Around 3000 people are homeless in Barcelona. The Arrels foundation supports homeless people on their way to independence, by offering accommodation, food and social and health care. In 2013, Arrels worked with 1,354 people, 436 of whom actually sleep in the street. In 2014, there was currently about 3,000 homeless people in Barcelona, 900 of whom actually lived on the street.
In partnership with The Cyranos Mccann, an advertising agency, the Arrels foundation joins the artistic side with social commitment. As stated by the director of the Arrels foundation, Ferran Busquets, their aim was to “raise and transform the popular view of the issue of homeless people” and to bring some dignity to the life of the homeless. By organising workshops to turn their handwriting into typefaces, this became a powerful tool to raise awareness about homelessness.
The project focuses the unique handwriting of homeless people. The handwriting of someone gives an insight of their personality and the Arrels foundation wanted to bring these two aspects together. They created different workshops for participants to do various typographic exercises where it then goes through a design process which results in a useable font. Brands can purchase them through the homelessfont.org website and get to hear the stories of the people who participated in the project. The fonts could also be used on brands different platforms such as their social media, brand identities, advertising, stationery etc.
All the funds that is collected through Homelessfonts.org will be used to finance the works of the Arrels foundation for homeless people in Barcelona.
map one: initial map of focusing on homelessness between the age bracket of 18-25. (map one, collective group, 2016)
To begin the research into homelessness, I began to brainstorm everything that was to my knowledge. This collaborative map investigates some opinions, interests and attitudes from our understanding of the specified age group of 18-25. Although a minority are aware of the issue, the majority of the individuals lack the understanding and social awareness of this serious issue and lack the empathy to contribute and raise the awareness needed to assist the homeless. From this map it allowed us to further explore and investigate complex factors that contribute to youth homelessness.
map one: primary participants and stakeholders involved in the issue of homelessness. It also includes details regarding the category (map one, Dakkak 2016).
My initial map explores all the possible stakeholders and participants involved in the issue of homelessness. It focuses on powerful sectors of society but also individuals.
map two: map two focuses on the people who experience homelessness and some possible reasons why. (map two, Dakkak 2016).
I continue exploring the options by focusing on the people who are most likely to experience homelessness and the reasons as to why they would end up homeless.
map three: collaborative map of stakeholders from most powerful to least power. (map three, collective group, 2016)
At this point into out research, after working on a word exercise in relation to homelessness, we explored the stakeholders and placed them on a map considering how powerful they were. Towards the top of the map, the powerful government and business based groups that have the upper hand in society are placed. They control money, law and society. As a result these are the groups that use their power to their advantage and control the perspective of society rather than using it to fix the issue. As we move to the bottom of the map it illustrates the members of the public who have the least power. This conveys the the people of society who have little power and have difficulties with the issue of the position they’re in.
Below are 10 images that portray the issue of homelessness. They all share a powerful meaning exploring the dangers and realities of being homeless in society.
This image illustrates India’s youth living on the street with nothing more than the resources that they have available. The child can be seen posing as if it would be a normal fashion editorial campaign. The title “Winter Collection” can be seen in a different light than what society is used to, creating the audience to come to the realisation of what little materials and clothes the homeless youth of India have with them.
This image takes a look at homelessness in a harsh and stereotypical way. The charity responsible for the posters urges the public to donate to them rather than to give to the homeless, conveying the typical stereotypes that society already has that the homeless spend their money on drugs and may kill them. The figure in the image is made up of coins illustrating the “kindness” of the public that “could kill”.
This poster illustrates two scenarios; one showing a typical home cooked meal while the second portrays where the youth of Vancouver find their food. It has been cleverly put side by side to convey that homeless or not, everyone is human and this could happen to anyone.
The artwork of the man projects a strong message that homeless people don’t want money but rather they want the public to do something about the issue and assist them in different ways. It shares a positive light as it illustrates that people want to see change, but then again its actually putting words into action which is difficult. The image serves as a reminder to think about social justice and not only to raise awareness about this issue but to also think of other ways to help the homeless besides giving them money.
