Post 10: Concept on Concept


Since presenting my draft proposal and my other ideas last week to both the tutors and my colleagues, it was great to get feedback and be able to be steered into a clearer position for my proposition.


Initially, I had a handful of ideas and not much to go on from there. From speaking to my colleagues and showing them my key points, they preferred the ‘Borders’ idea in testing 18-24 year old’s knowledge of where key locations regarding refugees were. Example questions would include: Please point to where you believe Manus Island is/Nauru/etc., and see how educated our youth are by going past the surface of the issue. I recorded their feedback in dot points:

  • Further draw on the ‘Border’ idea on what is open, and what is not
  • Look up the Passport Index for design example where it shows you what countries you can visit and receive a visa, from high to low. Syria, Iran and Afghanistan have the fewest opportunities to travel.
  • Research on who is permitted through the borders of Australia
  • Manus Island and Nauru plot example
  • Point out how little we understand on this topic
  • See how terminology usage has changed and developed over time. E.g. ‘migrants’, ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘refugees’

Their feedback was great and although I loved their preference to the Borders concept, I felt like it could be pushed further also. I also took the chance to go back and read through all my blog posts, pick out key points and reoccurring themes to reflect on what I gravitated to with the issue of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. This included themes associated with education, children and stereotyping. From there I did another brainstorm, this time keeping the 18-24 audience in mind, to see if I could create anything further along with the ‘Borders’ idea.


I came up with a new concept that I will propose in class this week. It relates quite well with my previous blog posts and draws on my perspectives and passions for this issue. I’ve named it ‘Cut & Paste’ which will look into Service Design Practice, and focus on informing  the youth and reminding them to choose their news sources wisely as their education is a choice from the age of 18 – whether or not they decide to enrol in tertiary study. The strong bias held within news media in Australia and social media news sites can seem to steer from the real truth of refugees and Australia. From this project, the ideal outcome would be to highlight how news media sites have control over perceptions of a range of topics – along with refugees. There seems to be some sort of gap between the public’s perception of refugees; with both political parties, and the Australian public, polarising the issue.

Design action would start by surveying the 18-24 audience and asking what their main source of everyday news is, from a range of newspapers to social media sources. From there, I will analyse the most frequently visited websites and analyse their perceptions of refugees from previous articles, as well as pull keywords and recurring themes from the stories to construct a refugee persona.

I’m not too sure if this idea is too complicated as the ‘Borders’ idea sounds a lot more simpler and easier to survey, but I will present both to the class and see what they think. Reflecting from this and my previous posts, it has been really insightful being able to research this topic for a full semester and drawing your own perspectives and interests into this project.


Blog Post 10: Drafting my draft final proposal (draft)

Reflection & Proposal
In our last lesson I ran through the initial stages of my final proposal. With assistance from my classmates and tutor I managed to finalise a problem statement and the direction for my final project. I got positive feedback regarding my area of interest and have thus begun thinking about how to visualise the project. My issue is centred on promoting the voices of people in offshore detention, emphasising their narratives using original content from social media platforms and in turn, enforcing a sense of connection and tangibility to these narratives. To maintain a focus on the stories of people in offshore immigration centres, the piece will focus on language, in particular through unadulterated and self-directed refugee stories. I will contrast these stories with mainstream media narratives and official statements given by the Australian government. This lends itself to a generative printed project resolved using typographic detailing. It was suggested that I might want to use older projects from last year to influence my resolve, for example the book TL;DR. Using this idea of a publication design, I’ve furthered the resolve into a newspaper format, reinforcing notions of the media and how it influences public perception.

Revised Proposal

Project title: Voices in Manus

Practice type: Poetic Generative Data

Problem Statement:
Since the early 2000s, the Australian government and the media have politicised refugees and asylum seeker issues. Our government and legal system have engendered a societal complacency on these issues, through the introduction of mandatory offshore processing, an effective media blackout within the detention centres, and other measures that place the plight of refugees outside of the public spotlight. Our media, often depicting asylum seekers as ‘swarms’ and ‘masses’, has successfully alienated their experience from Australian society, to the point where the majority of Australians believe that they are unworthy of our help. If racist attitudes towards those seeking asylum aren’t challenged, these attitudes will continue to proliferate and become further normalised amongst a larger proportion of the community.

Possible change:
In my project I hope to shift public perception and attitudes towards refugee and asylum seekers by focusing on refugees’ subjectivity, recognising and acknowledging the sense of identity that has been robbed from them. To achieve this I will be exploring ways to visualise and compare the stories of people in offshore immigration detention with official statements and comments from prominent members of the Australian government, who have shaped this issue in the past few decades. The resolve will be in the form of a publication design. I will be exploring how to visualise key messages through various typographic techniques, and a range of materials. The power in this project lies in creating a sense of tangibility to the experiences of refugees, who are too often overlooked and sidelined. It therefore aims engage an audience that might otherwise be disinterested or disengaged from the issue.

Image Reference:
Wallman, S, A Guard’s Tale (2014)

Post 10: Hope and determination

By Erland Howden

Design proposition

Title: Hope & determination

Practice: Data visualisation and generative design

Issue: Asylum seekers and refugees

Possible change: Targeted at changing Australian attitudes toward asylum seekers and demonstrating to decision-makers, such as the Immigration Minister, that significant support exists in the Australian community for a change to more welcoming and compassionate policies around asylum seeker claims and resettlement of refugees.

Design action: A poster series to be distributed to local pro-refugee organisations that highlights one person or family each who has resettled or is claiming asylum in Australia. The posters would display an image representing the asylum seeker and an aspect of the person’s story chosen to engender compassion and empathy in the audience, with a clear message advocating a change in asylum seeker policy.

The scholarly research I conducted has strongly influenced this design proposal. One paper in particular investigated determinants of attitudes to asylum seekers and suggested that, “encouraging people to adopt a macro justice perspective may be a useful addition to community interventions.” (Anderson et al 2015) With this in mind, the policy change messages for the poster series would be designed to prompt a macro justice perspective. For example, they might include phrases along the lines of, ‘everyone deserves a chance to live in safety.’

The posters fit into the emergent practice of data visualisation in that they apply designerly thinking to visualise the data of asylum seeker stories, which have been collected by organisations such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and GetUp, or published by news organisations such as The Guardian. Further to this, there is another element to my proposal that brings in an aspect of generative design – the poster series would also incorporate a template design that local pro-refugee organisations could use to highlight the stories of refugees and asylum seekers they are directly working with. In this way, the design proposition becomes something that applies research to create communications more likely to change attitudes, while being localised and as relevant as possible to the audience.


In discussing this proposal, the key feedback I received was around fleshing out the generative aspect of the proposal. Originally, I just wanted to create a strict template and guidelines for the poster, but since discussing the proposal with my group, I’ve been exploring ways to make the generative aspect more open and able to accommodate more diverse outcomes. For example, rather than creating a strict guide for photographic portraits, I was thinking that space could be created for a variety of images that might represent the person whose story is being told, like an artwork they created or an alternative photographic treatment. Additionally, rather than a strict print poster series, which might have limited uptake from under-resourced community organisations, I’ve been considering a digital template which could be used on websites and social media that delivers the same outcome in different media.


