Blog post 9


Triggering through Brainstorming!

After working individually on the problem statement (as per blog post 8), as a group we collaborated once again to brainstorm the initial idea generations.

We started our discussion, by first briefing each other on the category of climate change as we were individually looking at and sharing our problem statement with each other. Our issues were overlapping in a way as they had more or less same stakeholders. We together used some important keywords from all our researches as a base point that can be used to generate design ideas.

Brainstorming initial ideas by group.

Carbon footprint, Livestock industry, Sustainability, Greenhouse gas, Carbon image and Carbon tax were starting points for us. Without much thinking we let our brains over speak and wrote all the possible ideas that were popping out of our mind.

Strength – By not thinking deeply on each idea, it gave us an opportunity to write as much as we can. This in a way helped us in later stage combining two or more initial thoughts and creates a concept as a design solution.

Weakness – Sometimes in such scenario the ideas and keywords get repetitive. And with more information I worried that I might miss out on some important aspect and cover the irrelevant.

Sketches done while brainstorming.

Later we shared our initial ideas with the teacher and got some peer feedback. I developed a sketch version of what I can use as a starting point in all three type of executions.

Generative Experimentation: Data collection of the emotions, a tourist has while visiting different tourist spots in Australia.

Data Visualization: Mapping the carbon footprint of a set of tourist in their one-day trip to Australia visit.

Service Design: Exploring the idea of a one-day journey on a hop on- off tourist bus and how at each point a tourist will be encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint by either offering them a better commutation mode or offering them discounts on eating vegetarian food.

For example, back of a museum ticket will have the information on how one can reduce their individual CO2 if they take a public transport back to their hotel, or may be a Café voucher which can have some information on a particular food type that contributes to less gas emission in the environment compared to some other food item while its production.

My peers also contributed their feedback on my ideas and gave me a better understanding on which is workable concept. With a basic starting point I think it should be a good start for a semester break where I can explore more using research to understand the design possibility and its practical execution.


Brainstorming 2015, viewed 17 September 2016, <;.



{post 9} the visual documentation & reflection of post 8.

collaborative process. visual documentation. reflection. judith tan.

Visual documentation and reflection on the collaborative brainstorming process as discussed in post 8.

{group brainstorming}

(Yanovsky, Grieve, Dakkak, Stollery & Tan 2016) We all wrote down our individual ideas for each other’s propositions onto one sheet of paper, as our focusses, objectives and goals were quite similar.

Continue reading “{post 9} the visual documentation & reflection of post 8.”

{post 8} the process of arriving at a design response.

collaborative process. design response possibilities. draft proposal. judith tan.

(Flatau 2016)

We came together as a group to brainstorm possibilities for design responses to our focuses for the issue of homelessness. My objective, what I wanted my design response to achieve, was this:

To shift/change (even slightly) the public’s perception of homelessness (e.g. how easy it is to become homeless, etc.). This would cause the public to be less judgmental and more understanding, help them refrain from jumping to conclusions, be more willing to help and more informed in how to help. The shift in perspectives and attitudes would benefit the homeless and also the organisations seeking to help them.

Continue reading “{post 8} the process of arriving at a design response.”

{post 7} the process of mapping.

mapping process. reflection. judith tan.

(Julie 2016)

Before I scraped the web, for over a period of two to three weeks, the homelessness collaboration group I am working with went through several brainstorming sessions to write and map out what we had individually learned thus far. The purpose was to gain different and broader perspectives from each other’s research and points of view.

Continue reading “{post 7} the process of mapping.”

Post 9: Anyone Got Any Ideas?

Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session
Christine Ye

As a continuation of post 8 which talked about the process, possibilities and findings of the brainstorming exercise, this one discusses what I felt were the strengths and weaknesses of the exercise.

While the group brainstorming exercise was intended to generate five different problem statements and various possibilities for those statements, our group ended up creating an overarching problem statement on what we thought was the crux of the housing affordability issue based on the 5 W’s.

Our one comprehensive problem statement.

The Problem Statement: In 21st century Australia, Generation Y is experiencing difficulties when it comes to buying their first home. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world and because of the high cost of living, paired with the younger generation’s low to medium starting income, this creates unfair opportunities for them in a housing market dominated by older, richer generations and property investors. The lack of collaborative government support in affordable housing, and a surplus of unsuitable property supply, resulting in a rapid disappearing model of the Australian Dream.

Strengths: Although we didn’t do the exercise as intended, the mapping component helped to paint a clearer picture on what we all felt were the main points to consider in the issue of housing affordability – it was a step that narrowed the issue down and helped put into perspective what we, as 18 to 24 year olds felt were crucial to address. As someone who has significant difficulty with putting words into sentences to accurately depict an idea, I felt that the problem statement we produced as a group is something that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. I’ve realised that the way something is worded can help to produce a much more rich, illustrative or emotive image in one’s mind which generates a more empathetic reaction from the audience.

Weaknesses: Even though we did so many weeks of research (which is quite a time consuming process), having to take insights from that research, identify possibilities and actually turn it into an opportunity for a design proposal was a huge strain on my brain. The brainstorming exercise would have been a great way to tune each other into thinking about the issue critically and specifically… had we actually done it the right way. At this point, I felt like there was an overall uncertainty between all my group members as to how we were to put on those specific thinking hats and whether we were on the right track or not so we ended up looking at the problem stating exercise in a very broad manner. This resulting in us mulling for the rest of the tutorial as to what proposals could come out of such a broad perspective, and unfortunately we left class with no answers. Possibly we just needed a nice long study break to break ourselves away from the subject for a little and come back with a fresh outlook on how to go about this crucial part of the subject.