Something that we all take for granted are the everyday things we use at home. In this case Crispin and Porter created these minimalist campaigns for Miami Rescue Mission to raise awareness about homelessness. By creating these simple campaigns it bluntly conveys the struggles homeless people have every day.
“The invisibles”. Ignored, avoided and neglected. UNICEF China’s campaign “Do not Ignore Me” portrays the harsh and often dismissed realities of the homeless youth on the streets of China. The images show two children camouflaged with their surroundings further expressing the term of being “invisible”. Often society walk past and ignore the homeless and it has been presented in a simple way with these images.
These images, captured from a very powerful video, illustrate that homelessness can happen to anyone. Rethink Homelessness worked on this project in Orlando and asked homeless people to write one surprising fact about them. Their aim was to humanise people who sleep in their cars, on the streets and in subways. Their answers, as shown in this image, proved to be powerful and was not expected.
The placement of the posters are placed specifically to convey where the homeless youth are situated everyday. The message behind the posters really make the audience take a second look and rethink how to help to the homeless. It also grabs the attention of people who walk by, leaving them with the guilty thoughts most of society tries to ignore.
This comic projects the constant neglect and avoidance society has towards homelessness. While the people of the public can be seen in high end brands, they continue to ignore and dehumanise homeless people.
The public took social media to project their perspectives about homeless people. This image explores the hatred and negative attitude towards the homeless. As part of a viral video created by a Canadian non-profit organisation Raising the Roof their aim was to change people’s attitudes towards the homeless, and get them to see that those who are dealing with extreme poverty are human beings too. This image shows the ‘ugly’ side society that the homeless community are constantly dealing with.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives. Nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.’ We believe that change has become the defining characteristic of today’s business environment. And that the brands that thrive are those best adapted to manage, capture and leverage change in the world around them.” – Publics London 2016
What happens when quantifiable data lacks effective emotive resonance when creating evocative social change campaigns? Or more importantly, how within the design world, is vast amounts of recorded statistics reformed into a solid creative, emotionally driven outcome. Emergent practices can be the facilitators of such transitions towards creative social innovation. This appears to be the “hot” trend within design studious exploring and tackling issues such as homelessness. To put it simply, it’s no longer just a numbers game, with more and more studios using design thinking to create evocative campaigns that in a sense quantify data through empathetic means. Publicis London is a small creative agency part of a larger, global Publicis umbrella. The agency aims to create unique, irreplaceable and thought provoking ideas within the hands of their clients to “Lead the Change”-Publicis 2016. Teamed up with charity organisation Depaul (UK), Publicis London participated on a number of Service design projects, name-ably “Corner” a 2015 campaign aimed at increasing the number of Volunteers within a Depaul program called Nightstop.
Stigma within and around the Homeless community (weather it be in Sydney or around the world), is a recurring theme for my research. Many evocative design strategies (that are not architectural) aim at changing lingering social Stigmas. In a previous post I mentioned that one of the largest road blocks to Social Change in regards to the Homeless is worryingly consistent social exclusion. With each campaign undertaken by Publicis London in Partnership with Depaul, the studio attempts to create a suitcase of service design collateral that breaks social barriers.
Publicis London use strategic devices to trigger an emotional connection to the familiarity of the thought patterns expressed within the posters. “Corners” is a cleverly written campaign that tells “two sides of the story”. The Nightstop program is a volunteer lead initiative that provides spare beds for homeless youth between the ages of 16-25. “Corner, is a Gureilla Marketing campaign”- Publicis 2016 that fuses the materiality of street art (in particular paste up practice) and marketing. The campaign aims to increase the number of volunteers for this program through the reflection of perception. Pasted up on corners of buildings where they say “youth are most commonly found”-Publicis London 2016, the body copy is split (the left side, when read alone only demonstrating the negative perception towards homeless young people, but once read together in full the message “transforms to show the benefits of becoming a volunteer”- (Publicis 2016) Depaul have an extensive amount of data that Publicis could draw from, statistics relate to the percentages of where this age bracket can be found. It can not be said for sure, however it would appear that Publicis would have had to conduct design related ethnography to get the source material required to write a the copy as to ideas people have about giving up a spare room in their house to homeless youth. The expressive campaign, is also poetic, conveying the feeling of seeing these homeless kids when rounding the corner of a building. Expressing this kind of empathy, Publicis Design would have had to have conducted extensive research not only on the data mine provided by their client, but they would have had to have also done ethnographic exercises to extract an emotive understanding from their audience.
