{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}

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(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.”

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

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

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(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.

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(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.

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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.
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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)

Post 9: Brainstorming as a collective

 

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Group Problem Statement

A high-quality PDF version is available here.

Identifying links

It was thoroughly satisfying to start noticing links between the groups’ answers to the who/what/where/when/why sections of the problem statement. Rather than merely jotting down anything that came to mind, this exercise urged us to be more critical of what we were selecting to include. A strength of the process is that it has really encouraged us to consider multiple facets of ‘Generation Y’s’ positioning within the issue of housing affordability. Additionally, the formulating of a problem statement has provided us with a cohesive understanding of the situation which will better inform our design responses.

Other peoples’ interests

A strength to the process is that by continuously coming together to brainstorm collectively, we are consistently reminding each other not to neglect the topic as whole. Over the past few weeks, we have all started to narrow our focuses based on our particular interests. In doing so, we risk forgetting to keep up to date with the topic as a whole and/or failure to consider peripheral aspects of the topic, that may be useful to our design response. As we all have different interests, our discussions enrich each others’ explorations of the topic by consistently pushing each other to think from different perspectives. Group sessions allow for other people to suggest possible directions or identify potential problems that I may not see by myself.

Laziness

A major weakness of the process was that as a group, we tended to generalise what we meant when writing our answers. I think this is because the group has reached a point where we feel like we are repeating ourselves and reiterating the same information that we have been mapping over the past few weeks. Rather than slowing down and feeling demotivated, I think we should treat these mapping opportunities as chances to reveal new insights into our topic.

Humour and energy

A strength of brainstorming collaboratively is that it helps people discuss the issue in a colloquial and stimulating manner. I find that this helps me relax and encourages me to come up with more unconventional and creative ideas. Sometimes when I am brainstorming by myself, my ideas can become quite convoluted and stray off the right path. Voicing my ideas to another person helps me determine whether it is practical based on their reaction. It also is a good opportunity to test drive an idea to gauge whether a suggestion is relevant, understandable and enticing.

 

 

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:

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Positives:
 – 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.

Negatives:
– 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)