Featured image: US Department of Defense 1975, ‘South China Sea’, US National Archives / Flickr, viewed 27 September 2016, < >.

Anderson, J.R., Stuart, A. & Rossen, I. 2015, ‘Not all negative: Macro justice principles predict positive attitudes towards asylum seekers in Australia’, Australian Journal of Psychology, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 207-213.

POST 10: Reflection and proposition


In this week, I have share my draft proposal to my peer and tutor, my draft proposal is to create a online study app for refugees children, this app can provide education to refugees children who are lost education. My peer and tutor give me many good feedback, my peer has discuss with me about how to make my proposal positive, she told me I can make a big data map about how many refugees lost education in the world, that can be a shock news to reminding audience refugees children education is very important issue in the word, people should pay more attention on this issue, to engaging 18 – 25 ages  group students become a volunteer to help refugees children, students know how to effective study a new knowledge, their can share helpful skills to help refugees students. Feedbacks from my tutor also most important to my proposal, before I did not  really sure how dose my design process work, because I was very confused does refugees children have internet to access online course, my tutor has answered this issue, and give some help ideas to help my development my final proposal.

I get some inspiration from my peer and tutor, in my proposal, I want change the media platform app to website, because does not every refugees children have phone to download app. However, the website can be used in many platform, such as a group refugees children can study together use one display screen, so that can solve the problem of lack of displayer resources.


Project name: ELO( E-Learning Online)

Project type: service design

The issue: most of the refugees children lost their education in the Australia

the possible change and the design action to support change:

My proposal is to design a website which can help refugees and asylum seekers children study online, my target audience are refugees children and 18 – 25 ages students, based on my research, only half refugees children enrolled in primary education, 25 per cent are estimated to be in secondary school and just one per cent have access to tertiary education. My design challenge is to encourage youth students use their knowledge to help refugees children get education, education is  important, it can provide access to life-saving information, and provide a stable and safe environment for refugees and asylum seekers, it also helps people to rebuild their new life communities.

This website is provide online study, it has a class timetable on the website, and each week the website will update a new class timetable. Refugees children can choose to what course their want learn, and based on the timetable to attendance online course. One the weekend, refugees children can choose to replay the course video, restudy what knowledge their do not understander. Also they can depend on subject to choose volunteers to one by one solve questions to refugees children.

The volunteers can get a timetable which depend on their own choice of subject and time, the website system automatic generation interactive teaching schedule, during this time, volunteers need to solve the problems of refugees children have encountered in their study. Volunteers can get a certificate of  complete a period of teaching  course.

The possible change of my issue is this website can provide education to refugees children and my  audience can get special experience of their life,  the Australia government can gain the trust of refugees and asylum seekers.

Post 10 —Reflection and Proposition


It’s funny how I felt quite confident before pitching my original proposal to my group member and tutor… and then the complete opposite after feedback. I explained my original two proposals: the first about a two books that acted as a representation of public attitudes (based on the very strong for/against attitudes found from my twitter data research). It would be presented in an official government document format to policy makers — the pro-refugee book would be obnoxiously thick to illustrate that majority of Australians (on Twitter) disagree with current refugee policies. Initially, I thought it was simple but embodied and interesting visual metaphor of public attitudes. However, after class discussions, I realised that it didn’t really serve a purpose — the book would be made and then no-one would really see it. Another flaw was that even during the data scraping exercise in week 5, I found that the Twitter results were not an accurate or very valid representation of Australian attitudes as it only reflects a tiny percentage of the public (those who use social media to voice their outrage/views). It would also be impossible to go through thousands of tweets and categorise them into those that are for or against current refugee policies.

I also presented another proposal that encourages people to consider alternative perspectives, rather than just using bias information to support their attitudes. I explained that I could design a twitterbot that would [attempt to] distinguish attitudes based on wording and hashtags used in tweets (i.e illegal, #stoptheboats, #letthemstay). It would then match these with a tweet that presents the opposite stance on the issue, encouraging a conversation where the two parties gain a bit of perspective from each other… However, realistically speaking, I highly doubt that this concept would result in peaceful, civil conversations, especially considering it is using a social network renown for trolling, abuse and obscene language. Rather than encouraging empathy and understanding, it would most likely create more conflict.

After a few days of anxious despair due to not having a solid concept, I began brainstorming and discussing possibilities with a peer from another class who was researching a different issue. I found this to have been one of the most beneficial brainstorming sessions as I was conversing with someone who didn’t know what I had been researching and focusing on. I realise that I had been stubbornly holding on to this idea of having some sort of metaphoric concept that responded to the big picture of the issue. Rather, I should have tried focusing on a specific area of my research, one in which I could actually have the potential to change. I found it helped to revisited the reflections I made from previous exercises, particularly the notions of changing attitudes in a positive way and encouraging a sense of understanding.

During my brainstorming session, my peer also suggested that rather than just identifying the problem, why not try to mediate it. The problem has already been established and it is well known that many people have conflicting attitudes, so why not try to find a common ground of reconciliation. This notion was also previously considered in one of the 5 possibilities listed in Post 8, suggesting I aim to build long-term relationships between the Australian public and refugees. I found that service design would be the most effective response to this possibility as people will be actively involved in sharing an experience with others and creating lasting emotional connections with them


As the gap between the Australian community and refugees continues to escalate, so do tensions, conflict and negative attitudes towards each other. A lack of understanding and ignorance seems to be driving these people apart, focusing on how vastly different their backgrounds are, rather than embracing them. Thus I propose to design a service/campaign that surrounds the notion of a cultural market/festival. This festival acts as a space for an exchange of personal and cultural art, craft workshops, books, food, music, performance and stories. The Cultural Fusion Festival can be held once a week at various schools, which also alludes to educating everyone about different cultures, values  and backgrounds. Schools are also associated with family orientated events, thus encourages positive and friendly attitudes. Flyers and brochures will be sent to households, local businesses, schools and refugee NGOs to inform them about the event. Posters will also be put up around the community, encouraging people of all race, gender, age and religion to join. The refugee festival ultimately encourages people share their background and embrace the backgrounds of others, thus demonstrating the benefits and enjoyments of multiculturalism.

This proposal responds to my research regarding empathy and how those who are so far separated from other parties, find it difficult to understand and relate with them. I found that it would be impossible to create a universally recognised system that could somehow overcome conflict and bigotry. Thus, I found it would be more constructive to focus on making a large impact on small scale — this then has the potential to expand to a larger market/audience.

My research also reinforced that there is no single solution that could satisfy all clashing attitudes within this issue. Thus, rather than trying to find a ‘solution’, I am attempting to change the attitudes. I have found that emotions are a primary actor for change as they have the ability to influence other attitudes, authority figures and policies/outcomes. Therefore, by  creating a physical space where resettled refugees and the Australian community can enter and engage with each other, they are enabled to really identify with others on a much more emotional level.

Variety of ethnic food stalls.
Different kinds of foreign music.

