ultimately; women’s rights as human rights. Obviously these are enormous topics in themselves and my research barely scratched the surface but the results I found were shocking none the less. As the weeks rolled on and research propelled I continuously kept in mind that I really had to narrow these broad topics down to achievable solutions. To no avail was I able to land on one set problem until our studio tutorial in week six. As previously mentioned in posts eight and nine my research led to the discussion of how these gender equality topics (less pay, lack of emancipation and fewer rights) could be reflected in other ways. One such example was in the differing costs of gender specific items we use everyday, such as “razor cartridges and razors which cost more for women than men by an average of 11%.” (Hill, C. 2016)


From here my initial proposal was to create a generative system of design (that could also be an exhibition) within the supermarket to raise awareness of the up sell on products which are marketed towards a specific gender and as such they could alternatively be bought cheaper. This could be achieved through sale tags which are attached to the products, encouraging consumers to choose the product which is cheaper, regardless of its gender specificity. However I realised this particular angle involves a bit more of a mental shift in consumers to go from buying their pink razors they are o familiar with, to buying a gender specific “mens” razor just because it’s cheaper. Does a woman have to settle or change her standards because the market can’t provide sufficient products at the same rates for both sexes? This concept would not fairly communicate the issue I am viewing. My next concept was then to create an electronic billboard (and linked website) which tracks the purchase of gender specific products. This would highlight the price difference the person is paying as well as keep a tally of the days savings or spendings on gender specific products. I thought this concept would really highlight these differences to the audience. 


I was unfortunately away for week sevens tutorial and as such did not get the chance to speak to a peer in my tutorial but I was able to discuss my proposals briefly with a fellow vis com student and my tutor in class today (week eight.) We realised my ideas were almost too specific that they weren’t really solving anything. For example, focusing on money isn’t relative as different stores are always going to offer different prices for items. Along with this, collecting the data to find the “average” would be quite difficult. This feedback helped in shaping my current concept as I realised I had to focus on something achievable that also, obviously, relates to an emergent area.


Project Title // Blue is for boys ~ Pink is for girls. (TBC)

Practice Type // Data Driven Visualisation 

The Issue // Products which are gender specific may appear harmless and increase optimism and ease when shopping but they also perpetuate the divide between men and women. This divide is one which is more then patterns, colours and shapes but also price. Researching into the divide of the market led me to further investigate how this can be extended to all aspects of life. Whilst focusing on the placement of products, their differences in price and conventional designs, I have also discovered how these stark contrasts appear in my everyday life. Gender stereotypes are all around us and whether we or not we are aware of them, they do effect our perception of people.

The Possible Change // Awareness of our implicit bias is paramount in effecting change towards gender inequality and stereotypes. Understanding the psyche and how certain ways society tell genders to behave and act as well as how well they may perform can affect your judgment calls and belief both in yourself and others. This could be detrimental to a majority of people who are unaware of such underlying ideals. An example includes the employment process of of orchestras. “As late as 1970, the top five orchestras in the U.S. had fewer than 5% women but by 1997 they were up to 25%” (Rice, C. 2013) A major change involved the use of blind auditions with a screen to conceal the identity of the candidate from the jury. Possible change could also be highlighted by showing the history of how stereotypes once were and have since changed. For example “The generally accepted rule was pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” (Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department)

The Design Action to support change // I intend to support this change through the design of a document which focus on encapsulating gender stereotypes. This book would not only document what society expects from either gender but also how those implicit expectations and bias impact the individuals. I see this document as a small square book (plus a great opportunity to revisit old briefs and improve upon) which contrasts girls versus boys and the gender stereotype of each being challenged. Colour would be its prime communicator along with photographs, to contrast how girls and boys are constantly divided within society and how this division of the sexes have negative consequences in so many different aspects of life. The stark contrast of imagery would be elevated with accompanying statics that shock the reader.


Hill, C. 2016, 6 times it’s more expensive to be a woman, Market Watch, viewed September 25th <>

Rice, C. 2013, How blind auditions help orchestras to eliminate gender bias, The Guardian, viewed September 25th <>

Boulton, T. 2014, The Surprisingly recent time period, TodayIFoundOut, viewed September 25th <>


Reflection on draft proposal feedback

In my feedback session with my colleague I proposed my draft with a number of options for the final outcome, with different options all based on the general concept of providing information and awareness of the cause and acting as a support organisation. We evaluated the different outcomes and decided that it needed to focus on the positive value of the matter, that paternity leave is a great experience for fathers, and promote this fact in an easy going and light hearted way. Therefore, the ‘Daddy Showers’ showed to be the best option, as it seemed to give an opportunity to reach out to the audience in a way that was high impact, low cost and could communicate the values we wanted to push in the target audience.

The question my colleague raised was how to actually attract your audience to attend these events. This made me realise that the detail of how this event is executed is very important, the employees won’t necessarily turn up just because their employers are sponsoring it. We discussed a few different scenarios where attractions like food and beverage or entertainment could gain attendance. We imagined themes like barbecue and beers or sporting events most effective as attractions, despite these all being representative of traditional gender stereotypes.


Proposal – Daddy Showers

In Australia today, fathers with new born babies gets no entitlement specific leave from the government after the birth of their baby. Long lasting and sustainable change to law is a difficult and slow process, for this reason the most efficient and effective stakeholder to target to effect change in this case is the employers. They have both the most to gain from a change in behaviour and the most effect on the attitudes of their employees. It’s apparent that the number one reason for men not taking this type of leave is fear of reprisal from their employer. If this culture can be changed, the rate of male parental leave will increase drastically, and a more gender equal society will follow.

