Post 10//Reflection and proposition

Project title 

State of mind

Practice type

Generative System

The issue

Based on my previous research, I have wanted to investigate the connection between the mental and physical illnesses and have tried to narrow down my targets who have suffered from anxiety disorder. Frequent occasions arise when even those with anxiety disorder never know they are ailing because of the lack of consideration for it. Such lack of awareness hinders their receiving a proper treatment. Last but not least, through they are suffering from a disorder that can be completely recovered, they are left out in the cold-groundless reproof, foreignness and discrimination, etc. Anxiety disorder is not a traumatic neurosis. It’s a hideous disease doing a terrible disservice to allover our body, corresponding to the worst results of depression and anorexia. the field of this disease is in its natural state. It’s the most dangerous and serious that we are quite in the dark about causes and consequences of the disease. There is a reason here why we should make various attempts and pay more attention to the new filed. Below is my final research topic.

“How to overcome negative physical responses which can come from anxiety disorder”

 

The details 

This project is showed in the exhibition and it aims to invite visitors to create a personal visual heart rate data with specific colors in response to their state of mind. When the user input their feelings in the platform, they can get several colors rerated to the color therapy palette which has been used in real color therapy fields. Their heart rate bot has been visualized by means of simple devices like touch screen. We produce generate system extracted from colour and heart rate bot data. It’s a sort of campaign like project arousing awareness of mental illness.

 

Week 8 Feedback

It is ambiguous the connection between the color and heart rate. The impact is too weak when we only visualize the heart rate. I have received through feedback an idea on visualizing the system of users’ heart rate on the basis of flowers or other objects.

Refinement

Seeing the last session feedback, I have reviewed the idea, which is a project that can be displayed in exhibitions or vivid festivals. This project will invite visitors to create a personal visual heart rate data with specific colors in response to their state of mind. A big screen is set up inside or outside the exhibition hall. This will cover walls and the whole building not to refer to the screen since images will be beam projected and displayed. A platform is placed in front of the screen to visualize the users’ heart rate. Visitors may extract their heart rate beating using the simple device.  A special object type is in order to visualize their data in the exhibition. Flowers are a shape of my own choosing.  In the computer are inserted abstract concept flowers. First, users can choose the sort of flowers, which increases or decreases in response to the heartrate. The flowers derived from such a process will leave traces on the screen even after their departure.  The flowers made up from the same participants as other users will remain on the screen as well. All the participants’ collaboration will come to complete the big beam project.

 

The aim of this project is to develop and interact an innovative commercial event for museum and gallery visitors to drive personal and digital data collection and test its applicability in new contexts, furthermore to enhance private visitors’ feedback in a public context, and open up new visitors’ experiences, data collection, interpretation and presentation methods.

This exhibition will show the connection of mental health and its values, physical conditions and technologies that structure our lives. That exhibition will come up with a concept that mental illness is not untreatable but only a social issue that we must share in our lives.

 

4.0 HINT.FM

HINT.FM is not so much a design agency, but a male/female duo of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, analytic and data visualisation artists who work for Google’s data visualisation group. They have also both previously worked for IBM’s visual communication lab, and have ran their own company ‘Flowing Media’. They’re committed to the act of understanding and simplifying visualisations founded in academic research— to extract insights from raw data.

Martin describes their work as ‘a [visual] technology developed by computer scientists to extract insights from raw numbers. This technique is ideal for investigating a world represented by digital traces, where truth is hidden in masses of information,” The resulting studies take the form of web sites, prints, and videos.

The specific work of theirs that I love, is a piece called ‘Wind Map’, which ended up being exhibited at MoMA in 2012.

The site pulls analytics from the National Digital Forecast Database, and presents the precise wind data in a visual manner over the top of a geological map of North America. The gorgeous aspect of this data is how it’s presented, with each wind value being represented by a single pixel sprite, with a ghosting tail effect to indicate direction and speed of that particular wind data.