POST 10: Reflection and Proposition

by Jessica Avelina Horo


I didn’t even have any solid idea of the proposition during the last class’ meeting that in results making me anxious for days. I have these problem statements all over my head but I couldn’t specify them and focus on one thing. I tried to solve the big problem first and couldn’t give any design solution to it. So what I did was that I tried to talk over this issue to one of my colleague that is in pursue of her Ph.D in food science in UNSW. With her high level of education, I figured that it is easier to talk over this issue and discussed about it. It is a complicated issue with many causes and backgrounds so that not many people will get to understand this issue in a short time. While I explained the issue to her, I began to read all my maps and researches again then started to reflect on them. My friend helps me a lot in this process as she is quite used to make a report that needs critical thinking. I wrote again what I want to achieve in this proposition and it helps me identifying the issue. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3.

Design Proposition – Hello Neighbours 

This proposition is in result of my research about refugees’ experiences in the detention centre. Just like what I mentioned in my #8th blogpost, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences.

The previous draft proposition is called “Emphathy”.  It was intended to show how sorry we are to the refugees, who have repeatedly received such traumatic experiences. The will be an annual event that will be held in parks and places like Darling Harbour as it is spaces that people from all age come together and enjoy the scenery. As we all know, there are a lot of rejection and negative attitude given to the refugees in result of misconceptions in the media. However, we want to bring the positive people out there with the refugees together in an cultural event. The event is called “Hello Neighbours”, referring the neighbours to the refugees that come from different countries in Middle East. By substituting the word ‘refugee’ in the name with ‘neighbours’, the event will raise awareness to not identify the refugees as ‘refugees’ or outsider anymore.

Celebrate our new neighbours by giving them a chance to show their art skills and blend together with the Australia’s community. It is not unfamiliar for the Aussies’ people to have street art and dance in the streets. In this event, we want to encourage the refugees to show their skills and culture by adopting Australian’s culture. There will also a traditional food market cooked by the refugees and showcase of refugees’ artworks. Most importantly, there will be a testimony too brought by refugees that has succeed in their new life so that they could inspire other refugees and show general people what they actually could do. Art is a universal language, it is unique in each culture and country yet I believe it could unite people. This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.


I decided to change my design proposition to be in local context instead of such a big event held in public places. Based on the feedbacks that I received today, I made changes:

TITLE: Hello Neighbours

PRACTICE TYPE: Service Design

THE ISSUE: People should embrace refugees and changed their perceptions about them after such traumatic experience in the journey and in detention centre. Even after the resettlement, a lot of people still address the refugees as ‘refugees’ and in result they received harassment and bullying in the school or workplace. Even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.

THE POSSIBLE CHANGE: The design would aim to get people identify refugees as the ‘new neighbours in town’ instead of as an outsider or refugees anymore. This also could results with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.

ACTION TO SUPPORT THE CHANGE: Create a campaign with voluntary based resources and have an event to spend a day or have lunch with refugees every 3 months. The event will be divided into each council so that each council would be aware of the arrival of new ‘neighbours’ in their areas. In the event, the refugees and the people who supports them could make an intimate conversation to share their values and stories. By doing so, refugees feel welcomed in the community and appreciated. General people in the range of 18-24 years old also have the experience to know the refugees directly and show their support for them. After the events, they could share the campaign and the events to social media using the hashtag #helloneigbours. Posting photo with the hashtag would also help for other people to see the other side of refugees. Thus, creating an awareness to accept refugees as part of the community and live together harmoniously.



Blog Post 9: Brainstorming Solutions

Throughout the last few weeks we have engaged with many different mind-mapping exercises in order to engage with our topics in a collaborative and comprehensive manner.

Mind mapping exercises are a great way to visually organise information when trying to explore and solve complex problems as they can demonstrate relationships between information, a key requirement when looking at interrelated issues and participants. The collaborative mind mapping exercises facilitated in-class discussions and debates around complex issues, allowing us to delve into aspects of these sub-issues that we hadn’t previously considered.

 The mind mapping exercise that we completed in class gave us greater insights into our problem statement for assessment task three.
new doc 15_1.jpg

Since completing this map, I have fleshed out and refined my problem statement. In completing the prompts for my mind map, I’ve integrated the areas that I focused on within my research, namely; the effect the media and government have had on narratives related to refugee and asylum seekers issues, the dehumanising portrayal of refugees which has lead to fear and disengagement within the public, and the potential social media platforms (such as Twitter) have to express narratives to that counter those in mainstream media.

My problem statement came to fruition by answering some basic prompt questions, recording them on the mind map and observing some of the interconnected responses. As I had already established a broad area to focus on -restating a sense of identity and humanity amongst refugees to shift public perceptions- my responses were given with reference to that framework.

Who are the primary participants involved in this issue?
As we don’t live in a societal vacuum there are multiple overlapping participants that lie at the core of refugee and asylum seeker issues. It feels impolitic to consider these participants in isolation, as that would separate how each participant proliferates and is influenced by one another. It’s important to remember that the reason refugee and asylum seekers are considered an issue is as a direct result of politicised and institutionalised racism, a situation that implicates everyone, especially our media and governing bodies.
The subject area I’m specifically looking into directly focuses on refugee and asylum seeker narratives and ways to connect this with a public audience. Through primary research I found that a heightened sense of apathy for refugee issues stemmed from a sense of disconnection and isolation from the people and the subject matter. It’s important that the refugee narratives are accessible for the general public and come directly from refugees and asylum seekers themselves.

What are the boundaries of this problem?
The boundaries of this problem lie in a number of structural and societal issues that are in many way interconnected. On a structural level there are issues which affect and are affected by governing bodies; the Australian government, the United Nations, treaties and relations between foreign countries and even international maritime laws. On a societal level, boundaries are a result of miscommunication and a general lack of understanding. They encompass a range of misrepresentations that are perpetuated throughout the media and as a result of censorship laws.

 Why should we be engaging in solving these issues?
We should be engaging with these issues as it’s a basic human right to seek asylum. It’s the responsibility of people in other countries to assist when people are displaced as a result of persecution. A denial of these basic human rights is a denial of compassion and of our humanity.

Where are these issues occurring?
Whilst my focus area is around refugees in Australis’s offshore processing centres (Nauru and Manus) the refugee crises is a global humanitarian issue, effecting tens of millions of people around the world. The more abstract issue of racial intolerance permeates our societies around the world, fuelled by governments and mainstream media outlets.

When did this occurred? Is it currently occurring?
The displacement of people as a result of persecution and violence is not a modern phenomenon – it’s been occurring for hundreds of years. In the last 20 years however, this issue has been politicised as a threat to quality of life. It’s in these last 20 years that we’ve seen laws introduced that highlight our societies growing conservative nature.

Emergent practices and design thinking is required for addressing complex issues such as these explored within this subject. With this level of complexity and depth, it’s easy for the individual to become overwhelmed, to feel the issue is too big to make an impact. Over the last few months, I’ve learned the value of in-depth research within deeply complex issues. Discovering manageable focus areas and tangible solutions within design encourages social and attitudinal change from a grassroots level. This exercise was helpful in that it motivated us to collate and organise ideas in order to find manageable and focused design solutions.