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)

09 – If in doubt, try again


Wk6 in class brainstorm
Wk6 in class Five W’s and brainstorm

Culminating the research phase of the project, the focus our group sessions shifted to exploring potential design responses for our issues. To facilitate this discussion we initially framed the problem within the scope of the Five W’s – who, what, when, where and why. Specifying the context within which the problem exists established a sound foundation for the proposal to be developed.

Whilst such a format is incredibly useful in translating the conclusions drawn from research into a design context, without a fairly specific direction in mind, the exercise will merely described a vague or overly broad context. Although I had clearly found the use of language in media dialogue around mental health to be problematic, I felt that my answers to the Five W’s were still quite generalised.

When attempting to thoroughly explain the context of my issue to my group I found that I could not identify a specific element to focus my design response. Without a refined direction in mind, and a very limited amount of time remaining to the class, it then became difficult to benefit from the group brainstorming process. Had the Five W’s been completed prior to class, perhaps a clearer understanding of the shift from research into design would have been established and thus a more productive exploration into proposals engaged.

Continue reading “09 – If in doubt, try again”

Visual documentation of the brainstorming


Blog post. 9 Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

Written by Hyunjoung You


5W visual document.png

I was quite enjoyed doing 5’W’ process. This exercise helped me to narrow down to specific one issue, and it also organized my idea in a logical. It was appropriate approach to draw clear problem statement, and identify what I have to look at more and design for it.

Brainstorming for possible design responses
brainstroming after.png
Brainstorming map after feedback 

As you can see two above images, I needed to brainstorming for possible design responses. Our tutors let us divide into three practice types for brainstorming: service design, data visualization and generative system. It made me having diverse types of design response. If it was not divided like that, I came up with limited practice types of design. Other process was sharing ideas to each group member’s brainstorming map. My group members’ issue was also obesity and healthy living, so they all have some knowledge of the subject. They were able to give some more platforms such as magazine and postcard that I could not come up with. However, they do not have deeper understanding of the association between sedentary work and health (my specific issue); hence, it was hard to obtain the contents which would be in design. Overall, it was nice opportunity to draw suitable possible design responses for my issue.


Brainstorming possibilities for preventing from being sedentary.

Blog post 8. Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

Written by Hyunjoung You

After finished mapping and further research for my specific issue, I found that sedentary work could cause diverse disease such obesity, physical and mental problem. In week 6’s tutorial, we started to brainstorm the possibilities for a design response to our issue. Our tutor let us brainstorm via 5‘W’ at first to analyze the problem and draw problem statement.

5’W’ Analyzing problem

The problem : Sedentary work linked to physical and mental health such as obesity, backache and depression.

1. WHO does the problem affect?

People who do sedentary work such as office worker, designer, driver and students are affected by this problem. They usually work using computers and need to sit down for a while.

2. WHAT are the boundaries of the problem?

  • Lack of willpower 

In fact, people are aware of how sedentary lifestyle affects their health negatively. However, it is really difficult to change their lifestyle since they used to live sedentary lifestyle. People are already exposed to comfortable lifestyle; thus, they began to prefer driving car rather than taking walk or riding bicycles; using lifts or elevators rather than climbing stairs. Therefore, people need more reminders to act by themselves for their health.

  • Work Environment

The employees do not really move their body at workplaces because they are able to work sitting down on the chairs. Most workers might move when they have lunch times. Moreover, most offices have lifts or elevators, so the workers do not have chances to even a short walk. The companies have responsibilities for their employees’ health because working hours are not short.

3. WHEN does the problem occur?

When people do not do physical activities at all, the problem occurs.

– Constantly sitting down

4. WHERE does the problem occur?

Companies / Home / School / University

5. WHY is it important? Why we have to look at it, and why we have to design for it?

Healthy living is one of important things to improve people’s life quality. It does not mean not only physically healthy, also mentally healthy. However, being sedentary affect both of physical and mental health negatively that is why we should look at this issue, and design for it.


5 ‘W’, one of brainstorming exercise, helped me to drew the problem statement.

Problem Statement

How do we make / motivate people being active from sedentary ?


Five Possibilities

I divided into three sections. They are service design, generative system, and data visualisation to come up with five possible designs are based on the problem statement.

  1. Physical activities programs and products (Service design)

Company can provide their employees with some physical activities programs such as morning yoga and after-work team sports. Also, they can offer the products that prevent the employees from being sedentary during work: standing desk, massage chair or running machine with desk.

  1. Exhibition (Generative system)

To give awareness how being sedentary lifestyle is harmful, we can hold small exhibition in public / open space. The exhibition would display photography or art works that are caused by a sedentary lifestyle such as the illustration of obesity, photography of person who suffers lower back pain, or express anxiety. The last piece at the exhibition shows sedentary lifestyle: constantly sitting, lying on the bed, and watching TV, etc. People will realize that sedentary lifestyle brings about lots of problem not only physical problems, also mental problems; therefore, it will help them to remind of it.

  1. Postcard in magazine (Service design + generative system + data visualization)

Government or organizations that are related to public health provide the companies with lifestyle magazine to inform how bad sedentary work is and obtain the data from the survey. We can create infographic design to explain about the problems of sedentary work on one page or more. Moreover, we need to put the postcard in the back, which includes the survey is asking about their daily routine. One of the questions would be ‘how long they are sedentary per day?’ Thus, we can use the results of the survey to create data visualization as a further possibility.

  1. App (Service design)

The function of this application is asking the employees to do some physical activities and care about their health. Company can install the application in their employees’ computers to motivate them to move.

  1. Short video (Service design)

We can create the video to promote physical activities. The video shows how to do simple exercise that office workers can do at their workplaces. The length of video is be about 5 minutes, and it plays before quitting time. Therefore, the office workers can refresh by simple work out before leaving the offices, and feel better.


I am still considering between exhibition and app as my final design response at the moment. However, I already explained more detail about exhibition, so I would like to talk about the application.

