blog 10- Reflection and Proposition

By Marcella K. Handoko Kwee


Draft Proposal Feedback

Here are a couple of feedbacks given on service design ideas I have mentioned in the draft proposal. Based on feedbacks my peer has given me, all of my ideas does not really cover up the direction I want to achieve in this assignment, which is service design because my ideas do not involve a person with another person (two interactions or more) but a person with object. She suggested me to look up at examples of service design from lecture notes. Although I did so. I also looked up at the readings in UTS online. I take that service design based app and text message are common ones. However I wanted to make something different therefore, I came up with the idea of phone charger, meditation box and landscape app. I still believe that my ideas can be included as part of service design as well although they might require one-sided interaction only. According to Wikipedia, “service design is a form of conceptual design that involves the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers.” My ideas could be really used to serve people and fulfill their needs by motivating them to change their bad habits, providing effectiveness, and promoting body and mind health.

To continue with the feedback, she also told me that perhaps the second idea could have been a good idea if the meditation box was made for public rather than individual. It means that the meditation box should be made more approachable from or accessible to public. Furthermore, the idea would have worked if it was made high-technologically: designed with earphone to listen to nature’s sounds, visual screen to see the nature images.

Apart from the ideas provided in the draft proposal, she suggested me a mute functionality touch button for mobile phone. She enthusiastically told me that she watched a Youtube video about an innovation of mute touch screen button. However in order to do that, the mobile phone users need to download an app that links to the device. The users are able to turn off the notification sounds even when the device is in sound mode whenever they touch the point button. Lastly, she mentioned about an app specialies in reducing the mental health issue. This app allows the users to share about what is bothering them to their social media friends, such as status. The aim is to put the sufferers at ease. Given that some people might be concerned about their names and mental health statuses spreading throughout the platform, users will be given 2 choices: named or anonymous. In this app, whoever suffers the most severe mental issue will appear at the highest position of timeline page, following by some colors to indicate their status of mental health. The top users should be getting the most helps.

The tutor on the other hand, considered all of my ideas was good. She wanted me to look at how excessive usage of gadgets and social media (factor of mental issue found throughout mindmaping session) in association with mental health stigma (main topic of reseach). At first, tutor thought the first idea was good however, she concerned it would cause more problems if phone users were restricted to use mobile phones at night, which means they cannot use their mobile phones even for emergency purposes because the device is made to be chargeable during night hours. Therefore, unrecommended. Last thing is she wanted me to spend some time researching on stress, mental health and social media for 3 poster designs.

Refined Proposition

Faith Brings Positive Change

My research is on mental health issue, particularly on stigma on mental health. However in this task, I would like to work more on particular issue, which is stress and anxiety caused by excessive used of social media. I want to encourage people to get familiar with apps, certain objects and colors that will give them sense of relaxation by being imaginative and putting them into a state of mindfulness.

I can relate the mental health stigma with stress and anxiety caused by excessive used of social media. Nowadays, social media users tend to share contents which mostly they are disagree about. In this modern world, social media users have developed habits of being judgemental in something they have lack of knoweldge about (e.g mental health). Considering that media is a powerful tool and if the media agencies are being irresponsible in their news contents (e.g news headlines: mentally-ill nurse should not be allowed to work in children hospital), the adults or parents social media users would get angry or disappointed then they would share the news to social media platforms full of student and young users who might read their posts and get influenced by. Stereotyping will keep passing down generation to generation. Stereotypes and negative perceptions cause fear in general population and people with mental issue. This fear results in stress and anxiety.

In the case of stigma, the missing point is the lack contents about positive personal experiences dealing with mental issue in media and social media platforms. Public needs to hear accurate information on mental health and it can only come from the experts in the field and people with mental issue themselves.

I have came up with an idea of service design, an entertainment app as well as social media associated stigma, and stress and anxiety. It suits the needs of modern society with a little bit of touch of nature aspects. The aim is to build community supports. This app allows you to build your own imagination of landscape using drag point to position certain elements of nature into the page to share about in where or what environments they wish to be (imaginations of a better world), to post current mental status and feelings, to give advices on others posts, and to share their honest personal experiences dealing with mental issue. They are free to link their account with their social media in order to gain public’s understanding and reduce stigma.


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 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.

Post 9: Stop. Collaborate & Listen.

By Basilia Dulawan

Working collaboratively with two other students also working on Gender Equality, it was an interesting process having to explain the specific issue you wanted to explore within the broader issue of Gender Equality. The biggest strength of working collaboratively on brainstorming design ideas was that we had the opportunity to suggest, generate and build up someone else’s idea from fresh eyes. Additionally, being given the IDEO Brainstorm rules especially: Defer Judgement, was something new and when generating ideas for my own issue or for someone else’s I kept that in mind because I find I will judge the idea in my head and never write it down. What this process taught me was to write it down no matter what, filter and sort through later.

This was one of my first ideas, however I couldn’t find a way to connect it to a Data Visualisation, Generative System or Service Design. But using this as a starting point I was able to re-think what I was trying to communicate with that approach. 
While trying to brainstorm an idea for Service Design (while not completely understanding what it actual was), I started to list the areas ‘touch points’ that parents would frequent with their children. Initially my issue statement was about up-brining and the way in which we interact and develop our children, therefore I wanted thought the audience should be Parents. The issue here when discussing it with my tutor was that this was not the target audience. When I tried to brainstorm what were the touch points for 18-25 year olds, it was social media and outdoor posters/screens near train stations or universities.
An example of an idea I came up with that wasn’t great, but wrote down anyway. 