Image Reference:
Wallman, S, So Below (2016)

Blog Post 8: Humanising Design Solutions

My research has informed a broader understanding of issues related to refugees and asylum seekers.

I’ve explored the complexity of this area through a variety of institutional and individual perspectives, particularly those of the government, media, and the broader community. A large part of my research has involved  researching the experiences of detainees through their self-published media, as I believe that it’s these personal connections and relationships which have the ability to shift public consciousness and lead to change.

Problem Statement:
Since the early 2000s, the Australian government and the media have politicized refugee and asylum seeker issues. Our government and current legal system have endorsed a societal complacency in relation to these issues, through the introduction of policies like mandatory offshore processing and media blackouts within detention centres. Our media, often referring to and depicting asylum seekers as ‘swarms’ and ‘masses’ have successfully alienated them from Australian society, to the point where the majority of Australians believe that they are unworthy of our protection. If racist attitudes towards those seeking asylum aren’t challenged, these attitudes permeate within our society and will further normalize amongst a larger proportion of the community.

In my project I hope to shift public perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers by focusing on refugees’ subjectivity, recognizing and acknowledging the sense of identity they have had taken from them.
I would like to explore a design solution that brings a sense of tangibility to the experiences of refugees who are too often overlooked and sidelined.

One way to convey this would be to compare lives of refugees in detention to those of people in Australia. When I was looking at Twitter accounts of refugees in offshore detention centres, it occurred to me how limited their daily experience is. One way to visualise the lack of activity and stimulation experiences by detainees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus might be to look at how people attempt to deal with the boredom and mundanity of detention. This could be explored through posts made by asylum seekers on Twitter, which provide an insight into objects and ideas in their daily routine. These posts highlight how people in indefinite detention struggle to find ways to navigate the sense of limbo that characterises their situation. These insights are rarely communicated in traditional media, thereby, thereby, affirming detainees’ humanity.
Another more tangible option would be a comparison of of physical space and the torment that people go through when they are fleeing persecution, for instance making a model of the size of the boat in the Tampa incident (2001), or the houses which are in Manus and Nauru. This might be visualized through pieces of paper or a physical measurement of the space.

It is our responsibility to engage with these issues as they concern fundamental human rights: to live free from persecution, to self-expression and fulfillment, and to seek asylum when these rights are curtailed.

Summarising what I’ve learnt, not only by doing this blog post but through the entirety of my research (to five simple points):

  • The extent to which media content is informed by its political context.
  • The effect the media and government have had on the narratives related to refugee and asylum seeker issues.
  • A dehumanizing portrayal of refugees can lead to fear and disengagement within the public.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers in detention have used twitter as a platform to express counter narratives to mainstream media.
  • Tangible experiences allow audiences to greater relate to an issue and the human experiences behind that issue.

Image Reference: 
Wallman, S, Unselfconscious Space (2014)

POST 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session



The group session in Week 6 was very helpful in being able to fine tune and further narrow down such a large global issue. Each of us took turns in proposing our draft ideas and we all gave each other feedback and critique, as well as keywords which could possibly break down the topics even further. Our strengths included the abilities in dissecting a global issue and picking out important key issues, as well as since we have been exposed to this topic and avidly researching this semester so far – we are able to deduce the mass amounts of information available and hone in on ones that more suitable and important.

In terms of weaknesses, as the issue of Refugees and Asylum Seekers is of a global scale, it is difficult to cover all points both on a national and international degree as they do contrast and conflict each other at times. Also, during our exercise, there were many keywords and points associated with each proposition. However, these in context appeared very broad (e.g. Human Rights, Corporations, Refugees, etc.), and needed further iterations in order to be able to breakdown the point more specifically. Further weakness’ included difficulty in order to approach the issue in a different perspective as it has such a chronological history and is still being recorded today in our society. Also, we found that as university students at UTS, there was some bias in having more of a left-wing approach due to our exposure and environment.

POST 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response


During our tutorials in Week 6, we worked together as a group to dissect topics of interest within the Refugee & Asylum Seeker issue in order to further narrow down our design response possibilities.


The brainstorm in class was a good start, and it allowed me to dissect this huge global issue that has many facets to consider. My five findings, which are possibilities to further explore in Task 3, include the following:


  • The overburdening effect of Refugees and Asylum Seekers on developing countries. This particular topic resonated with me as Australia’s push towards countries such as Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia ignores the more ethical decision, which is to allow them to assimilate into countries such as New Zealand, where the country itself has adequate grounds and means for refugees to rebuild their lives with a positive outcome. Due to previous and current examples of Australia’s treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Nauru, Manus Island and Papua New Guinea, it is clear that their current actions aren’t humane, as various media sources have revealed the mistreatment and abuse given to the refugees.
  • Borders. This was a further iteration from dissecting the first point which focuses on the borders between citizens and asylum seekers. Asking where they are, what does the borders look like, how these fences create a divide both physically and emotionally. Gemma helped me pull this keyword and highlight the potential of this word, as well as ‘gap’.
  • Refugee and Asylum Seeker Terminology. Since this issue has been covered highly in the media and been a topic of interest recently – it would be really insightful to see how terminology regarding refugees and asylum seekers have changed in regards to frequency of use, negative or positive stigma and how the media utilises keywords to project their opinions to it’s readers.
  • Perception of ‘Us versus Them’. From my research so far in this subject, there has been a prominent reoccurrence with divided teams on the subject. Refugees versus Citizens, Media versus Residents, Politics versus Refugees. There is a possibility to create a probe and ask the audience what their perceptions and views are on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in contrast to what the media has dictated so far.
  • What constitutes one to become an activist? This last topic is a little vague, but could be a survey on analysing what it takes for people to stand up and push for their views. I could analyse what people are passionate about, what they hate, don’t care for or just are amicable with. This could further understand why people select issues and support them in comparison to others – no matter what the issue is and it’s urgency.

My draft proposal would be to analyse 18-24 year olds in Sydney and test their knowledge on locating where the refugee borders are on a map, including Australia’s policy as well as that of Europe and the rest of the world. It could be really interesting to be able to see how educated we as first world citizens are, as well as draw attention to the global crisis and display the significant gap between refugees in need of help versus people who are comfortable in their lifestyle.

BLOG 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

As outlined in post #8, the individual and group tasks performed helped me shape my understanding of the attitudes towards refugees and how this attitude / perception has been shaped. Outlined below is our collaborating brainstorm, as well as factors involving the activity:


 – There was a relation of ideas with all our brainstorming combined. Not only is the mind mapping stage just of my micro issue, but adding more information from other segments of the issue bring together a story and a timeline of possible outcomes of actions.
 – The members that I worked with were focusing on very similar topic, thus allowing our brainstorming session to be more of a discussion and conversation. This allowed us to think more broadly and consider more factors than just the most available ones to mention.
 – One coincidence that we came across was that one of our members in our brainstorming session has a family member who once seemed asylum. This was of a massive advantage as I could allow myself to realise the effects on a personal level, to a certain degree.
 – The brainstorming session allowed me to direct my attention to the situation as a whole, rather than bring fixated on one aspect of it. This benefitted all of our ideas as well as giving us a direction for our design proposals.

