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.



Reflection and proposition

Post 10

– By Ngoc Tram Nguyen-

My last draft proposition last week focused on the lack of access to Mental Healthcare service in Australia remote area as a result of a rising suicide rate in Tasmania. I proposed to create a messaging application that sends out text messages to improve young people’s moods base on a rating system they use every time they feel down.

After the feedback from tutors and classmates, there were a few insights that helped me move forward and shifted away from my initial draft: Continue reading “Reflection and proposition”

10: “Loops for Breakfast”, not Spirits.

(Davey 2016)

POST 10: Reflection and proposition 

By Rachel Mah


After receiving feedback from my 3 minute presentation in class, I received the following insights:


  • Create a proper probe system to address privacy issues of participants.

My peers and tutor were concerned about sensitive information being disseminated over the internet.

  • Use the main concept of  looped .gifs as an accompaniment to some sort of delivery system/blog/subscription to those needing help. This would make the proposal a combination of service design as well as info visualisation.

Although my initial target was to promote understanding of the issue, I gathered that my peers and tutor understood the concept as something that would benefit those in recovery.

  • Avoid the use of bottles as a visual as they may be a trigger


Taking all the feedback into consideration, I have revised the proposal which will be described below.


‘Loops for Breakfast’


Practice type:

Information Visualisation and Service Design in the form of an animated lock screen intervention to help recovering alcoholics stay positive.


The Issue:

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are due to many interconnected factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. Being addicted to alcohol can be a very isolating illness that commonly emerges with various other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

The yearning to consume alcohol can often be very difficult to manage as the mind finds many ways to rationalize drinking, even when the consequences are obvious. Because of a lack of true perception and denial, sufferers are often look past their behaviors and the repercussions from alcohol abuse. The presence of denial may also exacerbate alcohol-related problems with work, finances, and relationships (Help Guide 2016).

Whether an alcoholic chooses to go to rehab, rely on self-help programs, or attend therapy, support is crucial for recovery. It allows those on the path to recovery to find a source of encouragement, comfort as well as guidance so that they will not fall back into detrimental patterns during difficult times.


The Possible Change:

Through this project, I intend to ease helplessness and isolation brought on by the disease as well as feelings of confinement, in hopes of providing visual stimulus and positivity to give hope to those in recovery.


The Design Action to Support Change:

This proposal will be informed through findings from my research such as the article about a person’s recovery from anorexia, visual imagery of the helplessness felt by those suffering from mental health issues which I found to be a great narrative and educational tool for empathy.

An integral touch point I have identified are phone lock screens. Staring at the clock on a static lock screen can often trigger feelings of restlessness and anxiety which would not be helpful to those who are in recovery. This proposal seeks to pair the digital clock with imagery that could potentially promote calmness and positivity and to ease the struggle of making it through ‘yet another day’.

The findings, quotes and stories about recovery through probes and/or web scraping will be visually interpreted through daily .gifs that contains animated illustrations based on excerpts. These will depict the various experiences faced by alcoholics in a digital storytelling form as well as draw upon  highlights and raw extracts from the data collected. This extraction is vital in order to avoid cliched ‘inspirational quotes’ as well as to create a true reflection of the recovering community.

The illustrated .gifs will be accompanied with dialogues or captions that may include, as examples, sentences derived from personal recovery stories such as the following from people who have submitted tales of their journey onto the Alcoholics Anonymous Australia (2016) website :

“The rest is now history.”

“The best is yet to come.”

“I turned and faced the world and did the things that were needed.”

“Doing things that I do not want to do. Not doing things that I do want to do.”

These sentences will not include a direct mention of alcohol to avoid trigger words as well as to protect the privacy of app users.

Images will be channeled as phone lock screens via a background app with a fresh .gif appearing every morning. The visuals will take the form of simple, looped animations that have a meditative quality to them.

This proposal differs from other subscription-based support sites as well as text messaging systems due to the fact that it is autonomous and does not require any handling or file opening other than an initial installation and setup.



Alcoholics Anonymous Australia 2016, Personal Stories, viewed 27 September 2017, <;.

Davey, R. 2016, Hannes Alfvén, viewed 26 September 2017, <;.

Help Guide 2016, Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, viewed 27 September 2016, <;.

My Pivotal Moment

Blog Post 10 by Wiana Inthapanya

My research initially started off with a broad investigation into mental health but quickly transformed into a journey of personal realisation where I was able to resonate with the content I discovered each week.