The idea of Daddy Showering is to bring attention to upcoming or existing fathers, and the importance of their role as a care taker in their child’s early life. The ‘Daddy Shower’ will identify as a service design and will be working in collaboration together with progressive employers who would like to achieve gender equity in their work place. Sponsored by volunteering companies and employers, the service organises hosted events where information about the issue and the benefits of taking paternity leave is communicated to the public.

The key challenge with this event is to remove the typically feminine image of paternity leave and indeed of the role of caring for children in the early stages of their lives. To do this it is crucial that the event maintains a typically masculine tone while also communicating important issues and breaking down stereotypes. An interesting case study of how this could be delivered is the extremely successful Movember Campaign, which has used the typically masculine concept of growing a moustache to normalise discussion of men’s health issues. Ideally the tone, as well as the look and feel of this event would mirror this and allow men to discuss and approach these issues in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

By Camilla Ahlström

Post 10 – Reflecting and Re-Proposing

Lily Partridge

Reflection from my Previous Proposal

These past few weeks have felt like a whirlwind. I’d finally grasped the hang of ‘research, map, blog, repeat’, but then suddenly breaking my process out of it’s spiralling trance with a design proposal: I was really unprepared.

The draft proposal that I explored with my peer group explored the idea of negative tone and language used to address the opposite sex in social media. I was really stuck for how to best explore this idea, as I didn’t want to place blame on either sex. I did, however want to focus on males as the victims of what many people feel to be victimless, anti-man rants on social media that generalise and shun men for mentalities and actions that are only internalised by a minority.

Refining this concept with my two group members, they were really helpful in nutting out potential directions for how I could present this information as a proposal. The strongest idea was a a campaign-style video inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets’ that would present people form both genders, but mostly males, reading out tweets that generalised them as a male or female and gauging their response. I liked this idea because it put a face and an emotion to the faceless void of social media and would encourage people to think about how they discuss gender on an open platform. Chris, my tutor, wasn’t as convinced, suggesting that whilst the direction with language and tone was interesting, this probably wasn’t the most effective outcome. I definitely agree, so it was back to the drawing board for my proposal idea.

During the week I did the ‘Asking Why’ methodology to better get to the heart of my problem and to crack me out of a cycle of blinkered ideas. Below (source A) is this method. I came to realise that a much deeper issue that has lead to contemporary gender inequality across various areas is that in the process of building empowered women, men have taken a hit. As a result of generalisations they are attacked for trying to adhere to traditional masculinity paradigms that are often labelled as patronising and sexist towards women, yet on the other hand are also criticised for trying to rationally stand up for their rights in areas such as parental custody, paternity care, and acceptance in female-oriented industries. This process has greatly shaped the revision of my proposal, as you can see below.

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 10.38.20 AM.png
Source A: Refining down the issue to the core using the WHY methodology.

My Proposal Outline

‘Social’ – An online education platform for social, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Service Design – Website

The Issue:
Our society has reached an unusual impasse in relation to the gender equality movement, the result of a juxtaposition of standards: women are praised for embracing their flaws, but simultaneously males are criticised for fighting for rights and acceptance; gender stereotypes are being challenged, but both sexes are attacked for not adhering to socially acceptable gender labels; we want to reach a place of equal and mutually beneficial access to rights, yet are struggling to fully extend the hand in invitation. Understanding the equality revolution involves a mentality that, as adults, is difficult to adopt due to social stigma and tradition. Shifting a worldview takes generations, however with an issue as complex and subjective as Feminism, it is almost impossible that with so many perspectives we will ever reach a united and informed outcome. We need to break the impasse at the root by ensuring that everyone receives the same social education surrounding behaviour, rights and emotional and mental health, however currently no outlet exists to do so.

The Possible Change:
I anticipate that with this service we can begin to build a strong societal mentality that is unified around a contemporary understanding of gender equality, redefining gender roles and social behaviours. By educating children and institutionalising these themes to instil a feminist mentality that supports a healthy social and mental wellbeing that can be monitored and standardised, we can ensure a faster passage to creating meaningful and beneficial social change as they grow and impact society.

The Design Action to Support Change:
I propose an online platform created by mental health professionals, such as educators, counsellors, psychologists, scientists, etc., that foregrounds social skills as part of the education curriculum. The platform would be integrated into school curriculums as well as be accessible at home for parents. As a website, the design has the potential to be engaging and fun for children to use whilst targeting specific themes such as communication, respect, understanding gender, leadership, conflict resolution, etc. Further, as a web tool, it is easily accessible in most schools and homes, and by involving and assigning activities from the service to the students as tasks, the value that is placed on a social education becomes higher.

This platform can become more advanced as it is catered to older year groups, incorporating story sharing, online counselling, chatrooms, and other services so that this becomes a key tool in subliminally establishing a more healthy attitude towards gender equality and it’s impact upon the individuals and broader community.    

Post 10: Reflection and Proposition

By Patricia Roxas


I found that devising a design proposition was probably the most challenging task I had to do for this assignment. It required a lot of conceptual thinking which is one of my weakest area. In Week 8, I hadn’t finalised a draft proposition so I explained a few of the solutions I have mentioned in Post 8 to a peer and my tutor. Such solutions include the revealing of salaries or stories of women who have experienced unequal pay. The feedback I got from my peer and tutor was mostly critical. For example, we discussed how sharing salaries may not be ideal as it can be perceived as being too invasive. It does not really take into the account the target audience as many people aged between 18-24 would still be in university or working in part-time jobs. Thus, informing them about their possible salary in the future through numbers or even percentages would be a better alternative. According to my peer, the online platform of women sharing personal stories of unequal pay was an interesting idea but wasn’t strong enough. She made an interesting point that the youth will not read a huge chunk of text so it’s best to keep things clear, simple yet engaging. This is something which I will need to certainly consider when developing my final proposition.

Draft proposition:

Project Title: TBC

Practice type:
Service Design

The issue:
The issue is that there is a lack of awareness of the gender pay among the youth because they are not affected by it or have never experienced it.