 – The ability to start a new brainstorming exercise without having any previous brainstorming sessions together was great, as it allowed for more conversation.

– The lack of diversity between the issues we were facing restricted the conversation a few times. Some things were repeated rather than reiterated.
– While the opportunity to work with new people was going well, our personal views on the issue were different. This created some valid points to put on our brainstorming exercise, but also created some heated discussions, as we occasionally found ourselves defending our views, rather than combining them.



Peter Andreacchio (11768381)

Post 9 – Brainstorming in a spoken sense

Rekha Dhanaram

Our group brainstorming session wasn’t as productive as it could’ve been. I think this a result of many factors. The work ‘mind map’ seemed to have become a trigger word and instead of being excited to delve into our problem spaces we felt less enthused. And perhaps the fact that we chose to be seated around a single table in the corner with no real space for our butchers paper and bags put us off as well. However these factors were more accentuated due to my personal reflection of my progress in the subject prior to that class. I felt quite worried cause I hadn’t developed a focus, an area I really wanted to explore and this indadvertedly made me feel overwhelmed. However looking back whilst these weaknesses were present, I feel that by the end of the lesson I had gained something, even if it weren’t an actual brainstorm.

Instead throughout the course of the lesson we did discuss around the questions we were provided. As we were trying to discern our problem statements it was interesting to see what areas people found interesting in this topic which provided further revelations. One of the most valuable insight I took away from this exercise was how I can focus on a niche area and still help the bigger problem at hand. As we discussed the issue it became apparent that each of us were interested in different areas such as refugee experiences, media representation and the international community. And personally I found myself talking a lot about censorship, refugee rights and experiences. Thus when looking back it became obvious to me that whilst I thought I had no focus area, I had somehow narrowed my focus without knowing and became more well versed in one area.

At the conclusion of this class, whilst I didn’t have a brainstorm, I had answered all the problem statement questions and began to develop a statement as well. Whilst it didn’t seem like a lot at the time, the discussion and questions provided the framework for my proposal. In addition when I got home, I decided to brainstorm on my own to help articulate the conversation and thoughts of that day.




Post 9: brainstorming – the process

by Erland Howden

As a structure for the brainstorming exercise discussed in post 8, we divided our concepts into the different fields of emergent practices – service design, generative design and data visualisation. This was helpful in stimulating further ideas, by pushing us to consider alternative ways of approaching the problem space we had sketched for our issue area – asylum seekers and refugees. However, it also showed that there were some blurry lines between these fields, with some of the ideas we talked about potentially fitting into more than one category.

Design responses and problem space brainstorm - Erland Howden

Problem space definition for asylum seekers and refugeesAnother tool we used to guide the discussion was to carry forward a system we created during our collaborative research phase. When sharing information, we created a system of hashtags related to each group member’s areas of focus, that would identify the key aspect of the issue to which a particular source pertained. For example, we used #resettlement, #attitudes and #mentalhealth. As we got into the problem space definition, we then brought these categories – along with the relative expertise that each person had built in their focus areas – into defining key aspects of our issues’ problem. We also brought to bear the findings and reflections from the recent issue mapping exercises that identified key polemics within our issue.

The key strength of the brainstorming exercise was that we were able to generate a wider latitude of concepts and interrogate them to immediately make them sharper and more relevant by discussing them with a small group, rather than ideating individually. At the same time, working with just a few people was likely more productive than trying to collect and document an ideation process with a large group of 10, 20 or more. On the other hand, despite a large body of research between our group members collectively, not a lot of the research we had each done focused on recent solutions, campaigns or tools and I think we faced a weakness in potentially replicating existing projects and not being able to apply learnings from a deep analysis of existing design responses.

POST 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Finally, on this week I’m starting to see how my research and brainstorming process could lead me to. In one of the brainstorming process about the problem in the refugee issues, I have some kind of interest towards the one about refugees experiencing trauma in detention centre. I posted the map visualisation in Post 9, but I also put the map that I’m talking about below.



Problem Statement:

Taking some words from an article by Amnesty International,

(Sydney, 3 August, 2016)—“About 1,200 men, women, and children who sought refuge in Australia and were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Australian government’s failure to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate policy to deter further asylum seekers from arriving in the country by boat”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

It is so tragic that from my researches, I found that refugees and asylum seekers on detention centre have been held there for like three years and then be neglected by the health workers and other service provided who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, local Nauruans also gave them unpunished assaults. I couldn’t imagine how traumatic these experiences would be for the refugees. They crossed the sea, not knowing how their life gonna be, risking their family, leaving all they have behind and hoping for better future but all they received is these treatments. As we can see from the map that I drew in the class, I tried to break down how the experience would be for refugees and all the related stakeholders. This has to change now. Life is already really hard for refugees in detention centre,  and it is even harder after they got released to the community. People are having these strong attitudes to reject refugees coming to the community, it exist because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. If mutual acceptance and respect was found and maintained, perhaps there would be less conflicting perspectives.

From here, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3. All the refugees’ needs is a new LIFE, which I will break down to 4 design possibilities; Love, Impart, Fellowship and Empower and for the last one is about empathy.

5 Possibilities

1 Love

Amnesty International tried to break down people’s misconception about refugees:

  • Asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’ – it is a human right to seek asylum by boat in Australia (UN Refugee Convention and Australian Migration Act 1958)
  • The majority of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees fleeing persecution, torture and violence.

(Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers, 2016)


One of the problem that I found from this issue is because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. Both of them are lack of mutual acceptance and respect. There are enough border control to stop refugees coming into countries but is this the right way? People are having this misconceptions about refugees, Islamophobia, an exaggerated hostility toward Muslims and Islam, appear to be on the rise in both Europe and the United States. This too will happened to Australia if we don’t spread the love from now. Educate people how we can embrace multiculturalism without fighting each other. Hostile and politicised rhetoric only adds fuel to the fire of Islamophobia, we don’t need to add more. The world is too full of negativity already. It is written by law, as mentioned by Amnesty above, that asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’, they are genuinely come fleeing persecution and war.

One mother said: “When they go to school, the Nauruan children call our children ‘refugee,’ not by name. People have names. They say, ‘Why are you here? This is our country. You should leave. We don’t like you staying here.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Have we lose our humanity that we refuse to help people in need? They are facing rejection everywhere they go. This is the time to embrace them, spread the love and accept them by who they are.

2  Impart 

Give them opportunity to show their contribution to the Australian’s society and this could also give them an opportunity to start a career in a foreign career, where nobody knows them, and where they have to start from scratch.

3 Fellowship

Too many misunderstandings from what have been reported from the news, articles, photos but never from the person him/herself. So it would be great if we can have a chance to build a deeper relationship, to get to know refugee not from external sources but first-hand experience.  The result of this experience would be to break the myth that people have without checking the facts, clear the misunderstanding, embrace multiculturalism and know the refugees’ rights.