My pivotal moment was through my interview with another student where I was able to discuss with her our personal experiences on mental health as university students and the underlying stress that affects us daily. We were both able to resonate with the daily struggles of committing to work, business and our social lives whilst still maintaining our full-time studies.

I therefore decided to focus on mental health in design Students. The issue arises where students are so involved with their work, personal life and relationships to meet social expectations that most people begin to experience anxiety. This affects their way of thinking and interferes with their creative process – this is also known as the Creative Block.


My proposition is to raise awareness of mental health in design students at UTS in an attempt to break the stigma and prevent the after math of creative block that could lead to anxiety and depression in students.

My aim is to create a game that focuses on creative productivity to simulate the mind and produce a positive upward mood. The app consist of mini creative games. For instance, one game involves moving around 4 geometric shapes of different sizes and colour to construct a given object. The idea of the game is to increase mental stimulation and creativity whilst also providing building blocks to establish a design foundation that could potentially enhance your way of thinking.


This is a rough prototype of the game app

Blog10- Design Proposition: Consume YOUR World

Through the discussion of the draft design proposition surrounding the design implementation of mental wellbeing, it became imperative that I should design an outcome that steers away from the generic motivational cards of mental wellbeing. Feedback received was the general consensus that the tangible action of writing down their thoughts was perceived to be extremely effective. The action is communicated to portray a sense of relief to the individual whom engages with the action. A thought suggested that individuals can engage with the thought provoking action whilst they were waiting for their coffee, to utilise their time effectively.

Although I contemplated this idea, individual thoughts are usually privatised and not to be displayed publically by strangers whilst in transit with their coffee. The act of physically throwing away the thought written on the coffee cup itself was captivating for the responders. However they challenged the users ability to possibly hold onto their thought, instead of disposing it as comparative reference at a later time.

Through the feedback received as well as further research embarked on for mindfulness and mental wellbeing to be optimised, it is imperative for an individual to not ignore or accept a situation but to acknowledge it in its entirety. The design proposition requires an powered reflective element within the action itself.

Design Proposition:

Consume YOUR world
Generative System Design

The issue
The emphasis of knowledge within the spectrum of mental wellbeing entrenched within individuals every day existence is not effectively communicated. Mental health is an individual’s ability to create a rich, full and meaningful life, while accepting the pain/ stress that life inevitably brings. Individuals are unaware that the human mind transitions between two worlds and processes between two filters. The first is a world of Direct Experience, a world lived through the five senses we can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. The other portal is the engagement within the World of Language – a construct of words and visualizations that transition through our mind, losing contact with the world of direct experience.

The change
To admit power to individuals perception by identifying their own position of mindfulness. Individuals have the opportunity to actively reflect and enrich their mentality in the immediacy of the present time.

The design action to support change
To create the opportunity of self-empowerment, the evocative package design of Chewing Gum will be the portal for individual’s instant reflection and possible thought altercation. Chewing gum an easy and cheap commodity, is accessible to all 18-25 year olds, usually consumed for social purposes, functional freshness and to cure hunger or boredom- usually resulting to the feeling of pleasure.

Individuals will be prompted by a statement on the chewing gum package that will instantly provoke individuals to reflect whether they are mindfully engaged at the specific point in time within the world of the language or within the direct world of experience.
– Visually represented through a colour-
coded key on the individual gum wrapper.
Individuals will be encouraged to keep the section of the colour wrapper that communicates their present mental engagement – hoping to become a collection of ephemeral and data for the individual to reflect on their mindful engagement through a course of time. The package design strives to be at the bare minim a platform for instant and a non-intrusive process of self-reflection and a possible stepping stone for further self analysis of their attitude and thoughts within the present time.

Blog9-Visual Documentation


Lack of Knowledge is imperative for the current construct of understanding the definition, elements and factors surrounding Mental Health. An insightful realisation gained is the ability to understand that the lack of knowledge upon the topic of discussion has almost become a construct of human choice. It is through controlled sequencing of branches including history, behaviours, environment and people pressures that a misconception of mental health has enthusiastically thrived within the twenty first century.


We further explored the possible controversies into the implication surrounding the lack of knowledge towards the issue of Mental Health. Again as we fleshed out contributing factors, the magnification of human control and the choice factor within it became extremely apparent. Each of the controversies presented two dimensions that constructs an element of lacking knowledge within mental health. It is shocking to be drawn out in such a manner.