Wind1.png

What follows is a lively and moving map of North America, where the trails and undulating flow of patterns displayed almost give the data a real sense of sentience. Numbers and wind speed figures gives way to something that almost breathes as nature would. The concept is rather simple, but the execution is so delicately handled, that you truly do get the sense that only this duo could handle immense code and data visualisation in such a way. After looking at the map, you really can’t think of a better more efficient way of displaying wind data, with the added bonus that it looks fantastic. I think that data visualisations grounded in actual efficiency is the strongest.

The design of the website or UI is lovely as well. It’s rather white and arad, which allows the maps themselves to become one large generative artwork.

wind2

Post 5: Interview

  1. What do you know about asylum seekers and refugees in Australia?

Australian politicians claim that our country is generous to refugees and asylum seekers, but looking at statistics and inside stories featured on the media, I believe this to be a falsehood. Refugees and such are sent to detention centres offshore on Nauru and Manus Island; they supposedly live in horribly decrepit conditions for an indefinite period of time all due to Australia’s controversial policies surrounding this matter.

  1. Did you notice any difference of the treatments on refugees and asylum seekers between Australia and Europe?

Europe appears to be much less tough on policies regarding refugees and asylum seekers compared to Australia. Processing and moving around refugees into the various countries in Europe sees to a lot more progress in the eyes of many.

  1. Have you heard of any reports about how refugees and asylum seekers were treated in detention centres?

Media outlets and organisations such as amnesty have reported on the deplorable conditions of these detention centres (particularly Nauru) where standard human rights have been completely sidelined. Reportedly, the condition of Nauru is repressive, inhumane, cruel and inappropriate – refugees and asylum seekers live in conditions that are not suitable even for cattle.

  1. Do  you think it’s a good idea that Australia is accepting more refugees and asylum seekers? If not, why?

It is definitely not a good idea for Australia to accept more refugees and asylum seekers while these current policies are still in place. Bringing in more people will only overpopulate the already overpopulated capacity of these facilities and detention centres. The sore lack of progress on refugee processing, undermined health treatment and lack of legal services and basic human rights will only worsen the refugee situation in Australia.

  1. What do you think the government should act when facing asylum seekers crisis in Australia?

Do not send any more refugees into the Nauru detention centre – it holds no purpose. Process the refugees and asylum seekers who have been waiting; bring them into Australia. Take example of other countries whom have been more successful in controlling the refugee situation.

10 – FINALE (yet, only the beginning)

Reflection + Discussion

After discussing a variety of my ideas with my peers and Jacquie, I gained insight into how to approach my project. The culmination of my research throughout the semester resulted in giving me a range of options to explore within the topic of mental health.

I was initially interested in the issue of funding for eating disorders in Australia. This intrigue was sparked after having read the academic articles in blogpost two. The central issue around which these articles was centred was the issue of not meeting a certain weight/BMI criteria thus falling short of being diagnosed with anorexia. However, the rigidity of these factual articles did not speak to me as much as the articles I had been researching conveying personal experiences and those which invoked these experiences through visual imagery.

What interested me most was the public perception of an eating disorder. Often through my research I would discover that the sufferers from the illness often felt judged and as if the public did not understand that a) they were even suffering from an eating disorder or b) did not understand the severity/nor cause of the disorder. I thought it was important to base my design on a personal approach, as sterile and more factual approaches are harder to connect with and usually a bit dry.

After speaking to Jacquie about two of my proposals she said I needed to visualise them more. Essentially the underpinning was there as I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve with the issue I was planning to tackle. However I hadn’t really solved the problem. With my service design I was just planning on making an educational video. I realised that this was lack lustre as it didn’t connect on a personal level which I wanted my concept to achieve.

I then spoke to Georg in the next tutorial explaining both my ideas. She said that the generative idea design was more solved than the service design.

Project title: I have ___ BECAUSE

(work in progress)

Practice type:

Generative Design

The issue:

Eating disorders are often  widely misinterpreted and commonly not recognised as mental illnesses. The public focuses on only the most commonly known one such as anorexia (and perceives them to be suffering,) whereas eating disorders such as EDNOS or Binge Eating often are unrecognised due to the fact there is no physical manifestation or at least not quite as obvious as with anorexia. The degree of severity that the public accords to and treats people with suffering with eating disorders is often skewed by arbitrary criteria and biased assumptions and too often this attitude and judgment is not based on proper information.