Through 5 ‘W’, I analyzed that people have already recognized about the negative effects of being sedentary. However, one of the barriers to not being sedentary was the lack of willpower. Especially, the office workers do not have time to do some physical activities. They used to live sedentary lifestyle, so it would be difficult to change their lifestyle immediately. I found that the better way to motivate them being active during work or after work is reminding them of being active.

Draft Proposal

Sedentary lifestyle brings about diverse physical and mental problems such as obesity, lower back pain, and depression. However, some people need to be sedentary, especially, if they do sedentary work.

My issue is “How do we prevent the office workers from being sedentary?” I aim to encourage the office workers to do some physical actions during work or after work via my proposal. The design type is application (service design). Companies can install this application on their employees’ computers. The application will pop up the text in a window, which is asking to do some physical actions for the workers’ health by periods. The text will have friendly tone, so it might give little fun in their tired and repeated working lifestyle.





Post 9: Pros and cons of collaborative brainstorming

Molly Grover

Like any process, collaborative brainstorming has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

In this tutorial, myself and two other classmates joined forces, sharing with other our individual problem statements and then devoting time to brainstorm the associations, themes and actors that came to mind for each one.

Starting with my rough beginnings of a problem statement, we oriented our first mind map around the trauma experienced by refugees in offshore detention. An immediate strength of this process was the fresh sets of eyes offered by my two classmates. Coming from their own unique social and geographical contexts, they brought a multitude of ideas to the fore that would never have crossed my mind.

Our first mind map focused on my problem statement (Copyright 2016 Molly Grover).

For example, Lily brought attention to the psychologists, doctors, aid workers and other staff working in the detention camps, encouraging me to see the trauma experienced in camps as affecting more than just the detainees themselves. The ideas mapped by my classmates acted to not only challenge my own framing of the problem statement, but also trigger my own ideas in new directions.

For example, Lily’s suggestion of the effect of detention on a child’s moral code spurred on my own reflection on the ethics (or lack of) being taught by the practice of detention. Whilst putting your unique area of interest under the microscope can be somewhat daunting, it ultimately pays generous dividends. Simultaneously solidifying and shifting the boundaries of my problem statement, each suggestion made by my group members triggered ideas for a possible design response.

Since my two group members had developed nearly identical problem statements, we decided to combine these into a single brainstorming session, oriented around attitudes towards refugees. Inadvertently, this illuminated the close and inextricable links between the two problem statements, with one informing the other. Australian attitudes towards refugees are unquestionably affected by the trauma that those refugees experience in offshore detention.

Our second mind map focused on the problem statement of my two classmates (Copyright 2016 Molly Grover).

Inspiring me to reverse this relationship, this brainstorm sparked the idea of harnessing public attitudes in my design response, and employing them to make change to the problem of offshore detention. In revealing this link, the brainstorming session was of great benefit to me, acting as a kind of ‘re-frame’ to my own personal work.

One interesting thing worth noting was the difference in flow between the first and second brainstorming sessions. I have often thought that it is much easier to give ideas to others than to come up with ideas for your own work, and this was certainly confirmed during these exercises. My thoughts flowed much more freely during the second brainstorming session than the first.

Upon reflection, I feel that this is most likely due to the lack of pressure or consequence when working with someone else’s idea, and the freeing effect that this has on the expression of ideas – without the need for prior critical evaluation.

From these sessions, it is very hard to identify any significant weakness to the process of collaborative brainstorming. One frustration, however, does present itself in the ambiguity of the webs of ideas produced by such a session. Never completely exhaustive, a mind map alone cannot resolve a problem, and rather functions as a mere guide for forward motion. It is up to the designer to actively choose one of the resulting ideas or themes to run with and develop further, grappling all the while with the possibility of picking a dead end.

From my own experience, however, I have found that it is in this place of risk and uncertainty that most good and meaningful work begins.


Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

In our brainstorming session, my group members and I started to discuss and develop a problem statement for each issue. Although I had already defined the specific area in which wanted to develop my proposition (Paternity leave), I realised I had troubles with deciding on what specific moment I wanted to address within the issue, as well as if I wanted to address either the fathers, or the employers.

Who, What, Why Where etc. by Ahlstrom C. Meeko L. Meland J. (2016)

I got help from my peers to expand on the factors of – who, when, what, why, where etc. This was helpful to once again see the lenses through which the problem can be approached and the parameters of the problem. This made me realise that a design response would obviously affect and be addressed to an audience which is slightly older than 18-24 year olds, depending on the fact when most couples start families in Australia. (Hilder et al. 2014)

Brainstorming map by Ahlstrom C, Meeko L, Meland J. (2016)

I began with stating the problem as ‘Low paternity leave causing workplace inequity’, but since this was too broad I narrowed it down it to the moment when ‘Father’s face/fear stigma when considering paternity leave’. My fellow students and I started brainstorming freely on the problem statement and we all proposed towards ideas relating to awareness of the issue, and affects to change of traditional values. For example: promotion packages, paternity showers, daddy communities etc. Most ideas were attached to service design solutions, and a few would also combine with information visualisation. This brainstorming session was probably the most rewarding one so far, everyone in my group came with insights from different ways depending on their area of interest in the issue. I believe that the mapping exercises has given us sufficient knowledge to be able to approach our issues with confidence.