The possible change:
Awareness about the gender pay differences between men and women in various industries that exists today. As well as, a more informed understanding of the pay gap among the youth.

The design action to support change:
I propose a service design in the form of an interactive touch screen platform to be situated near train stations and universities in Australia. I have chosen this form of service design rather than a website as it will be more engaging for the user as well as a passer-by.  Through the use of statistics from the WGEA 2016 Insights report, the service design will allow users to discover the salaries and pay gap of their desired industry. In addition to this, objects commonly used by the youth (e.g. cars, plane ticket, coffee, clothing, shoes) will be used to further translate the data into a more meaningful and relatable manner. They will be used to compare the length of time a woman and a man will have to work  in order to afford a certain object based on the pay gap of a particular industry. This addresses the issue that I have stated above as it demonstrates to the youth, particularly women about how they can become affected by the pay gap in terms of working harder to purchase products which is certainly not ok. Both men and women deserve equal pay for equal work.

In order for this service design to be effective and durable, the statistics/data could be updated continuously so that users can interact with it again and check whether the data that was presented to them previously has changed. The changes in data can elicit various responses such as sense of urgency, discomfort, relief or motivation.

Post 10: A Proposition


Working together in a small group and providing each other with feedback, fresh perspectives and further ideas was, as always, incredibly helpful. I didn’t leave the lesson with a refined design outcome, or even a refined problem statement, however I did leave with a mind ticking full of ideas. It was clear from my inability to properly articulate my problem statement and possible design outcomes to my group that my idea needed to be further developed and refined. My first step in doing so was to review all of the research I had done over the semester and use this as a basis for redefining my problem statement and allowing me to narrow the focus of my potential design outcome.

The design outcome idea that received the greatest response was that of a data-scraping tool which collects Twitter data regarding relevant issues to do with feminism, femininity, and the sexualisation of the female body; for example, a collation of data on “thigh gap” mentions compared with “pay gap” mentions. Both my peers and my tutor were highly amused by this play on language, and we spent some time brainstorming other possible language juxtapositions that could be collected. I soon realised, however, that it would be a struggle for me to find an ample amount of material. Not wanting to leave this possibility behind altogether, I realised that I could combine a few of my previously outlined possible design outcomes as a way of fleshing this idea out; the thigh gap/pay gap comparison was a starting point, and, into this, I integrated an exploration of the broader constructs of “femininity” and “masculinity”, how this impacts the way we perceive and relate to our own bodies and selves, and the role these constructs and resulting “everyday sexism” play in the oppression of women.

Project title: TBC

Practice type:

Generative design based off data and opinion collection, integrating data visualisations as content

The issue:

The culturally and historically constructed concept of “femininity” is limiting, and detrimental to all attempts towards gender equality. It is also detrimental to young women’s perceptions of themselves, thus their mental health, as well as to interactions between women and men. Femininity and masculinity as cultural constructs are a form of bodily control and a maintenance of patriarchal power, reinforcing gender stereotypes and maintaining the oppression of women. Women aged 18-24 are vulnerable as they begin to navigate and develop their identity within the “real world” and need to be provided with platforms which encourage empowerment and self-acceptance, and challenge inhibitive social constructs and resounding societal expectations and norms.

The possible change:

The proposed design intervention will specifically focus on women aged 18-24 in Australia, existing to redefine the constructs of “femininity” and “masculinity” and tackle the issues of gender stereotyping and bodily objectification. The design will aim to foster a sense of communal empowerment and encourage self-acceptance, and provide an impetus for discussion between young women. Through a communal movement which redefines “femininity” and “masculinity” and allows for the involvement, contributions and collaborations of many, the issues of socially constructed oppression mechanisms will be addressed and explored in an optimistic and supportive way.

The design action to support change:

Through data scraping social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram, I have identified key issues that concern 18-24 year old women in regards to self-empowerment, the sexualisation and objectification of the female body, and the impacts of the social constructs of “femininity” and “masculinity”. I intend to break down these issues and provide a service to young women in the form of a zine which encourages self-empowerment, explores themes of gender and self-love, and deconstructs societal expectations, norms and taboos in a positive way. The development of a zine is appealing, affordable, and has the potential for collaboration and expansion in the future as word-of-mouth and personal experiences give the zine a voice within its context. While this design operates on a small scale, it also operates on a very personal level, which arguably has the potential for a higher impact on its audience. The zine could potentially include literature, art, stories, data visualisations, and information drawn from data, as a way of empowering and redefining “femininity” and exploring the notion and effects of the patriarchal worldview.

This design action has the potential for exploring key issues relevant to feminism in our modern discourse, as well as providing a platform for various forms of discussion regarding the historical background, social contexts and resounding impact of “femininity” and “masculinity” as patriarchal constructs. It could explore the way in which our expectations of “femininity” impact the way we view women’s bodies and the way women view and relate to their own bodies, as well as having the potential for exploring “everyday sexism” and the subconscious objectification of women’s bodies that occurs in our society. I intend to collate relevant data from Twitter and Instagram as a basis for these explorations within the zine, as well as calling for submissions from people who feel that the zine’s focus is relevant to their own life experiences.