4 Empower

“…..almost 7,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean alone in the two years since the first big shipwreck in October 2013” (8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis, 2015)

“Nearly all interviewees reported mental health issues of some kind—high levels of anxiety, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and feelings of listlessness and despondency were most commonly mentioned—that they said began when they were transferred to Nauru”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“People here don’t have a real life. We are just surviving. We are dead souls in living bodies. We are just husks. We don’t have any hope or motivation” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Refugees experience a lot of  trauma caused by the boat’s journey, uncertainty and mistreat in the detention centre and stress after they got released. Refugees also receive bullying in their school or workplace. In result they have identity issues, even after they are released into the community, people don’t see them as an individual, they see them as refugees. The refugees need some sort of empowerment; a centre that could empower them in terms of language, general knowledge about Australia, skills and psychology trauma.

5 Empathy

An asylum seeker described conditions while his wife was in labour:

“I saw my wife lying under the bed. The bed didn’t have a mattress. . . . I saw the nurse, an Australian nurse, playing on her tablet. My wife was crying. I said, ‘Please do something for my wife. This is like a jail, not a delivery room.’ The bathroom didn’t have tissue or hand washing liquid. I went out to buy hand washing liquid and rolls of tissue.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“Australia’s policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who conducted the investigation on the island for the organisation. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

The Australian government may have failed to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate polity to deter further asylum seekers from arriving the country by boat. As mentioned by one of the refugees in the detention centre, they have been neglected by the health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, they also receive frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. Self-harm and suicide attempts are common in the detention centre, all these actions are in result of their uncertainty about their future, which Australian government has failed to manage. Apart from the negative news that have been spread around about refugees, there are still some Australians that are in the refugees’ side but they cannot express their empathy. We need an event or a platform to show our empathy to the refugees and by doing so also to raise awareness for general people. However, it would be hard to get people to participate as a lot of them have a negative attitude to this issue.


My proposal is in respond to my last possibility listed above, which aims to get people and refugees in an big annual event. The concept is to have the event probably in places like Darling Harbour and it will be held annually because this issue have been there for years and the impact to the refugees’ emotion won’t be quick to heal. As we all know that refugees issue is a complicated case happened in many countries without having the real solution that could solve the issue. However, even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.

This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees also would feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.



Reference List

8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis 2015, viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru 2016, Amnestymedia. viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers 2016, Amnesty Australia. viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

POST 9: Strengths & Weaknesses of Collaborative Brainstorming

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Throughout the last few weeks, we have been engaged with a lot of different mind-mapping exercises in order to engage and see our topics in a collaborative way. In this week, we were still in the combined class which is much larger and less intimate. However, I sat down with my initial groups and we started the lesson by writing problem statement that we could create after every exercises and researches that we’ve done. We wrote down as many statements as we could, discussed them to other members and gave each other feedbacks. This exercise was really helpful to really broke down such a broad issue; as we are forced to wrote down what,when, where,why and how it affects others. Some of us ended up having similar statements as our concerns, which is also good because we can strengthen our statement in the mind mapping process. It wasn’t long until we decided which statement we will take a chance to explore further. The problem statements we chose are about attitudes toward refugees and about refugees experiencing trauma in detention centre. We wrote everything we could think of, for example its stakeholders, emotions, any words that relates to the issue.



The strength of this exercise is probably because we were dealing with a more specific topic as opposed to the larger maps. Everyone looked confident to contribute their own words to fill out the gaps in the map. I gained a lot of different perspective from this exercise only as I saw how everyone’s putting their own perspective on the same issue. We really enjoyed this process and really amazed by the amount of words we could wrote on this statements in the end of exercises. We also linked words that could be associated with other keywords so that we were able to see the relationships between each words.

In terms of weakness in this process is probably I still don’t know how to approach this issue in a different way and then came up with a design response. The refugees issue is such a complex and broad issue that it takes time to really broke down the issue. Probably the reason why we took so many weeks to brainstorm and do mind-maps of the issue is because of the complexity of the issue. I felt a little overwhelmed as I feel from the start of this project, we talked about serious topic such as refugees without much individual discussion with the tutors. I felt independent by doing all these stages alone and sometimes with my groups but I don’t know where to start my responding stage. It is really hard to choose part of the issue that could be responded with a design response.

POST 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session


During this brainstorming, we are all share information and give group members feedbacks to help others do next step for solve the personal statement problem, and give feedback to others, help every found many opinions from peers.In this mapping, each group numbers are talking around 15 minutes from who, what, when, why and why five aspect about issue. Brainstorming map can help we easy understand issue, and share good information to others, also can get help from other numbers, we bring together various ideas and suggestions.some interesting proposals can be refined gradually, each one has think them up and improve them, this can allows that better and better ideas are generated. In the brainstorming created, you can develop ideas fast, remember more, eases the study process and makes it fun easy to add idea on asn connected facts.


The weakness of brainstorming is if a group member get worry sense, may lead all group members  thinking worry way. Also brainstorming takes many time, people waste many times to discuss issue, and might be difficult  for every to understand your senses, such as you have created and personalised your map, it might be difficult for peers to understand all your ideas and concept, you have to spend more times to explain your ideas and concept to them. wechatimg1

POST 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

During week 6 class excise, we are doing own statement in the group, my problem statement is refugees education, other group numbers statement are refugees job, racist towards refugees and find out serves and available to help with their settlement in Australia. My own personal problem statement read is now they are lots of refugee children lost their education in the Australia due to they are unaccompanied.


Unaccompanied refugee children who arrive in Australia


Due to refugee children and their family members were detained in remote in immigration detention centres, some for months or years. Most of these children had arrived by boat and were seeking asylum in Australia.


Prior to 2005 and until now





This group refugee children are detained at high risk of serious mental harm, and and that long-term detention significantly undermines a child’s ability to enjoy a range of human rights, including the right to education and the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Education is very important for every one, refugee children get education can help them have skills to found jobs in the future, also education can let them understand what they have learn basic information of they life.

Five summary:

Design a poster, which can help people understand why education is important to refugee children.

A short animation or video, it can be a advertisement used share refugee children information.

A website that people can donate online to help refugee children get help.

A social networking, its free lesson online, people use it to tech refugee children online.

A app, same with social networking.

Post 9 — Brainstorming Process

The ability to collaborate with others has been a central factor in researching the complex social issues that surround asylum seekers and refugees. Thus, during the last group task, it was very insightful to have each member bring their individual knowledge and perspectives to our discussions. It seems as though every meeting, we all have new insights to present as we have been looking at new information, new issues and new actors.