By Camilla Ahlström

Ahlstrom C, Meeko L, Meland J. 2016, Brainstorming map, Class exercise, University of Technology, Sydney
Ahlstrom C. Meeko L. Meland J. 2016, Who, What, Why Where etc. Class exercise, University of Technology, Sydney
Hilder, L., Zhichao, Z., Parker, M., Jahan, S., & Chambers, G.M. 2014, Australia’s mothers and babies 2012, (Perinatal statistics series no. 30. Cat. no. PER 69.) Canberra: AIHW


blog 9- Visual Documentation of The Brainstorming

By Marcella K. Handoko Kwee


The Mindmaps



The first mindmap shows several possible ways to make a difference in mental health issue in people age 18-25 very clearly. The starting point of the mindmap has already concluded the whole story of the mindmap. It is easy to recognise what the group is trying to say through the words “proactive” and “self-help”. According to dictionary, proactive means controlling a situation before anything has happened. The meaning of it is similar to prevention. Furthermore, self-help has a meaning of taking an independent action in order to take care of themselves. In other words, an action taken without relying on others’ help. Self-help can also be taken anywhere and anytime that suit their needs.

Mindfulness, learning about self-characters and personalities, turning mobile phone notifications off for a while, willing to change are few examples of prevention that can be taken in your free time at your private places. This is why it being referred as “self-help”. Although everything seems to be alright, there are few things that I would like to point out. Instead of putting repetitive words with similar meaning to the starting point title, such as “early prevention” and “proactivity”, we could use the space to explain how each action might contibute to change to the issue, how easy the action is to be taken by young adults age 18-25 without putting so much pressure/effort onto it. Furthermore, the mindmap shows that the group struggled to explain few things that are meant to be stretched a little further. One of these is how computer and colors are linked to emotions.

The second mindmap contains the same message as much as the first mindmap, which is some ways that people age 18-25 could do on their own in order to make a difference in mental health issue, however this mindmap tends to show us how we are supposed to control ourselves in the way we treat other people, which makes it slightly different from the first mindmap. Self-control (ownership) and situation-handling skills play important roles in this matter. One of the few things that can control the surroundings and the way the body and mind react to the situations is yourself. It is pretty much the same as self-help kind of treatment however, we can start supporting each other, help the others to deal with the problems and it starts from you. You can make a difference in others’ lives. If you have ever heard of this, being generous, helping others is a key to achieving happiness. Try to be more sensitive towards others’ feelings (how do you want to make people feel, think whether what you say is kind and true), learn kindness, practice mindfulness, train your brain are few examples of making a difference in mental health issue, for you and others.

Post 9 – Searching for the Silver Lining in a Brainstorm

Lily Partridge

Surce A: A refined map based upon the brainstorming process in class around the topic of single-sex rights groups on the internet.

Above is a refined version of the mapping exercise that I undertook with my group of 4 in our tutorial last week. This process of developing a problem statement and brainstorming lead to a variety of possible design propositions explored in my most recent post. Initially my problem statement was too broad and wouldn’t have allowed for in depth insights and refined solutions, and so for the first half of the exercise we were brainstorming different elements of the solutions, for example the language, angle, tone, ideal outcome and how to elaborate upon previous research that had been undertaken.

About half way through the process we began developing possible solutions to the problem statement and on the map these can be seen 2-3 components away from the centre. I was really interested in the idea of analysing language and tone as I’d recently undertaken the data scraping task for blog 6 and was fascinated by the way that single-sex rights and liberation groups on Reddit spoke about the other gender, with an ingrained sense of contempt and casual use of derogatory language that appeared to be permissible amongst these communities. A barrier of the brainstorming here was that no one in our group had experience with or understanding of how to quantify tone or whether there were any bots or algorithms that have the capability to register tone and language to this extent. I think I will continue down this kind of path for my final proposal, whether it is more generative or visualisation-driven, as we were able to come up with some really interesting options to take further.

A benefit to undertaking this task extended beyond just my own brainstorming period; helping others develop their proposals gave me a glimpse into different areas of the board topic of gender equality that I hadn’t investigated myself. For some reason I felt that my own concept development was stronger when working with the other topic areas, so whether I’m currently blinkered in my own approach or I’ve exhausted all solutions in a narrow area I’m not sure, but it was a little disheartening to not feel as confident with my own brainstorm. In hindsight, I feel that this process would have been much more effective if I had been able to completely clear my mental slate and approach the topic without ideas already in my head. This will be something to consider for next brainstorm I think!   

Post 8 – Understanding Gender Equality and Proposing Solutions

Lily Partridge

Up until this point I had tried to be immersed and completely focused on the topic of gender equality and feminism as much as possible without really considering options for a design proposal as a response to the issue. Undertaking this brainstorming task with peers who were equally immersed in the same issue made this a lot more interesting and beneficial to my idea development. In the development of the issue statement to direct the brainstorming, I didn’t have a very succinct or specific explanation of my issue, and as a result of being quite broad, at the time my insights and possible solutions were quite bland.

Developing the problem statement by following the Who, What, When, Where, Why method was a really good way to better understand the issue and lead to some potential outcomes.  Repeating and elaborating on this process individually later though, I began to brainstorm some potential directions for tackling the issue in a more tapered and structured way around the topic of how online communities engage with feminism across social media.

Who Does the Problem Affect?

The issue of Gender Equality affects everyone, however not all in the same way or with the same level of pervasiveness. This can be specified further by considering those frequently engaging with social media and online communities, such as Reddit and Facebook. This audience consists predominantly of late teens to late thirty year olds as a rough estimate. Further still, whilst both sexes are affected by gender inequality, there are sub groups that equally affected but, again, have varying levels of action and engagement. These include men’s rights, anti-feminist movements, pro-feminist groups, LGBTIQ advocates, spiritual adherents, and simply the cultures of behaviour that pervade the different online platforms.

What Are the Boundaries of the Problem?

In the simplest of terms, gender inequality affects both men and women, and whilst traditionally this has been an issue tackled by the feminist movement, we are increasingly assessing the impact of excluding men from this discussion, the perpetuation of many double standards, social expectations and stereotypes that are outdated and sexist, and, attributing Feminism to a single sex.

When Does the Problem Occur? When Does it Need to be Fixed?