Madeleine Lumley Prince

POST 10: Reflection and proposition


The peer review provided me with a number of insights and ideas that could further progress my proposition, enabling me to improve on various elements of my design. My partner informed me that design proposition was succinct and responded well to the issues surrounding sexism within contemporary Australian society, however did mention a few areas that she found problematic. Through the honest and constructive criticism I was able to see these issues for myself and find resolutions that would further my overall proposed design. When discussing my proposal to my group they warned me about the time involved in surveying and gaining primary information. I hadn’t thought about the multiple factors that are involved in relying on the public, in order to create my design. We then proceeded to discuss alternative ways that I could convey the same message, steering towards a more data driven approach. So I decided to focus on an area that I can gain a large amount of data without having to rely on the public. This then led me to the adult film industry, as the negative language that pervades this area of film has always outraged me. “Among women increased past pornography consumption was not found to be associated with any of the sexist attitudes investigated. Among men increased past pornography consumption was initially found to be associated with more negative attitudes toward women including more hostility, negative prejudices, and stereotypes.” (G. Martin & N. Malamuth, 2013) Utilising pornography as a driver in communicating the overarching message, my design will become much more unique and compelling. By scraping specifically degrading search words on the online platform, Pornhub, I will collate my findings into an extravagant data visualisation. The design will highlight the ways in which adult films oppress and demote women, and innately illustrate how these films directly relate to issue that surround real life sexism. After contemplation and reflection my colleague agreed that by exploring the issue of language through the pornography industry I would be able to coherently highlight the issue at large. Identifying that ways in which sexist language can be problematic, whilst also recognising how it can escalate to sexual harassment. Overall, the pair review helped me strengthen my proposition, in order to bring clarity and further meaning to my concept and design.



Project title: Fuelling The Fire

Practice type: Data visualisation

The issue: Gender-based language & sexism in the adult film industry

The possible change: Raising awareness about the ways in which language can effect and oppress genders

The design action to support change: Analysing explicit searches and film titles to uncover the way in which pornography glorifies and celebrates the oppression of women


A considerable amount of men and women in contemporary Australian society don’t take gender-based language seriously. By allowing sexist language to circulate it correspondingly decriminalises sexist behaviour. Ultimately, heightening cases of sexual harassment and violence within contemporary Australian society, especially within the younger demographic. My aim is to make the issue of sexism and gender equality real to the men and women who can’t seem to see it for themselves. By documenting actual content that people actually watch and ‘get off’ on I feel that this will open the eyes of the ignorant.

Through the form of language I aim to uncover the ways in which real life situations plague adult films, highlighting the sexualisation of abuse and oppression within this industry. Language has the power to promote or demote and in this case pornography centralises itself around the degradation of women. By utilizing such a powerful and controversial platform my design ultimately comments on sexism within contemporary society and how it is all paraded as a ‘joke’. I aim to subvert this issue of sexism through a playful and light-hearted design, underlining the severity of the issue. The data visualisation of searches on popular pornography site, Pornhub, conveys a serious message regarding the oppression of women. Ultimately, raising awareness of the issues that surrounds gender-based language and it’s detrimental effects. This design aims to establish the prevalence of gendered language in contemporary society, whilst also visually communicating what is deemed unacceptable and acceptable. Due to the blurred lines that pervade this issue, the service design will naturally evoke a controversial outcome. By presenting this information through a data visualization the design scenario will uncover shocking results, encouraging controversy and outrage.

Data collected from Pronhub: Adult film titles containing negative sexist attitudes


Data collected from Pornhub: Search words that are directly related to sexual harassment 

Just observing the above data I am able to provoke a sense of unease and disgust, without explicitly presenting the visual content. This outcome is exactly what I aim to achieve through my informative and confronting data visualisations, in order to outline sexism within contemporary Australian society. By utilising such a large platform to communicate a very serious issue I feel like the audience will gain a better understanding of the consequences that sexism and misogynistic language have on greater society.

I intend to design a vibrant booklet titled ‘Fuelling The Fire’ that sheds light on Sexism within Contemporary Australian Society, utilising Pornhub as a driving force for the design. The booklet will contain informative data visualisations that all coincide with one another. These visualisations will explore the way that adult films directly influence sexist attitudes amongst a younger demographic. The first visualisations will focus on search words that are directly related to sexual harassment, while the second will look further into the titles of the content under these search words. Providing an alternative and compelling booklet that will inform and awaken Australian society on the severity of sexist and misogynistic language. 



Written by Zara Hartwig




Gert Martin Hald, Neil N. Malamuth, Theis Lange.Pornography and Sexist Attitudes Among Heterosexuals.Journal of Communication, 2013; 63 (4): 638

Post 10: Reflection and Proposition, ‘We Are STEM’

By Natalie Borghi 

It’s been an interesting semester so far, in which I have a learned a lot about the broad scope of gender equality, especially within the Australian workplace. I’ve arrived at a point where I’m relatively content with my proposition, however as we are dealing with extremely large and complex issues, I’m still quite overwhelmed and confused with all the information.

Recap of First Proposition

Last tutorial, I had one-on-one feedback with another student, Jamie, and Simone, my tutor. I had presented my original idea, which was a “mentor-like” app, allowing young females (18-24 year olds) to ask career related questions through an app and get replies from a senior in that field. Having the reassurance from a higher figure could encourage young females to enter a field they’re interested in, especially if they were originally unsure about it. This idea time to tackle the barrier of gender stereotypes which may affect female’s choices of entering a certain field.

I must admit I was quite confident with this idea at the time, however through the useful feedback session, I started to see the many flaws in my proposition.


The main issue was the claim of gender stereotypes. As opposed to the gender pay gap, it’s difficult to find clear data which proves they still exist within the workplace. Also, focusing on the entire Australian workplace is way too broad. It was suggested that I narrow down my focus to one field to allow for more specific research. As mentoring already exists as an effective solution for women in the work field, it was suggested I look into how mentoring programs work now, and identify how they could be improved. I could then apply this to my design. Then it was also pointed out that apps are very inclusive to the specific audience. It’s not very effective for creating awareness, and after only a few uses, the app usually just sits on someone’s phone, untouched.