The strengths to mapping out the needs verses wants in conjunction to Mental Health what initially is thought to be an issue that requires direct needs and desires for all stakeholders involved it is perplexed to map out. The success into a realisation that Mental Health Wants verses Needs are almost manufactured as a business enterprise that employs a sense of social hierarchy of power with those in relation to Mental Health issues. This collaborative map was a turning point towards the perception of perceiving mental wellbeing as something that needs to be possibly manipulated as a desirable want and not an economic need within individual lives.
The prosperity of establishing the reflective process of mental wellbeing into a commodity derived from this specific exploration of collaborative mapping.

Reflection and Proposition: The Mind Spectrum

Post 10

Over the past week, I have been brainstorming and honing in on my proposition in the practice area of Generative System / Participatory design. As stated in post 9, I wanted to visualise the ‘invisible’ nature of mental health issues and create a change in perspective or attitude in the people that are involved. My first discussion drew out a few problems, the main being:

  • How will this event attract people in the first place to participate? Their incentive?
  • What are you exactly achieving? Unclear – needs clarification and distilled down
  • What are the design restrictions and generative system rules applied?

After some visual and theoretical research on generative systems and design from last week, I have come up with an improved design proposition.

Project title: The Mind Spectrum

The Issue: The stigma attached to mental health issues discourages ‘open conversation’ and the action of seeking support. This project aims to provide new insight, a changed perception and attitude towards the negative stigma.

Practice type: Generative System / Participatory Design

The possible change: A changed perspective and attitude towards Mental Health giving heightening a sense of importance to the issue as well as making it a more approachable topic (for 18-24yo).

The design action to support change: Creating a space that is a fresh and fun approach allowing creative expression on the topic of Mental Health. The space also allows a chance to meet and connect with new people who have similar interests encouraging a sense of community and support.


The participants are invited to draw/ illustrate however they like on a tablet screen on a given word that they choose. The words consist of 3 words for 3 sets. Each set being on a topic of stress, depression, and anxiety – the most common mental health issue for people between the age of 18-24. The 3 words is a spectrum of stress, anxiety and depression to its antonym with an inbetween word. For example:




This is then saved on the server and played as simple animation screenings on the wall for other people to watch. In addition, the participant will receive their drawing as a designed postcard immediately printed. Not only will they receive their illustration postcard, but also the other 2 words in the word set that other people have drawn. This is the incentive of the activity, allows the person to see the changes of the emotional spectrum. This aspect of the generative system gives a chance to see how similar or different others perceive each word which in result gives a new angle of understanding and possible a shift in perspective about mental health.

Users also have a choice to input their social media account information (instagram, twitter account etc) which will be printed on their postcard illustration highlighting the proposition’s ‘connection’ aspect by allowing Sydney’s young adults and creatives to build a network. As this event is aimed for people interested in art/design/culture/mental health, there is a high chance there may be local artists, designers or students involved who then can keep in touch after this event on the social media platform.


Simple drawing constraints will be given for each set to maintain and highlight how each word changes to its opposite within a boundary.

For example:
– Using only lines, express what STRESS/UNEASY/RELAXED is represents to you.

– Using only circles and dots, express what DEPRESSION/COMPLACENT/CHEERFUL represents to you.

– Using only zig zags, express what ANXIETY/INDIFFERENCE/CALMNESS represents to you.


Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 8.06.41 pm.png


The feedback received from peers and tutor was extremely helpful in refining my proposition. A few points I have taken into deeper consideration and will be changing is placing this activity within a proper context of a mental health workshop aimed at 18-24 year olds who are interested in art/design/mental health. ‘The Mind Spectrum’ will be a subpart, a small event within the workshop for the target audience.

In terms of giving a word to illustrate to the user, I was initially thinking of allowing the person to choose 1 word out of the 9. However this will result in uneven data results of the drawings which unbalances the live projection happening in the space. Therefore, the interactive tablet will already have a word chosen for the person to ensure even distribution and a better visualised animation of the word spectrum.

Written by Helen Chang

Image References

Daikoku Studio, 2012, Musashino Art University <;, viewed 20 September.

Studio Moniker, 2013, Your Line or Mine, <;, viewed 20 September.