Gender inequality has been a element of our history from the very beginning. Actually considering the male role in the feminist movement has only arisen over the last few decades, and actions have been taken in an even shorter time frame. As social media has only existed as a key channel of communication for the last 15 years or so, it is only recently that groups have banded together online to share their views on the topic. Due to the nature of social media and the internet, the information and discussion around the problem has all increased tenfold by being able to interact with someone sharing your perspective who lives on the other side of the world. Communities are strengthened in numbers and accessibility and issues arise when opposing views are not able to respectfully debate the issue and work towards mutually agreeable solutions.

As for a deadline for action, there is not an overnight solution. Like racism and homophobia, it has taken generations before a mentality of respect is deeply and intrinsically ingrained in our society enough to speak out against hate. Ideally this is fixed sooner rather than later so we can begin embracing what different sexes have to offer without elitism or sexism.

Where is the problem occurring?

Specifically for social media, the problem is occurring amongst online communities with very subject mentalities towards the issue, and as the problem occurs across a spectrum that includes the impacts on men and women and the oppositions to both stances, each community’s culture of discourse and action makes collaboration and discussion difficult despite the extremely accessible platform for communication. Although for the purposes of this task I was focusing on online communities, the implications of the actions and worldviews formed by actively participating in these groups shapes wider aspects of our society, such as workplace interactions, legislation, social norms and taboos, and cross-cultural collaboration and discussion.

Why is it important that the problem is fixed? What impact does it have on all stakeholders?

In this case I would disagree with the term “fixed”. The status of our current society is a clear outcome of  developing “successfully” as a result of a patriarchal background. We are at a point now of reflection upon the impact of this history and considering how we need to change in order to function successfully in a future civilisation where no one is discriminated based on their sex and people are free to make personal decisions that are not shaped by expectations of their gender. I would say that the term “evolve” is more appropriate, as each generation is being equipped with a mentality to better adapt to the necessity for respect towards both gender that is becoming increasingly prevalent in society today.

5 Possible Outcomes

From the brainstorming process, these are three potential outcomes to address the problem statement.

1. Comparing Language of Women’s and Men’s Rights cultures
This would be better suited to subreddits with established extremist communities with their own opinions towards the other sex. I find these pro-single sex groups really interest and my proposal would be a generative visualisation map of the tone and language used across these different subreddits. For example, men’s rights groups, even when speaking matter-of-factly about women have a culture of speaking in very derogatory language about them within their posts and comments. It is really interesting to juxtapose these discourses and approaches to emphasise the lack of cohesiveness and promote action and discussion.

2. Map engagement levels across groups on the genre equality spectrum
Similarly to the previous proposal, this would be a more data based visualisation based on generative data. I propose a spectrum of gender equality with the single-sex extremists wings at either and and pure gender equality in the centre, similar to a political spectrum. Along this spectrum would be positioned various groups/pages/subreddits (dependent upon the social media platform) as columns of engagement, based on their stance towards equality. As people subscribe to these different groups or the topics ‘trend’, the columns would be affected, such as becoming higher or brighter to visualise where our weight on the issue, as a society, is actually sitting.

3. Juxtaposing messages of sexism or gender inequality
The goal of this proposal is to represent how ingrained in our society gender inequality is. This would work by matching two tweets, for example, with the same phrase relating to gender inequality, such as “I hate it that women…”, or “Why can’t boys…”. By comparing two separate statements it will ideally create small microcosm of the huge spectrum of areas that this issue encapsulates. Further, it would be really interesting to compare statements that are directly related to genders, to highlight the negative phrasing and language that is used against men and women on the internet.

4. Connect people from across the globe with similar perspectives and online interactions
Using the benefits of easy communication, I propose utilising a bot to track user location and posts by analysing key phrases and subscribed groups and using this data, connect the two people via either an existing or a new platform. This would be a really interesting way for individuals to gain a more informed understanding of the issue from a different cultural perspective.

5. Twitter-bot reply to anti-equality tweets
Using a method of data-scraping and automated posting (e.g. bots), sexist tweets that degrade either males or females would be automatically replied to with a message or link that calls our the sexism. Whilst this would definitely be met with a lot of confrontation I think it would be a really interesting way to help people realise that certain things that are said are in fact sexist or promoting gender inequality.

A Proposal

Hybrid Generative System and Data Visualisation: Juxtaposing Gender-specific Tweets

As contemporary society strives to achieve access to universal gender equality across all areas of life, it must be remembered that both males and females are affected by gender discrimination and movements towards fair outcomes. Gender equality ensures respect, acknowledgement and celebration of individuals and groups without prejudice or criticism.

Achieving equality doesn’t mean simply elevating rights of the oppressed to those of the oppressors, but to provide means for both genders to flourish regardless of sex in an equity-driven culture. Currently, movements towards gender equality are mostly focused upon females having the same rights that males currently uphold, and less focused upon identifying where men’s rights should rise to meet women’s. Due to a history of women’s oppression, as a modern society we are much more accepting of harsh public critique of men, an impact of relatively second-wave feminist propaganda, specifically present in online platforms. Contrastingly, criticism of women is viewed as discrimination and sexism, resulting in resentment and the exclusion of men in the equality discussion. This institutionalised and publicised perpetuation of double standards has lead to feminists gaining a negative stigma and reputation for being hypocritical and male-hating, and men feeling that they can not be open about feeling repressed the way that women are praised for.

The purpose of my proposal is to promote public awareness and reflection of the language and attitudes we frequently employ when discussing the other sex. The final design is a hybrid of a generative system and data visualisation, utilising a Twitter-bot to find, compare and display tweets on a screen-based platform. The process for this bot would be to cycle through a series of phrases directed at both females and males separately and compare them side-by-side, which would continuously update every 5-10 seconds to show a new phrase and tweet pair. By visually juxtaposing tweets that use the same phrasing relating to females and males respectively, the aim is to visualise the spectrum of attitudes and opinions that are expressed on this topic. I anticipate that the most evident display in this system would be the ingrained condemnation and hypo-criticism for one or both sexes, which continues to discourage mutually respectful outcomes.