Development from Feedback

This was a lot of feedback to take in, although it definitely helped me progress further with my concept. I decided to put gender stereotypes aside and move back to the pay gap, as I had spent so much time researching it earlier. However “the pay gap” on its own was still way too broad, so as suggested I narrowed down my focus to a specific work field: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). I chose STEM as it has the fourth highest pay gap in Australia (WGEA, 2016).

Another interesting fact was that 16% of qualified STEM people are female (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2016). STEM skills are becoming more and more necessary within most careers, so boosting the number of females within the field would be more beneficial for adding diversity to the field, as well as boosting their own employability.

I also decided, since mentoring already exists, I wanted to explore alternate options. I wanted to encourage young females to join the STEM field, plus create public awareness about the lack of females within the field. Gender stereotypes and the pay gap are still underlying factors of this design solution, however decided not to make them the main focuses.

This feedback and further research has helped shape my second proposition.


Visual explanation of We Are STEM’s exhibition

Title: We Are STEM

Practice: Generative + Participatory Design

Issue: With STEM skills becoming more necessary within most careers, it’s surprising to note the significant lack of women within the field. As STEM makes up a large proportion of the Australian workplace, the overall pay gap between men and women is also affected; STEM has the fourth largest pay gap within Australia. Over time women’s employment opportunities have notably improved, however as evident through the pay gap, there is still room for further improvement.

Despite being less relevant within today’s society, research into first hand experiences and secondary sources suggest that gender stereotypes are still somewhat prominent in our cultural view of STEM jobs, in particular engineering.

Possible Change: Young females feeling encouraged to join the STEM field, and being enlightened about the possible job options and the impact they could make within society; potentially they hadn’t considered it before, they’re unsure of their career path, or they feel conflicted about heading into the field.

The public becoming educated about the lack of females in the field, learning about job positions within the field, and understanding the acceptability of women working in a range of “typically male” jobs.

Design Action to Support Change: We Are STEM is a proposed interactive and generative exhibition which reveals females who are currently within the STEM field, through images and text. The exhibition would include a large rectangular frame made of multiple wooden square blocks, inspired by the works of artist, Eric Nye. The front face of each block contains a photo of a female, dressed in casual clothes. The audience is invited to flip the blocks around to the back face, which reveals a statement by the woman pictured. For example,

“I’m studying civil engineering so I can help provide a better future for our buildings and railways.”

As the woman pictured is wearing casual clothes, the audience can be pleasantly surprised by the reveal of their career.

The female audience are also invited to complete statements similar to those in the installation. For example,

“I’m studying___________ because I want to_________________.”

Then provide their first name and age. These will be written on postcards, which can be collated and displayed for the audience to view.

Additionally, to extend the exposure to not just the exhibition attendees, social media promotions can be utilised. For example, an We Are STEM frame for people to pose with and post on social media.


WGEA, 2016. Gender Pay Gap Statistics, August 2016, Australia, viewed 21 September 2016, <;

Office of the Chief Scientist, 2016. Australia’s STEM Workforce: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Australian Government, Australia, viewed 19 September 2016, <;



Post 10: We are Invisible


The process of speaking to my peer was really helpful I think because it gave me a bouncing board for my idea especially considering that my colleague was not from the gender equality group but from mental health. That being said, she a lot of insightful things to say regarding the lack of representation of women in the media we consume. She mentioned being conflicted over the topic of rape being used as a plot device but did say that the sheer number of cases is problematic. When I was able to speak to my tutor, I was met with great enthusiasm and led me to want to make additions to my plan for my data visualisation. I feel like I gained more clarity as to what I was doing as though I got approval for my thematic segregations for each poster (separated by forms of media) as well as encouragement to looking at what one sees from afar versus up close when looking at my posters – insinuating that we see these injustices everyday but they’re so pervasive that we don’t know how damaging they are unless we look up close which is when we truly see the disparity in the equality of the genders. Now it is just a matter of making it.


For my design intervention I propose a data visualisation called ‘We are Invisible’ elucidating the lack of representation of women in the media we consume (television, film and video games specifically). Though I am aware that we are meant to keep our projects within a local context I feel as though I can look at American media as well because Australian society is so saturated with it.

The overall piece will be comprised of three posters under the themes of television, film and video games; three forms of media that the large majority of 18-24 year olds interact with on a daily basis.

I wanted to highlight elements such as films that fail the Bechtel Test in the last five years or video games that feature a male protagonist vs. female in the same amount of time as well as ratios of casts in television as these are what interest me. Regarding film, I wanted to highlight issues such as the amount of male award winners vs. female award winners and how often rape and the abuse of women is used as a plot device in film (such as suicide squad), television (e.g. Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) and video games (Tomb Raider). With video games I wanted to highlight issues such as the sheer amount of games featuring a damsel in distress or using women as a reward for the player. I feel as though not everyone is truly aware of how male dominated our media is and that my visualisation can potentially poetically illustrate the huge disparity in representation of the sexes.

I intend to create a series of A2 posters in stark white that are hand embossed to highlight the invisibility of these women would make for a compelling piece. From afar, one sees an abstract collection of shapes and up close would you gain an understanding of what the work is actually about.

Ideally, I would like my audience to be shocked, disgusted, and maybe even a little bit ashamed. I would like it to be thought provoking and inspire a desire for change and in turn, invoke action. I am aware that creating awareness goes only to a certain extent but it is only the beginning.


POST 10: Reflection and Proposition

The process of introducing and explaining my initial proposition to the peers was really helpful for me to develop further on my designing direction. As not having a very detailed ideas about the purpose and functionality of my design, I was able to get a clearer idea from classmates and tutors. I started to re-consider the overall process of the design after the discussion this week.

My draft proposition was basically to create an mobile application for those young ladies who were in a relationship and doubting if they were suffering from violent abusing.