In conjunction with this, negative perceptions are also associated with eating disorders such as they are just a stroke of vanity or a ‘fad’ which suggests that they are not in fact a genuine mental illness thus diminishing the disorder and the sufferers by minimising the condition.

The possible change:

Essentially I want to spread awareness about the root cause of eating disorders, and that these root causes differ in each individual. I also want to show that there are a range of eating disorders all with serious health consequences. Despite the less visible physical manifestation of a Binge Eating disorder it can be just as dangerous as anorexia.

My aim is to overturn assumptions or popular misconceptions that cause an eating disorder irrespective of the form or manifestation of that disorder.

The Design action to support change:

My generative design takes form in that of an interactive website. Essentially I want users to submit their thoughts if they are struggling with an eating disorder. The website will have parts of the screen where you click and it leads you to a trail of assumptions about an eating disorder leading in the words such as “I have an eating disorder because…I’m Vain” as an example. After clicking through a minefield of assumptions such as the example above, a statement will appear in a contrasting/colour/font that states the actual reason for a person struggling with an eating disorder.

1.2 Primitive

Aboriginal Cosmology

“Wherever we find a human society, however primitive, there is a universe, and wherever we find a universe, of whatever kind, there is a society; both go together, and the one does not exist without the other”

There’s a few consistent themes I can apply to my research on Aboriginal Dreamtime, namely— Holy shit, I had absolutely no idea. And, that is truly exceptional, my mind is blown.

Both apply aggressively to this article.

h3h7e5kqhkltqrslspp6.gif
“I’ll just quickly read this article on Aboriginal Dreamti …”

This Article holds many keys I feel affected the extent to which Aboriginal people remained ‘primitive’.

There’s always a connotations attached to the modern definition of that word. We adhere a notion of being ‘underdeveloped’ to the term, as if by not confirming to the general timeline of technological advancement, that a society is lesser than another. This is not the case here. Alternatively, I’d argue that being primitive in this sense, is a positive term tied to the endearment the Aboriginal people had with the land.

If you look broadly at the evolution of man, there’s key points along the timeline that stand out as exemplary in establishing what we are today as humans.

We developed a union with tools, agriculture, a system of time (calendar) to differentiate seasons. We developed a relationship with other animals, whether that be for food or clothing or assistance, and we developed a system of recording events.

These stand out to me as defining point in humanity.

Looking at the general timeline of other civilisations, ‘we’ took those points and embellished on them. Tools turned in technology, technology affected agriculture to the point where we could harvest and no longer needed to roam, instead settled down in locations. Our relationship with animals succeed the point of union whereby species started becoming extinct through artificial human involvement. And finally our systems of recording events developed in the modern notion of History, where we logged and recorded the past so extensively that we could ‘learn and improve’ on the past.

By contrast, the Aboriginal people (to me) found that exact balance point which defined them as conscious self aware humans, at the top of the food chain, while living in total SUSTAINABLE synergy with the environment— all of which extends from their interpretation of the world and forces around them. The Dreamtime.

The branching ideas behind The Dreamtime all stem from the universe, nature, and society being formed at the same moment— The Dreaming. The ancestral spirits who created this world are all still present, however no longer visible. The spirits are not seen as being omnipotent, in the sense that humans, too, are considered to be co-creators, and by extension tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the relationship between natural and cultural forces.

“(Aboriginal) human beings have a responsibility to intervene where they consider intervention necessary and to leave things alone when they consider that necessary. Humans have the ability to adjust the system, as well as throw it out of kilter”

Already this system of religion differentiates itself from traditional monotheistic thinking, prevalent through large portions of Human history. Even when compared to say Buddhism— A religion widely considered as harmonious and balanced, still forms itself around servitude to a single deity. The Dreamtime is different. It’s responsibility based. Morals are based around liability to the land, opposed to fear of discipline.