An example of how this would work is shown in the mock up below (source A). In this case the algorithm has searched for the phrase “I love that women/men…” and have displayed two of the corresponding tweets in juxtaposition. As is evident in this example, the attitude and tone in each tweet are completely different, with the first applauding women for creating empowerment from their over-sexualisation, and the second sarcastically calling out men for sexual assault crimes reflected in a patriarchal judicial system. In this one example we can see how the public opinion on this topic is very disparaging of men whilst simultaneously praising the same actions performed by women.

Source A: Mock up of how the interface would look utilising the phrase “I love that women/men…” highlighting a double standard we uphold. Sourced from Twitter.

In a second example (source B), using the same process but with the phrase “I love that girls/guys…”, a completely different attitude towards specific genders is represented. It is interesting that these two examples praise actions that subvert traditional gender roles and thus provide an insight into how we are really embracing acts towards mutually beneficial gender equality. Further, by cycling through different words to describe males and females, a greater scope in opinions can be reached, as more colloquial tones tend to be used for praising, whilst formal vernacular is often linked with criticism. In this case referring to females and males as girls and guys creates a much more light-hearted tone and yields vastly different results to the previous example.

Source B: Utilising the phrase “I love that girls/guys…” showing praise for subverted stereotypes. Sourced from Twitter. 


As the twitter-bot would not be able to consistently and accurately identify the tone or angles used in either tweet in the pairing, this would reveal some really interesting comparisons. The table (source C) below highlights the combinations of tweets opinions and the result of the juxtaposition.

Source C: Table depicting what message is conveyed when juxtaposing tweets with different subjectivity.

The idyllic end goal is that as both individuals and wider society we become more aware of how we speak about the opposite sex, particularly on social media where as many as 50% of the users could be offended by a sexist generalisation that is the result of an ignorant interaction with a minority. This is the first step in extending the hand of respect that will take us one step further to embracing gender equality.

The five W’s and unlimited potential

Post nine: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session
By Marie Good

Before I could work on developing a design proposal or situating my design statement in a decisive way, it was essential for me to firstly understand all the elements of my target audience involved. The following questions had to be asked, with my responses included below.


Consumers; the general public; particularly people with little knowledge of the foods they consume or people with a medium / strong interest, yet not qualified as a reliable source of information. It also affects the manufacturers and producers of foods.


There is a general lack of awareness or desire to be aware because of the complexity and boring structure of current information. Also potentially a lack of accessibility to information or healthy options.


Every time a consumer purchases or consumers. In shopping malls, supermarkets, cafes, their own kitchen etc.


When shopping, when hungry, when preparing food.


Nutritional information currently is not desirable to read. People would rather read an unreliable blog post or watch a reality cooking show than learn the fundamental chemistry of profile of nutrition.


After this, I was able to work on creating a design statement which I discussed with my peers. This discussion proved very helpful for myself, in understanding if what I was investigating made sense to others, instead of only myself. They even informed me of some areas I could look for information on my topic.

Next I took all the suggestions and feedback I had received and started brainstorming potential design solutions. The important part here was to think as big as I could and create ideas not limited to my own available resources for reality but the skills and funds featuring a more collaborative approach. I asked myself, if my own funding and skills were limitless, what could I achieve to create change. This thinking pattern created some very far-fetched, yet potentially extremely effective design solutions, as well as some more grounded and realistic ideas. In order to create some structure out of my chaotic jhand generated storm, I recreated this by computer intervention. The end map is pictured here below.


This process of collaboration was highly effective in this instance as the reactions of others and their feedback, enabled me to understand if my thinking made sense or was of value to those other than myself. Their suggestions for further research as well, allowed me to uncover more sources of information that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Post 8: Pinpointing the Problem Statements

Post 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response
Christine Ye

Group Brainstorming Session

At this point in the subject, it was about time to start thinking of some design possibilities that could target the issue of housing affordability… a complex topic that has proven itself to be affected by so many factors, and at the same time is growing to affect so many Australians. While each of our blog posts brought out a new set of insights through the specific research tasks, it was still difficult to pick exactly where a design intervention could fit into the puzzle and hopefully also help a small portion of the issue. To get us moving along, we collaborated as a group to brainstorm some problem statements by answering 5 questions of the who, what, when, where and why of the issue.

Who does this issue affect?
The issue of housing affordability affect everyone, as housing is a necessity in life. However our main stakeholders are the younger and future generations of Australia, especially focusing on those from Generation Y who are currently looking for or planning to invest in their first homes with their low to middle level incomes.

What are the boundaries of the issue?
The boundaries of the issue include intergenerational differences, a lack of mutual understanding between parties, foreign buyers and property investors, the Australian economy, the government and the personal political agendas of those with the authority and power to make a difference. We discussed that the income gap and current housing market prices don’t give equal opportunities to young Australians, that there is a lack of collaborative organisation towards taking actions to solve the issue and in general the housing issue holds a low priority in the eyes of young Australians.

When does the issue occur?
This is an ongoing issue that occurs continuously, however is generally only noticed when individuals start to look for house buying opportunities and continues throughout the looking and buying process.

Where does the issue occur?
The issue mainly occurs around the more populated areas in Australia, such as the main cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Due to various factors such as employment, transport and locational convenience, people have identified the surrounding suburbs of the CBD (especially within the 20km radius according to my probe research) to be the most attractive in terms of liveability and hence comes with an expensive price tag. Those who cannot afford houses in these locations are forced to either buy further away at the expense of liveability factors or wait for an unlikely opportunity.