Before this week, my proposition concept was very vague and lacking of logic. The main reason was that I didn’t tend to take the target audience into consideration.
There are a few feedback that I got from the peers. The first advice was in terms of the specialty of the interface design of the mobile app, as mobile application was a very normal product to be seen, it was very important to consider how to make the design stands out. The conclusion would be considering from the aspect of emotional relation and the extinct functionality. The second and the also the extra element that I was told should be considered was to visual the design as a systematic campaign, e.g. The marketing promotion, etc to really makes the design go alive. Thirdly, as the final purpose of my design was to provide corresponding solutions for the users, it was important to add some functional buttons on the interface to direct the users to immediate help.

Project Title: Step Out – An APP to help ending Intimate Partner Violence(EIPV)

Project Type: Service Design
The Issue: There are a large amount of young ladies in relationships who are unsure if they are suffering from intimate partner violence as some of them don’t know that being verbally and emotionally abused is as bad as being physically attacked. Plus once they find out this issue in their relationships, they would be helpless and be lost in who they should ask help from.

The Possible Change: To raise young ladies’ awareness of intimate partner violence as well as finding solutions for for those women who are suffering the issue.

My proposition is a supportive tool for those young ladies who are asking for help.

Basically, my idea is an APP that creates multiple kinds of quiz correspondingly for the users in various scenarios to test out what exactly situation they are in and then to show them what they can do.
As for better protecting users’ privacy, the information showing on the APP would all be anonymous. It begins with the choice of three categories of actions. I specify each them as Verbal actions, Emotional actions and physical actions. The various pages linked directly to each category to demonstrate some of the words, feelings and actions. The next page is a quiz page which will be a list of 10-15 questions to test out which stage you are at. It then will show you the solutions at the very next page. For example, if the result is 15 – 20 points which means you are in a healthy solution, it will provide corresponding solutions; if the result is 25- 40 points which means you are in a stage where you should take some actions, it will provide corresponding solutions such as a list of contacting details of relationship consultant; if the result is 45- 60 points which means you are in a severe stage, it will still provide users the corresponding solutions but with extra functional buttons such as emergency call, etc.
The visual style of the APP design is going to be female friendly. To reduce the negative side of the issue, I want to convey the positivity via the APP. In order to encourage the users to be brave, the bold and vivid colours scheme would be applied in the interface design. I want ladies to stand out and speak up instead of being passive about what they are suffering.

3 Posters: Through my first poster, I would like to demonstrate the users what intimate partner violence is by showing them the visual data of the definition as well as the influence of it. The second poster will be showing the process of my research and how it leads to my proposition concept. The third poster will be showing what us as well as the victims to do to help ending the issue. The overall visual style will be matching the APP.

Post 10: ‘Sometimes all your toys cant fit into the one toy box.’

Sometimes all your toys can’t fit into the one toy box.

That is the lesson my colleagues taught me through our group discussions last week. After attempting to articulate my problem statement out loud, it became increasingly apparent that I was still struggling to articulate the problem I intend to solve to myself. The structure of this subject has pushed me to generate numerous lines of inquiry into the gender equality debate- some which have come to a sort of insightful fruition, and others not. As a type A personality, this way of working does not agree with me. I like things that can be tucked into a tiny box, which can sit alongside other boxes on my mental bookshelf, ready to be referenced when required. What my colleagues hinted to me through course of our chat was that all of my ideas about Feminism and gender equality could not fit into one little box without the lid continually falling off…that the complexity of a social issue cannot be packaged how I’d like, despite my best efforts.

Consequently I have redefined my problem statement so that it focuses in on just one line of inquiry. My design solution will address the ambiguity surrounding the intentions/objectives and goals of current ‘New Wave’ Feminism. The emergence of social media, and the recent roll out of Feminist sentiment across mainstream media sources, has resulted in much wider public engagement with Feminist issues. People, particularly youth are using social media to express their personal interpretations of Feminism and how it influences their personal lives. Until our discussion I had viewed this trend as problematic- thinking that the individualistic nature of modern day Feminism contributed to the sense of disunity within the issue that some seem to feel discouraged by. However in reflection on my feedback, I now think that maybe this diversity of opinions and fluidity of interpretations might be what defines ‘New Wave Feminism’ from the kind of clear cut gender equality advocated by the Suffragettes and Second wave feminists. I now intend on developing a design solution that reflects and embraces the characteristics of current Feminism rather than try to replicate the definitive, unchanging objectives advocated by the feminists of the past.


Revised Proposal

Project title: A non-definitive, not binding, forever changing, modern day Feminist manifesto.

Practice type: Generative system and data visualisation

The issue: As defined above. The objectives of modern day (current) or ‘New Wave’ Feminism are not as clearly defined as those pushed for by the Suffragettes and Second Wave Feminists. In light of social media, the 24 hour news cycle and spread of Feminist sentiment amongst the wider population, the objectives of today’s Feminism are highly individualised, continually changing and fluid. Through my proposed design, I hope to encourage young people to embrace these characteristics as something unique to our time, and as a positive alternative to the exclusive, un-changing definitive objectives of the Feminism of the past. I hope to encourage people to mould their own understanding of Feminism, rather than search for one definitive, ruling opinion as I have for much of semester (it is very difficult if not impossible to do).

The possible change: By enabling people to view other people’s perspectives and the commonalities and differences between them, the design could allow it’s users to better situate their own opinions within the issue. The design will possibly create a sense of community and inclusion which seems to be increasingly valued amongst the Feminist community at large as discussed in the following Washington Post article (

The design action to support change:

I plan on creating an online platform which gives live updates as to perceived goals of Feminism today. The platform (possible website, app format) will display a list of 5 goals of today’s Feminism, derived from Twitter entries using the hashtag #todaysfeminism. Participants are asked to define the goals of the Feminist movement today. The platform will then generate a list, based on the most common words used. The list will update every 10 minutes in order to show that the goals of Feminism in the modern world are continually changing and developing to reflect what is going on in the world. The goal lists will be time logged so that a user can go back and look at how the list has changed over time (days, week, months, hours). There will also be a capability to search the user’s own list against the database to find similar responses. The design is therefore a generative system but will be displayed as an interactive data visualisation similar to SelfieCity ( This example is great as it is able to communicate the bigger picture and info about selfie culture, whilst still allowing the user to access individual contributions to the project. My design is similar in that is shows the general consensus on the goals of Feminism whilst also allowing the user to browser individual entries.