Furthermore, (and this is the really interesting part for me), The Dreaming is grounded in proven systems. Throughout the life of the religion, Elders learnt to interpret the Sky Dome above them, and read the stars as messages from ancestral spirits, explaining the notion of seasons, and navigation, in a early form of a scientific handbook. The cosmology in the stars is proven and true, and provided a fixed pattern to live by. They observed ecological causes, and studied their effects. When lightning struck, and fire ensued, the burnt ground provided a nurturing nutrient rich blanket for new crops to germinate. A reaction causing an almost equal and opposite reaction. This was interpreted as a lesson in reciprocal land care from the Ancestors in the dreaming above, and passed down the caretakers below, and consequently taught and practiced by following tribes. Backburning— a modern technique of agriculture employing the same technique, was only properly utilised by western society (Romans) a few thousand years ago. Whereas Aboriginal people (reportedly stemming from the Nyungar people) was being employed along the eastern coast of Australia as much as 120,000 years ago. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS.

The most common use of fire in Christianity (the most common religion in modern and ancient world) was [prooobably] to burn witches in the 1500’s… And if you forced an Aboriginal man and a Catholic man to meet in the 1500’s, the former would probably consider himself more advanced of the two.

witch_burningYour move Aboriginals!

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.

 

References:

Alcoholics Anonymous Australia 2016, Personal Stories, viewed 27 September 2017, <http://www.aa.org.au/new-to-aa/personal-stories-first-step.php&gt;.

Davey, R. 2016, Hannes Alfvén, viewed 26 September 2017, <http://robindavey.co.uk/&gt;.

Help Guide 2016, Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, viewed 27 September 2016, <http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm&gt;.

Scrapping the Web

Blog Post 6 by Wiana Inthapanya

TWITTER

The use of data scraping tools are interesting mediums to search for specific content from the internet. Scraping the web for such specific data is useful to see the social outcomes of your focused area and what thoughts are being generated in today’s media.

After my probe, I wanted to explore more about the affects of mental health on university students. From personal experiences, I use to update my social media status depending on my random mood swings of being stressed and under pressure from my years at uni. I actually wondered if I was the only one who did this as a method of relief and procrastination.

Using the advanced search tool on Twitter, I was able to find the current issues on mental health on university students and their social status updates.

 

  • I can honestly say that this minor exercise was actually quite an enjoyable one as it opened by eyes to realise that I was not the only over whelmed student emotionally expressing my thoughts to the world. Even though today I don’t express myself on the internet as much as I use to when I initially started uni, these status updates certainly still resonates with me today as I could understand how they feel
  • This search provides me with an understanding that factors such as work, personal life, relationships and social commitments are highly valued by individuals due to the amount of anxiety that is expressed in these concerns. These factors may contribute to the stress build up that affects the mentality of university students
  • Most of the posts are from students who are about to commence their uni semester and are already under this so much pressure on their first week. This determines the level of anxiety on people and how sensitive they are to stress

From here, I want to further investigate how many tweets there actually were regarding stress and anxiety in university students. To be able to do this, my next advance search of scrapping the web for data required me to download an archiver using Google Spreadsheets that connected to the world of Twitter. This tool allowed me to narrow down my search further with accuracy. Below were my results.

 

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-28-23-am

This image shows the three main hashtags I’ve utilised to search for the data. All data using the hashtags #university, #stressed and #exams were located on twitter. With such a broad search rule, 8785 tweets were found.

syd

I then narrowed it down to those same specific hashtags, however set the location to Sydney and created another rule where only the tweets that were retweet more than 5 times would show up. This allowed me to further refine the results which interestingly dropped to just 11 data sources! It’s amazing what you can do with advance searches and data tools!

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-31-49-am

And lastly, I removed the location rule to reveal all the tweets from Australia using the same hashtags. In total, there were 221 tweets regarding university stress. Out of the 221, only 11 tweets were from Sydney alone.

 

program: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/twitter-archiver/pkanpfekacaojdncfgbjadedbggbbphi?hl=en