Why is the issue important?
As the housing affordability issue is continuously growing, it is important to take action so that the future generations of Australia will have a fair opportunity to own a house which also meets their housing expectations.

If the issue isn’t resolved it will only get worse, with young Australians having to live with their parents for a longer time and renting may become the norm for ‘home ownership’. Those who can afford houses in more attractive suburbs accumulate wealth in property that increases the gap between the rich and the poor, and at the same time pushing lower income groups further away from the city.

Group brainstorming map for possible problem statements.

Initial Problem Statement
In 21st century Australia, Generation Y is experiencing difficulties when it comes to buying their first home. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world and because of the high cost of living, paired with the younger generation’s low to medium starting income, this creates unfair opportunities for them in a housing market dominated by older, richer generations and property investors. The lack of collaborative government support in affordable housing, and a surplus of unsuitable property supply, resulting in a rapid disappearing model of the Australian Dream.

While this exercise was meant to generate 5 individual problem statements and several design possibilities to those statements, due to some confusion, our group ended up generating one cohesive problem statement to describe the housing affordability situation. Although the statement helped to paint a vivid picture of the housing situation, we realised that the problem statement needed to be far more specific in order to help us generate a more plausible design opportunity – I later broke this down into 5 different possibilities.

5 Problem Statements (and Some Ideas)

1) The high cost of living in Sydney, coupled with a housing market that is dominated by the older, richer generations and property investors, creates unfair opportunities for the younger generation to buy or invest in their first homes.

2) The Australian Dream of home ownership is fleeting; the price to pay for a house in a location that fulfils the needs and expectations of Generation Y is generally way out of their reach, thus young Australians have just accepted how difficult it is to enter the housing market.

  • An questionnaire that generates the ‘ideal house’ for an individual and how much it costs, comparing to a generation of the houses that are possible options for the individual based on their current income level in x many years time.
  • What does Generation Y expect or want in their house? A calculator that shows how much it’d cost to renovate x into an existing house instead of how much it costs to buy a house with x. This idea tries to provide individuals with an option to reduce costs to live in a place they want.
  • A questionnaire that generates what Generation Y consider the Australian Dream, what they think of the housing situation and how the housing situation makes them feel.

3) Despite the housing affordability situation, housing sits itself as a low priority for majority of young Australians who would rather spend on other things. Where do they spend their money and why, also how does this affect them?

  • A visual comparison model of spending on necessity and wants between those who are home owners and those who are not; aiming to show individuals how the cost of owning a home can be adjusted into their income spending habits.
  • Calculating how many of _____ it takes to save up for a house. On a scale of 0 – 10, how important is _____ to you vs. how important a house is.
  • A questionnaire and visualisation to show what the younger generation feels about home ownership, what things they would be willing to give up and what they wouldn’t be able to give up for a house (this could link to the idea of what quantity they’d have to give up to save x amount of money) – an attempt to understand the lifestyle of young Australians.

4) Intergenerational differences and a lack of mutual understanding between generations has stereotyped Generation Y as being lazy and not willing to work hard to achieve the housing dream.

5) There is a lack of collaborative action and innovative housing solutions towards facing and solving the housing affordability issue.



Post 8: Brainstorming possibilities – reflect the situation of women in the current century

By Yu Zhang


After the previous research exercise, we collected lots of information and data about mental health, and everyone start has their own specific actor to develop their views of the issue further. At this stage, we started brainstorming the possibilities of mental health and consider the methods of our own visual design responses. Look at my previous blog posts with those research and maps, I decided to develop visual design responses that base on Sexual Assault, use different comments and emotion as the elements to reflect on this issue by visual metaphor. Also, engage with my 3 positions: awareness, fear and external factors. However, the brainstorming exercise helps me to understand further about the issue while exploring the ideas of visual design responses.

The brainstorming exercise started with 5 questions that guide us to develop our own problem statement with the issue. The tutors encourage us to be as specific as possible when we answer those questions. It’s very difficult to answer these questions after you collected massive data from the previous exercises, but it’s the pathway to guide us to prepare the draft proposal.

The Problem: Sexual Assault


1.Who does the problem affect?

The stakeholders of this problem are women, especially teenagers, young adults and housewife around age 15-35. Criminals are mostly target on the women who looks young, beautiful, sexy and soft to satisfy their desire.

What are the boundaries of the problem?

The women who lack of knowledge about how to protect themselves in public place, how to seek help from family and community, and how to release the negative thoughts and emotion after the case happened. The man who lack of awareness about the equality of men and women,  contain the desire and thoughtfully consider the harm to women. The government lack of capacity on security, policies of women rights and education of prevention.

When does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?
The problem occurred since human born in the earth, but the society just started to pay attention to this problem since the 1600s by providing some limited protection from laws and security. In the current century, most of people still blind about the consequence of Sexual Assault that can promote serious problems of society, because of the education still not pay enough attention to the prevention self-protection and release negative emotion of Sexual Assault. On the other hand, this problem is impossible to be fully fixed because of the quality of education and security are not able to be consistent anywhere anytime, it will cost lots of human Resources and material resources which is not realistic. But decrease the rate of the issue as soon as possible is definitely necessary.

Where is the problem occur?

In normal life, the problem happened at somewhere that’s lack of people. For example, small corridor around the city, narrow public space like toilet and storage, and some dark space with messy people like nightclub and bar. Usually, the problem occurred at night while the women in a powerless condition like drunk and dizzy. However, the problem occurs anywhere, especially the country where the authority and status of women are very low, this phenomenon might be involved with policies of the country, religion, and the social atmosphere.

Why is it important?