Input from one of the other students. One of the weaknesses of this process was having everyone understand your issue completely as we were only given a short amount of time before we begun brainstorming. Therefore, it maybe wasn’t as productive as it could have been. 
In between thinking of new ideas, when I would get stuck I would write down objects and places that the audience would use and visit. The strength in doing this was that it allowed me to keep the momentum going, and think about other areas/mediums I hadn’t previously considered. 


The second time I tried this method was at home, I grabbed some post-it notes and set the time for 15 minutes. I found that I was able to produce more ideas in that 15 minutes alone that I was when I had 15 minutes with the group. This could be because I’ve had more time to think about it, or also because I think it can be daunting to be given an big sheet of blank paper to fill up, so working on small post-it’s was less intimidating. I also feel that because I was alone doing this exercise I wasn’t worried about if other people understood my issue currently, or thinking about why they weren’t writing anything down.

This is what I came up with:


Clearly there is a strong presence of Data Visualisation ideas. This is definitely something I’m excited about exploring further and possibly even combining code+generative systems to create these Data Visualisations. 

When the roles were reversed and I was the one contributing to another’s design ideas, I treated it as if it were my own. I tried to think of as many ideas as possible and even building on what they had written down.

Post 8 — Brainstorming for possibilities

During the last few weeks of research, I have identified attitudes to be a primary actor for change within this issue. I plan to further investigate how these are formed and how they have the potential to sway other attitudes that exist on an intermediary level. I also want to look into how they have the ability prompt change and influence not only public decisions, but political decisions as well.


Problem Statement:

Over the last decade, Australia has seen an increasing number of refugees arriving by boat with different ethnic backgrounds. This is the tragic and drastic result of war, persecution and corruption in their home countries. With the numbers of refugees increasing, so do tensions between and amongst different stakeholder groups (such as the Australian public, the government, human rights organisations and refugees). Many people have formed strong attitudes about the issue and refuse to look at information that may present an alternative perspective. These irrational attitudes are dangerous and counterproductive as they have the power to influence the masses and stimulate more conflict, rather than contribute to finding viable solutions.

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. I brought this problem to the attention of my peers and we began dissecting the details and probing for reasons in which they may influence the formation of other attitudes towards asylum seekers. I really valued the exchange of different perspectives and insights from my peers in this task.


During the mapping exercise, my group often attributed emotions as a primary factor that influences attitudes. I considered the context of these emotive words and it seemed as though my peers were implying that attitudes against open border policies are driven by negative emotions, such as fear, discrimination and selfishness, where as those in favour are described with positive emotive words such as tolerance, passionate and generosity. This showed similarities with my twitter data scraping findings — where similar attitudes were presented by other young adults and university-educated people.

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 traumatic 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 how it is/should be handled.


  1. Build long-term relationships between Australian public and refugees.
    Tensions exist between the Australian public and refugees of different ethnicities 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.
  2. Encourage people with one-sided attitudes to see the issue from another perspective. Many people already have strong views on this topic and often refuse to acknowledge valid information that may compromise their beliefs. However, if people were exposed to a variety of resources and information, perhaps everyday discourse about asylum seekers would be more rational and valid, rather than fueled by emotion or bigotry.
  3. Understand patterns in changing shifts of attitudes towards asylum seekers.
    Monitor and collect data regarding the changing attitudes towards asylum seekers. This may be difficult to visualise numerically or geographically as it is based on qualitative data, rather quantitative. However, this potential avenue of research would assist in understanding the mediators that drive these changes, and how they can be utilised to endorse positive attitudes towards both the Australian public and refugees, rather than encourage tensions.
  4. Focus on how political orientations affect attitudes.
    My results from the data scraping task suggested that people’s attitudes towards social issues are often swayed by their political values and beliefs. This finding was supported when I was able to draw associations between Twitter bio’s that mentioned/implied a political orientation with the tweets that they posted.
  5. Compare lifestyles and situations to evoke a sense of empathy.
    I believe that the most effective way to encourage people to have a well-rounded understanding and attitude towards the issue is by being able to empathise with those that are involved.

Proposal 1.

My proposal responds to the 2nd possibility listed above which aims to encourage people with one-sided attitudes to see the issue from another perspective. The concept is to design a twitterbot that distinguishes the general attitude a person may have (based on language  of their messages and hashtags) and reply with a tweet from someone with an alternative perspective. As many people are blinded by stubborn attitudes, bigotry and emotion, a twitterbot would force people to look at other facts and perspectives, rather than just dig the head in the sand. From my data scraping research, I also found that many people were passively involved in the debate as they merely retweeted other peoples statements, rather than expressing their own thought. A twitterbot would encourage people to conduct their own research in order to respond and make a valid rebuttal.

This concept could result with people either learning new things and becoming more open minded about the issue or end with them hurling abusive tweets at one another in an attempt to triumph in petty twitter debates. Hopefully, if I am tactful in the design of the twitterbot, it would stimulate further research by the general public, rather than provoke those with opposite views. The last thing I want is to encourage more hostility in an already tense and controversial issue.

Proposal 2 (another concept I am considering).

In a democratic society, I believe that the government has a responsibility to represent the majority of opinions expressed by citizens of that nation. From my Twitter data scraping research, this is not the case in Australia as I found that majority of the tweets that responded to asylum seekers presented negative attitudes towards the government’s current policies and handling of the situation. My proposal focuses on the emergent area of information visualisation to depict the landslide number of tweets that are pro asylum seekers, as opposed to those who are anti asylum seekers. This information would be presented as an official Government document that contains a record of every tweet made by an Australian about asylum seekers.
The twitter data would be typeset and tabulated in a sophisticated manner and presented to Government bodies and policy makers. The contrasting sizes of the bound documents act as a tangible and visual representation of public attitudes (from Twitter) and instantly convey that the majority of Twitter users disagree with current refugee policies.



Latour, B., 2007. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies). 1st Edition. Oxford University Press.