These new findings may also emerge from the notion that complex issues are not stagnant but rather always changing. In ‘Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory‘, Latour suggests that the actors are constantly in the process of (re)assembling, (re)associating and (dis)agreeing. Thus, it is our role as the researcher to trace these actors and their movements.
During this weeks exercises, it was good to exchange these various avenues that we have been researching as it provided a wholesome perspective of the issue at large. In the first map, we focused on my problem regarding ‘attitudes towards refugees’. Despite focusing on individual problems, I found that all group members were able to confidently contribute to this open discourse. As opposed to previous mind maps, we found that this task was much more successful as we were able to quickly and naturally fill the entire page with various intuitive ideas. This was perhapsbecause we focused on a more specific topic as opposed to the larger maps. In previous maps, we found it difficult to start as there was an overload of information which we didn’t know how to organise.
Not only did I find mapping out my problem to be helpful, but I also gained some perspective about other problems surrounding the asylum seeker issue. We created a map that addressed how refugees experience trauma in detention. We explored disturbing experiences that refugees often endure and how this effects themselves, their family and the community. We also looked at who or what is responsible for inflicting this trauma and proposed ideas about how it is/should be handled.

A definite weakness about this process however was that we felt pressured to already have some ideas for Assignment 3. For the last few weeks, we have not yet had individual discussions with tutors and thus found it difficult to transition from the research stage to the responding stage. I also felt a little overwhelmed with the idea that we had to start proposing concepts as there’s still so much that I don’t know about emergent areas.

BLOG 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

After bouncing back from being 2 and a half weeks behind on the tasks, I had collected a bunch of resources and information that support my focus. Through this research, I came to realise my own thoughts and feelings about the issue, and why I have come to trust so many stories and views, where there’s a new spectrum that most don’t seem to realise.

During my semester break, I took the opportunity to visit the House of Welcome, a refugee supports centre that undertakes full recognition of dignity, equality and human rights. They are a centre that facilitates and house many people that are in such an event. I found this to be a very insightful visit, as I gained the opportunity to experience the lifestyle and stories that these neglected group of individuals experience on an everyday basis. It brought me to the understanding of producing a proposal that allows the public to also realise these circumstances. As I kept this at the back of my mind, I reworked the tasks accordingly, not only to reframe my analysis, but to add more support to my proposal.

Defining the problem statement:
In relation to this, I decided to allow my focus to span across all affects of perception briefly, where I still maintain the framing of a new perception. I used a series of questions to frame this analysis:

Essentially, the problem that I’m faced with is primarily affecting both refugees and the general public. With multiple factors affecting the relation between the two demographics, it rapidly shifts our thoughts and feelings about refugees as the media updates their information. Secondly, it affects the government, mainly their policies, and reputation. As government conflict and change arise, so does the aims and tasks of the media, thus shaping multiple viewpoints. Finally, it affects the reputation of Australia on a global level and how the perception of Australia as a government is constantly tarnished.


The boundaries of public perception and government relations is forever changing, and is networked to an extent where its tangled. The structural implications of the government and their policies towards refugees and asylum seekers is the main focus of this boundary.

The more change that the government internally experience, the less chance that the policies against refugees will be improved, or even altered at all. The organisation of this structure fails to comply on an international level, as well as improving Australia as a nation. How this is viewed to the public is essentially corruption. As part of Australia’s humanitarian programme, we agreed to accept 12,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq who had recently been internally displaced. While this agreement took place in November 2015, by March 2016, it was reported that 9,000 refugees were interviewed, 1,600 were granted Visa’s, and only as many as 29 were officially resettled.

How this ‘progressive’ agreement affects the Australian public is more sensitive. Does it give us faith that the government have these policies under control? Are they allowing such policies to go through the system without systematically working on how to patrol them? Without a formal structure in our government system, the information the media deliver to us is filtered. Moreover, the more we ponder and accept what the media is filtering through, more and more negative judgements are dumped upon refugees and asylum seekers respectively. Therefore the perception is altered.

Hypothetically, what would happen if this system of information distribution and government programmes was solved and/or remained unsolved? If it was fixed, the public opinion would be shaped for the better, allowing more positive awareness and a stronger emphasis on third party organisations that deal with this issue daily. Australia would be seen as a more reliable and organised country. The volume of outrage is set to increase if Australia as a government and as the people if we remain consistently inconsistent. Detention camps will continue to develop in congestion and the level of understanding these people will become bleak.

As the public is continually exposed to this nature of information through the media and political announcements, it’s quite evident that this problem is occurring everyday, and even if this problem was fixed, the perception will always be present. The people of Australia are still reliant on their opinions about the issue, as they are never exposed to another conflicting opinion.

The media is linked to a whole network of information that is shared around the world. While there is a constant problem of this crucial information being filtered, the realities of it are very different. The government are treating this problem in a way to send their information through to remain relevant, no to sustain trust from the public.

The public needs to be constantly provided with the realities of refugee / asylum seeker lifestyle and allow them to address the situation truthfully. There are so many conflicting negative opinions on this issue, when the focus should be on the information that the people of Australia aren’t ever aware of. Allowing an unfiltered display of information allows for a more controlled and confronting opinion that makes sense, as well as an organised government that prevents internal arguments and progresses on making this issue more relevant in today’s society.

Summary of Possibilities:
1. A visualisation highlighting the future of Refugees and Asylum Seekers:
The negative public perception of this group of people can be improved, or even altered if there was more recognition of the real problems that they face daily. A first hand experience or confrontation that attacks this view and shines light on the way these people are seen can change the way we perceive them in the future.

2. A visualisation on refugee and asylum seeker treatment on an international level:
Allowing to show the comparison of Australia on an international level will portray why unfair treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is a continual thing. Expressing the facts can allow for this change.

3. A visualisation of immediate living standards as a confrontation between media information and reality:
Creating a chance for the public to experience what it’s like to be a refugee, without having the need to go out of their way. Making this in the pure context of emotion and instant feeling, it’s a way to be critical of what Australia is faced with on a daily basis.

4. An installation of confinement:
While metaphorically placing objects that has instant connection with the user, the idea of this installation is to physically experience the living conditions of refugees, ultimately exemplifying their persistence with government systems. While trauma and desperation are two leading descriptions of these standards, one can only imagine until they’ve experienced it.

5. An installation of confinement (2):
Essentially tearing down the installation where there are only lines marked to represent the intersection of walls and placement of objects. Every user’s reaction will be either different or confronted by the fact that the media’s access to information should be the same as the information that’s reported to the public.

Draft Proposal: Installation of Confinement:

Each year there is a conflict between the arrival to Australia on an asylum seeker boat, and the government enforcement that is placed upon these people seeking asylum. Because of their seemingly illegal attempt to flee their home country in search for asylum, Australia is currently in a position where they need to manage accordingly to the numbers. Moreover, the lack of substantial and pure information through social media networks and media news has allowed the public to shift their perception to information that is ready to be outsourced.

To increase the awareness and acceptance of this demographic, I plan to set up a represented installation of the living conditions the refugees are dealt with in time of migration. With this installation, the general public have the option to interact with this installation to show their support and respect for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as sending their own message across as the general public unit.

As this proposal mainly relies on a strength in numbers, the ability to send a message across to a wide audience has never been easier. Why aren’t we utilising these resources?

With this plan, the achievement is split up into three entities, which relies heavily on resources and space: Awareness, interaction, acceptance.