Clement, S. McDonald, S. Sheinin, D. Thompson K, 2016, Betty Friedan to Beyonce: Today’s generation embraces feminism on its own terms, location unknown, Viewed 25th September 2016, <>

Manovich, Dr. L. Stefaner, M. 2014, SelfieCity, DigitalThoughtFacility, Location unknown, Viewed 22nd August 2016, <>

POST 10 Design Proposal: Enough is Enough

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 9.25.45 PM.png

The lecture material proved to be critical in developing my draft proposal, not only in the much needed clarification of task requirements but also the student examples of emergent design practices. The examples demonstrated a thoughtful and powerful usage of data collection and visualisation that delivered strong messages about their chosen issues.

Though my draft proposal still lacked planning and structure, I was able to get valuable feedback from someone unfamiliar with the issue of gender based violence. Since my partner was experienced in data visualisation we were able to generate examples of how data could be visualised in unique and engaging ways. He drew my attention to a pinterest board of different data visualisations that organised and illustrated the data in images that were both cohesive and coherent.

From these examples my partner suggested that I would need to be able make further specifications of the data to be used in my project. The design would also need to establish strong relationships between the data juxtapositions to draw attention to the lack of conviction for sexual assault offenders. Furthermore, typography could be used as an unorthodox means of visualising statistics compared to the conventional female symbol. I felt confident in my area of focus and that challenging the legal domain would be an engaging, unique way to challenge the current conversation of gender based violence.

Project Title: Enough is Enough

Practice type: Data Visualisation

The Issue: Gender Based Violence – Judicial sanction of Sexual Assault offenders

The Possible Change: A conversation that petitions for a royal commission/investigation into the legal handling of sexual assault cases – reform of processes and formalities, retrials of injustices, reallocation of judges

Design Action To Support Change: Sexual Assault has been an ongoing concern for the Australian community and rates of attacks have only continued to increase. Past attempts to counteract this issue has been targeted towards women to take preventative measures to avoid rape as if sexual assault is an inevitable burden of being a woman. This ideology inherently sexist but also unconducive as it takes away accountability of the offender as if being devoid of self control and holds the victim accountable for their assault. It is for this reason why media coverage and the conversation of the issue has been interrupted with constant attitudes of victim blaming and slut shaming. The offender, who statistically is highly likely to receive little to no conviction for their crimes, remains in the background noise of the conversation.

I want to reverse this position of the offender, and instead make their low conviction rates the focus of the conversation regarding sexual assault. I aim to create a data visualisation of this aspect by listing all the offenders (between 2010 – 2015) who have been spared the punishment of prison sentences and have thus been allowed the opportunity to recommit assault on another individual. I will repeat the name of the offender for every charge that has been dropped and/or sanctioned by the legal system to illustrate the cycle and repetition of injustice that results from unconvicted sex offenders. This is also to confront the notion that every assault has a different offender, where in reality, many attacks are carried out by the same individual especially if they have received no punishment for their prior crimes.

A key aspect of my project is to relate the lack of conviction to not only the mass frequency of sexual assault but also the even greater mass of unreported assaults. I want the user to realise that victims of assault are extremely hesitant of reporting their offenders because they are aware of the injustices that are highly likely to occur if their case goes to court. To achieve this, there will be a series of data visualisations, with an interactive element so that users can shift between different data sets. There will be intermediate data visualisations between visuals for unconvicted offenders and unreported assaults in order to create a sequence and an understanding of the status of gender based violence in the justice system.

Possible Structure: List of Unconvicted offenders, no. of offenders who go to trial, no. of reported assaults, no. of unreported assaults.

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 9.40.55 PM.png


During my data collection into the sex offender registry and news reports, I realised that many offenders remained anonymous as publications were under legal restriction protect the identity of the offender. I initially saw this ambiguity as an obstacle however, in order to illustrated the sheer frequency of offenders who escape conviction I will use the name John Doe to replace the anonymous offender, and colour to distinguish each offender. There will also be a legend present to help the viewer navigate the data and eventually draw the connection between low conviction rates and the mass assaults that go unreported.

This also led me to the idea of representing the unreported victims as Jane Doe as a unique means of illustrating the masses of women who don’t feel supported and protected by the legal system. The names of the offenders will be coded to move across the screen in endless lines to connote the cycle of sanction and reoffence but to also symbolise the ever frequent fear and devastation that victims experience post attack, especially if their offenders are not reprimanded for their crimes. I believe that using names and type will be a new engaging method of representing victims and offender, rather then rendering them into male/female infographics.

I contextualise my design response in an independent website created and managed by a community of victims, lawyers and activists who are all angered by the lack of justice that is constantly carried out by the judicial system. I hope that this design generates a much needed awareness and fuels the beginnings of a shift of conversation regarding sexual assault but also as a means of showing support for victims who have yet to receive it from the laws responsible to protect them.

3A: Possibilities mapping out key quotes, data statistics, web scraping around polemic areas of discussion

POST 9 Finding Clarity in the Brainstorm


What the face of TV justice. Photo via NBC
Hughes. A, 2016 Law & Order: SVU’ Is an Alternative Reality Where Assault Survivors Are Taken Seriously,, viewed 1/9/2016


Problem Statement: We live in a society that encourages male sexual aggression and female objectification resulting in a culture that allows the occurrence of gender based violence on a mass epidemic scale.