This problem involved with lots of social issues, includes equality of men and women, authority, and status of women and the quality of public security. These issues might affect the levels of happiness to family that has daughter and mother, or even have a risk to lost their female family member if they have to face with Sexual Assault. If the society still not pays enough attention to the protection and prevention on this problem, the rate of suicide, the rate of people with mental illness, and the rate of family with overwhelming pressure won’t able to decrease.

Problem statement

Develop something that can help women to be aware of how to protect themselves while change the awareness of men about how to be more respectful to women and  the functions of treating women.

Five point summary:

After the problem statement finished, I tried to summarise the findings from the exercise while discover the possibilities that relate to my chosen issue.

1. Develop a Data Visualization that base on the positions of surveillance camera with a location map to guide residents realize they are in a security field while that might weaken the chance to commit a crime.

2. Develop a Service Design for a monitor system on the surveillance camera that can display the information of the people in the camera, include the name, age, height etc. It’s able to record the behavior of people and provide evidence if they commit a crime.

3. Develop a Service Design for an App about a digital psychologist Siri that can help users to seek comfort if they don’t emotionally feel well, include some appreciate activities, music, funny comics etc. It can help people with mental illness to realize that something around them is able to seek help.

4. Develop a Data Visualization that base on the situation of women in the current century includes how much do man/women earn, what kind of jobs do man/women do for living, levels of education of man/women etc. It reminds people to think about the equality of man and women is appropriate or not in their society.

5. Develop an Experimental Processes that base on the view of education on Junior High School about how to protect and prevent the social issue, include sexual assault. It helps the younger generation have strong awareness to protect themselves while decreasing the rate of criminals.

Draft  Proposal:

After finished the five point summary, I decided to choose to develop a Data Visualization that base on the situation of women. This proposal can reflect the equality of men and women that helps people to be aware how to respect and protect women while decreasing the rate of sexual assault. The proposition will base on the data of how much do man/women earn, what kind of jobs do man/women do for living, levels of education of man/women etc. I still consider the style of visual design responses in my week 6 blog, base the data in the shadow of the person, but will refine the shadow to be more like a female. Also, remove the dialogue texture to provide more space for scale up the shadow to insert more data on it or develop another smaller elements instead. The color coding for representing the data, I consider to use red and blue to interact the relationship between men and women while developing a visual metaphor to guide readers be aware of the equality of men and women is not fully set up yet in the current society. Also, enhance people’s awareness to start respect women and stop harm them by the visual style of figure and ground.

Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming​ session

Written by Meiying Lin

In week 6’s class, we also did some brainstorming exercise with our usual groups. We helped each other to explore our own issue topic and gave feedback to each other’s ideas about the possible proposals.

We began with clarifying the problem within our issues topic in 5 simple questions:

Who does the problem affect?
What are the boundaries of the problem?
When does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?
Where does the problem occur?
Why is this issue important?

Brainstorming for 5W

This exercise helped me to clean up and break down the existed problems and actors involved in my issue topic. My group mates are very helpful as well, they gave me lots of valuable opinions and feedback about my ideas.

After that we analysed our problems, we started to note down a few possible proposals for our issue topic.

Brainstorming on Possible Proposals

The strengths of this group brainstorming exercises are we can get feedback from each other which can help to develop our own issue topic deeper and pushed it further. As we were working on a different aspect of the obesity and healthy living, everyone had different opinions and ideas on different issues and the way of problem-solving, it is interesting to hear different ideas and opinions, and gain different feedback.

The weakness of this process is we only have a very limited time. In order to let everyone share their ideas and gain enough feedback, we have to present our ideas and give feedback as fast as possible, which make the whole class extremely rushed. Moreover, as we were all studied on a different aspect of obesity and healthy living, it is possible that we don’t fully understand each other’s ideas and not able to give them an appropriable or a collect feedback.

Overall, this session is quite helpful at this stage. It really refreshed my mind and pushed me a little bit forward.

post nine: brainstorming session

by zena dakkak
14222301_1779357662340142_8946789036485717954_n.jpgCollaborative mapping session


In our groups, we had 10 minutes to describe our possible design proposals and receive feedback. From there we would map and brain storm any ideas that surfaced or was triggered. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt throughout any process, there will always be strengths and weaknesses. This also applies to brainstorming sessions and collaborative work.


  • it was beneficial having multiple views about an issue or response. It allowed us to generate ideas and possible solutions for our projects that we could all use from
  • brainstorming sessions lead into discussions and could lead your idea onto a different, creating better and bigger ideas


  • we all had very similar ideas, which made it harder to produce different ideas for each person
  • the process was very repetitive due to the similarity of our chosen issue + ideas
  • we spent a great amount of time discussing an outcome rather than starting from the beginning of the process

POST 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

By Jansie Vo

Review from the class’s tutorials, brainstorming and collaborative exercises, feedback from peers and tutor, I found the strengths and weaknesses of the group brainstorming session that I approached further understanding the mental health issue and provide deep insight into different perspectives.

During the break time, I have joined the collaborative workshop for service design case study. We were asked to brainstorm out all the actors including in the article given from tutor and divide them into different categories such as people, emotion/identity/behaviour, networks/communication and biological. This exercise helped me clarify the user represented surrounding the topic and what the main emotion directs to the design in the process.

In the second stage, we created a sentence for each catogory which explains the actors by combining all actors we did from mind mapping stage. From the feedback, the user’s experience is the most significant thing that we should focus on and analysis. After that, we developed a flowchart (journey map) which was documented the interaction between the users and their actions in the service, then we started to break our ideas into a rich storyboard of the user experience. This process help me to understand how the service design works and come up with my design proposal easily.

The brainstorming exercise helped to clarify and extend my knowledge around the topic in different perspectives from myself and the other members.
It was a long process to identify the problem and some of the section were just repeated. It didn’t provide any clear information to understand what we should do for design solution on the spot and just worked on the problem. In addition, we were lack of knowledge around the focus topic