Peter Andreacchio (11768381)

Post 8 – The problem space and possible design responses

Rekha Dhanaram

Continually throughout this subject I’ve tried to embrace the idea of ‘trusting the process’. However at times it’s quite hard to understand whether you’ve explored the issue in detail or too broadly. This is why I found this week’s task particularly useful. I’ve been constantly trying to figure out my focus and have been finding it hard with the mapping exercises. Whilst I’ve tried to ‘trust the process’ I’ve been stuck between the state of gaining more knowledge but losing a clear objective. Hence defining the problem space and working on individual responses in a group setting was very valuable.

Defining the problem statement

Who does the problem effect? Be specific.

The problem affects anyone in the countries with a situational context that forces individuals to flee and furthermore the countries they flee too. Between these two juxtaposing contexts the stakeholders are the asylum seekers and refugees, the government and the public to give a very brief outline. However the issue is not confined to these nations as it affects the international context as it is a problem pertaining to very core human needs, something international binding bodies continuously seek to define and act on.

What are the boundaries of the problem?

Some of the boundaries around this problem can be categorised as structural on an institutional level. This includes:
– Policy, legislation and motivation through the government
– International obligations through binding agreements on the UN Refugee Convention
– International agreements with other countries, particularly concerning offshore processing

Additionally there are boundaries presented by a lack of understanding. These include:
– Media representation of Refugees
– Perception of Refugees
– Censorship

Listing this raised this question on why there are boundaries. Could this be changed? or will there always be boundaries? Or is it the removal of boundaries that drive our desire for change?

When does the problem occur?

Simply put the problem occurs when there is a threat in a country that prevents people from having a good quality of life. However the refugee and asylum seeker journey is a long one, hence various problems occur at different stages. Is the threat forcing them to flee where the problem starts or is it the denial of entering another country where the problem starts?

Why is this important?

At the core this issue concerns the life of humans and their ability to satisfy innate needs. Hence it’s important as it concerns a matter of ethics around humanity. However it is also important as it affects a large number of people from the asylum seeker and refugee community, to the local community to the international community. Furthermore this problem is one that has happened in the past and is very likely to happen in the future if not for the same reason, for others. Thus dealing with it now is a direct influencer of how we would go about in the future. As such more needs to be done to address this issue.

What would happen if the problem is solved?

This question has a lot of scope for answers from eradicating offshore detention to becoming a more informed and welcoming community to ensuring government voting and personal motivations don’t affect policy making. However all these potential solutions focus on one aspect.

Is it too much to ask for a bigger solution?

Eradicating the threat to people’s quality of life that initially forces them to seek asylum is another problem space of its own. Whilst it deals with asylum seekers and refugees it is in a way detached as the threat is different for every instance. Rather than focusing on the origins of the threat if we looked at the issue of displacement and answering the desire of seeking a good quality of life in a new setting we are presented with another big problem. In regards to this, whilst it may be quite far fetched, the idea of borders being removed could present and ideal solution. Utilising the research methodology of ‘heaven and hell’, could ‘hell’ be the present situation and ‘heaven’ be this idea of no borders, meaning no laws prohibiting entry, no perceptions that view others as outsiders?

Problem statement

The previous set of questions really helped articulate my thoughts. However I found it difficult to summarise the problem in one line. Rather my problem statement is made of multiple facets that I found integral to conveying my understanding.

My problem statement(s)

  • Representation of Refugees- The refugee story remains largely hidden and untold.
  • The Refugee experience -in the stages of fleeing (distress and poor conditions), processing (mental and physical health) and resettling (the “acculturation gap” (Buki, Ma, Strom, & Strom, 2003))
  • Individuals are disengaged with the issue either willingly or unwillingly.
  • Navigating through information provided becomes difficult as there are underlying motivations, bias and information we are unaware of.
  • The language around refugees and asylum seekers conveys the inherent bias and lack of education.

Proposal possibilities:

With 18-24 year olds as my target audience I found it useful to define key words that would describe the aim of my design intervention. 

Engage in an interesting way. Challenge perceptions. Enable conversation. Make change accessible.

These key words and phrases were drawn from how I wish to respond to the aforementioned problem statements. They also provide a framework against which I can continuously reflect on my design.

I know that my problem statements are quite broad in tackling the issue however I felt I needed to acknowledge all the insights I found important. Yet when coming up with my design proposal I found it more appropriate to focus on one area in depth. As such I came up with the following ideas as possible proposals.

Exploring censorship

In response to the Border Force Act , I want to create an intervention that highlights the effects of censorship. Due to the increased interconnectedness of people through social media and digital platforms, we find ourselves over saturated with news. My primary research earlier on in this subject revealed how the 18-24 year old age group deals with this over saturation. Feelings of helplessness and being overwhelmed can often result in them avoiding the news (avoid clicking on links). Conversely the saturation can also see them consume a lot of information while not being sure on how to process and navigate through this space.

Alongside these findings I became interested in the creative form of blackout poetry. Blackout poetry is the alteration of every day text through ‘blacking out’ certain words and highlighting others to create a poem. The end result is often devoid of the original text and can result in interesting compositions. Drawing on this, I liked the idea of exploring black out poetry in two discourses of media and refugees. It would be a tool to highlight an opposite narrative.

I would like this to be an interactive design. As such, I propose that it would be incorporated in a public setting. I’ve been looking into public means of communication and think that this would work well in a bill board or some form of large screen interaction. People would be able to interact with the blackout poetry to reveal the original article and various poems (more so dialogues of refugees) and could even perhaps submit their own attempt.

Looking at public opinions as a means of receiving news

Exploring data scraping the subject revealed the number of people who voice their opinions on this issue through digital media. It’s quite interesting to see how a sense of autonomy has driven the idea of expressing your views. Whilst the effectiveness of this is subject to debate, I want to highlight that as simple as it may be in this day and age to convey your thoughts, there is a responsibility that comes with it.

Furthermore through personal experiences and once again referring back to my primary research, I find that as much as we are saturated by news, we are saturated by people’s opinion ten fold to this. Thus the question becomes, do people’s opinions have as much weight as the news?

I find that the debate that comes in response to a news really reveals the thoughts of the public, how they process the information and can convey more information to others with a far wider reach. To highlight this I propose a design intervention which works like the mx Overheard section. I want to create an Overheard section for this issue with a collation of people’s online comments and thoughts. it would be interesting to compare this to the articles that prompted their thoughts. I imagine it as a a newspaper spread with the public news on one side and the media news on the other. I do understand that there is a vast array of views to collate and do realise that i need to further work out the logistic and medium for this proposal.

Exploring borders and the physical refugee journey

Drawing on the heaven and hell scenario that arose in our group discussion, I was really interested in the idea of borders and the refugee journey. I believe that conveying the refugee story will build a sense of empathy and understanding amongst the broader public. However I wanted to explore a way to integrate this within a public setting in a seamless way. As such I’ve been looking at way finding as a means of interaction. 

One idea I came up with was the possibility of using interactive street signs to challenge perceptions and convey the refugee journey. Either as a separate installation or one incorporated with existing street signs that mark the refugees distance away from home. This could be a single prompt or could be a touch point for people to learn more about refugees.

I definitely need to consider more details for this project including the information it will convey, further points of contact and the duration of the design.