I believe that the lack of specification in my problem statement accounts for the incoherent, confusing nature of my brainstorm results. Were I to make a second attempt at the task, I would make sure to address more specific audiences and stakeholders in my problem statement. Nevertheless my group members were quite receptive and helped me to generate a series of ideas that ultimately led to a targeted area of my issue. My group members asked me specific questions about what I wanted to achieve with my design task e.g. what tone, target audience, resources was needed by my chosen issue. Though I didn’t have definite answers to all of the questions, the group helped me to map specific problems and aspects that I wanted to address with my project. The rapid, fluid, free flow nature of the exercise also helped me to record any potential ideas that came to mind, even if they lacked structure and planning.

 .jpgI had started with a vague direction of addressing how everyday language allows for attitudes that perpetuate male sexual aggression and female objectification. This problem had been recently addressed by the campaign “Violence against Women: Let’s stop it at the start” which resulted in a contemplation of a different direction. With this area of gender based violence I was able to develop design ideas involving data generation technology, heavily inspired by the lecture example of twitter bots.

The group discussed existing campaigns around the issue of gender based violence to help in inspiring more unique ideas that could challenge the current status of the issue. I mentioned my particular interest around the legal handling of sexual assault cases and its role in the issue of gender based violence. However since the justice system is such a complex, encompassing domain, I initially found it difficult to generate ideas that could allow for the confronting critique of judicial community. We eventually concluded that this subject focus would lend itself to data visualisation for its communicative versatility and its impact in yielding new, powerful shifts in conversations regarding social justice issues.

Not only was this a rather provocative route to address gender based violence, but it was also a rather unorthodox concept as there has yet to be a widespread critique of the judicial system in Australia’s understanding of the issue. I had some initial apprehension of whether to pursue this direction as the legal handling of sexual assault cases can be seen as a “post-attack” space and therefore such a focus would not contribute to the prevention of the attacks in the first place.

However after reflecting on the consequences of the judicial downplay of sexual assault, especially the low conviction rates I realised that it sends a subconscious but nevertheless powerful message about gender based assault: you can commit sexual assault if you’re willing to suffer a slap on the wrist. Whilst gender based violence is an obvious concern amongst any community, if the justice system is not willing to reprimand offenders, then this is just another mechanism for society to allow for institutionalized violence against women.


POST 9: Reflections

James Meland

The academicising of design into a thinking practice is something that is so new and living that when in class, we are adding to the rich practice even when we are discussing ideas casually and in all honesty not know where it is going. As much as design itself is a conversation, we as practitioners must be able to converse both visually and verbally and be able to act as a translator and mediator to solve problems beyond the need for a skin.


I found one of the excersices useful because we started the mind mapping with an investigative framework to track our process and extract useful information. In that sense we applied a logical basis and proper though flow to a facet of the issue that even without approaching with a proper framework would be a convoluded and wicked problem in itself. Though as helpful as one of the excercises was, I found the second to not be as useful. Whether it was a factor out of my control, or the type of excerise – I just found that we were stating things that I already knew. I suppose in retrospect I found it unhelpful because we were discussing things that already existed and they were supposed to be a way to come up with other kinds of solutions. I can see how that might be a useful approach, however listing things like online democracy and youth parliament – things that have already been proposed, I just wished that I had come up with it myself!

map 2.jpg


POST 8: Proposal

James Meland

Within class, I have a unique positioning within the context of issues because of the topic I chose being social inequality. So while social I am grouped within the feminism issue space, my scope very much parallels theirs and we mutually enrich each other’s perspectives. In comparison, I have focused in on certain profound political and social problems head on, while my peers have sided with a certain aspect of social inequality. However it becomes irrelevant after a while as we evolve our concepts within the set framework – I myself have jumped from focusing on financial disparity, then on political extremism and trying to pull strings at other social phenomena. With my Facebook news feed finding news and reflecting more and more of what I seek in everyday discourse, and the amount of conversations that I have which compare the utopic Scandinavian and the unjust US, we get closer to creating a form.


After extensive group discussions regarding the role of institutional bodies, groups of people and objects, I have come to forming five possibilities to launch my own agenda.

  • We need an app system to push and vote on certain agenda
  • We need to have generative design to promote online democracy to remove barriers in the way of expressing ones voice
  • We need an information visualization design for political donation and transparency
  • We need a generative system or even a game style design to let people be aware of welfare services they may need
  • We need an information visualisation which explores social welfare vs. corporate welfare

In this time I realize that it is all well and good to say that legislation and policy are the only way to cement freedoms and push for social betterment. However in an age where apps like UBER and Foodora threaten other conventional with obsolescence, in the same way we can push for certain ideologies through modern design and emerging practices to provoke response from other stakeholders.






Post 9: Visual Documentation of the Brainstorming Session


The image above shows a range of design responses which address the issue of my problem statement. It is generally categorised into service design, data visualisation, generative design. There are as well some very rough ideas that are being separated from the three main categories.

The fact that I was the only student in our group doing the issue of violence against women produced unique strengths and weakness to group environment.

It allowed me to gain fresh and unfamiliar ideas from the other students which were very different from my own approaches to the issue. For example, the idea of creating a system to record people using phrases that seem harmless but abusive via social media and display them in the screens in public pace was a very fresh ideas that I have never thought about. The group excercise broadened my concepts and thoughts.

However,as the rest of my group were quite unfamiliar with my issue and they didn’t have adequate understanding of my issue, so that I have to spend quite a lot time to explain my issue which took a big part of the excecising time. Also, I found it to be quite difficult for individual to come up with ideas that relevant to the issue. I think it was because we were getting used to our issue researching approach, it would be quite difficult to change my thinking mode to other modes.