Publicis London aim was to raise awareness and generate more volunteers through service design. Done through intelligent copy writing, guerrilla advertising tactics, and poetic design Depaul UK has stated that “The campaign appeared live on BBC TV News, national radio and over 70 blogs – reaching 6 million people. On a £0 media spend (all sites were donated), total earned media value was £1,589,857.Most importantly the total number of new volunteer enquiries increased by 6100% on the previous month. If all enquirers become volunteers, subject to vetting, it would be equivalent to increasing Nightstop’s London capacity by 50% – helping many young people turn a corner for real.”-Publicis London 2016.
Service design, truely demonstrates that social change comes not only through data examination and exploration but through the evocative nature of understanding the ethnography of the target audience.
five news articles. brief analysis. reflection. judith tan.
This post marks the embarkment of a research and design project into the issue of homelessness and social inclusion. As it is such a broad and complex topic, I have chosen to begin by investigating into the how and why of people becoming homeless, in an attempt to aid direction and bring some focus into my initial research.
Although I am now only starting to scrape the surface of the perplexity of homelessness, my aim is to delve deeper, and if possible, come to a design solution in response to this issue.
If you will, bear with me on this journey of process, which I hope will see us growing in perspective and clarity of vision on an issue which is becoming increasingly grave in our nation.
Journal and media articles are a good way of pin pointing the current aspects of a chosen aspect of research that are most relevant to the “at the present” context. The following articles are a broad exploration of the different standpoints of homelessness within Australian Journalism. This small spectrum analysis will aim to begin to pinpoint issues presented within the articles themselves and hopefully, a broader understanding of the constructs and flow of information filters.
“They kick and punch us and spit on us when we’re asleep”: Inside the homeless ‘tent city’ where Australia’s downtrodden live amid squalor in the centre of a glittering metropolis.
Frank Coletta is the Author of ‘They kick and punch us and spit on us when we’re asleep’: Inside the homeless ‘tent city’ where Australia’s downtrodden live amid squalor in the centre of a glittering metropolis’ an article written for he Daily Mail Australia, a sub branch of the Daily Mail UK which is a tabloid Newspaper and online article based publication company.
It’s sister paper The Mail on Sunday. Mail Online is a division of DMG Media, part of Associated Newspapers Ltd. The company have had allegations against untrustworthy and false articles, but have since then tried to be rectify their bad reputation and only publishing thoroughly researched content.
The article appears to have been written to help raise awareness for Homelessness Prevention Week which capitalised on a trusted and well respected media and journalistic figure to help advocate awareness for the cause. Frank Coletta is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail and often (within written and video media) runs stories on social issues within society, however knowledgeable within the field, he is no expert as this issue is not his chosen filed of study or interest.
In fact, this is the first time Frank Coletta has written about this issue, he often writes more political based stories or headliner stories.
This article can be classed as a well researched editorial. Written from the perspective of Homelessness Australia (an organisation advocating on behalf of the homeless), this article co-insides with Homeless Prevention week and captures the views and beliefs of not only the organisation but homeless people of Sydney, who lend their stories to the article.
Coletta writes from the angle of Homeless Australia and Homeless residents in Sydney to break stigma and create a sense of empathy from the readers.
This article (like most) is not heavy, and only gives a brisk understanding of the tumultuous lives of the homeless and the serious issues faced nightly. Coletta attempts to draw out compassion so that the general perception of homeless people is not polarised by negative stigma explaining that the residents themselves are not safe despite the city council hiring guards for the protection of both the homeless residents and passers by within Belmore Park Sydney. Residents don’t own much, so Coletta attempts to capture the anguish of the residents who lose their tents and or belongings via theft or confiscation. Coletta, however balances this by detailing that some of the residents do have drug problems and mental problems, yet attempts to remove an personal stigma on an already heavily stigmatised topic. This authors position is comparatively balanced in the scale of the issue being researched. The author writes from the perspective of the homeless, however is able to balance the bias to include the motivations and opinions from members of the other side of the argument. This article is a small snapshot on just one of the issues of homelessness demonstrating its weight for in socially excluding practices in modern societies.
Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability.
Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs are the authors of ‘Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability’. Both, are Professor researches from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) linked with the University of Sydney generally writing for an online journal collective called “The Conversation” (journalism with academic rigour where most articles are written by University academics. With University support, both authors earn credibility through their rigorous and ethical research methods. Both authors are currently teaching and writing doctorates in this chosen field.
From extensive research, it appears that when both the authors tackle this topic it is often approached with the hopefulness that Government bodies will implement an affordable housing strategy to help ease the rapidly increasing stress of high housing prices and the impenetrability for low income earners into this market. The intention is akin to that of a proposal, particularly written in response to the use of ‘policy capture’ by the ever determined government to void properly examining the issue.
Nicole Gurran has written many articles that explore affordable housing, social housing (the main topic of interest) and about the Governments policy and policy makers and their implementation or more worryingly lack of implementation of effective strategy to reduce current social problems. It appears the Peter Phibbs has collaborated on some of the more recent articles that Nicole had published within the site. Both are very directionally against the Lack of Government intervention within the property market and both have analysed the effectiveness of social housing within other Countries and policies to create affordable housing such as done (ironically) in China.
This article is a rigorously well researched, passionate article with plenty of anti government bias geared at attacking the current Governments stance on the issue at hand attempting to discredit policy makers and suggest alternative or from their belief ore effective methods to bridging the gap between housing inequality.
Gurran and Phibbs explain the notion of policy capture and there is a heavy use of the word “avoiding” “…to understand why politicians and governments appear determined to avoid seemingly obvious solutions to housing problems”. The authors attempt to convince the reader through extensive research e.g. “to demonstrate that they have a seriously strong (and worrying) argument.” There is a strong essence that the authors are highlighting that policy makers and investors are hiding behind a charade and not working for the greater good of the society. This sentiment is common, with many authors criticising political and investment bodies for only thinking about their financial needs rather than the needs of the marginalised. As directional as this opinion is, the sentiment is shared amongst most authors writing about this issue who place high stress on the greed of investors and the lack of policy implementation and refinement to control the situation.
Mission Australia report finds one in seven young people at risk of homelessness.
The author is this article is Rachel Browne who is a Social Affairs Reporter for Fairfax Media linked with Sydney Morning Herald. She has an extensive article portfolio and not only writes for Sydney morning Herald, but for The Age, Vice Magazine and various other publications.
Browne may have been motivated to write the article as a pre-emptive reaction to a National report that was due to be released a week after this particular article was published. With an impressive amount of articles under her belt, this article reads as if Browne is an expert in (at the very least), the various social issues within Australia’s contemporary Urban scene, writing numerous articles about domestic abuse which is one of the key contributors to homelessness within Sydney.
Browne has written about domestic violence and abuse several times, delineating facts and figures in the hopes of raising awareness and breaking misconceptions. Touching on violence as one of the factors for youth Homelessness, this is Browne’s first attempt to communicate the gravity of the potential of youth homelessness within Sydney and its devastating impacts. The article is a factual based editorial that combines findings from the Mission Australia report as well as primary research from a member of the subject matter being examined. The article is representative of the findings and passions of mission Australia, however the Author is attempting to create a positive, hopeful tone, to inspire change from the findings that are listed within the report thus the article has Mission Australia and humanitarian bias.
The author believes that young people are at more risk of entrenching themselves in homelessness, if they become homeless at a young age. She believes that (with research done with the Mission Australia report) that if young people are homeless early, this can disrupt their schooling which can entrench them within a bad position, “…with a leading welfare group calling on all governments to increase support for vulnerable teenagers before they spiral into entrenched homelessness.”. By identifying the risk factors, this issue can be stopped before it even starts isn the authors main message. From the report and Browne’s stance, the idea that there needs to be more services to help domestic violence and issues occurring within the home to help combat this problem,“… Ms. Yeomans said the report highlighted the need for improved early intervention services to support young people and their families.” Many authors share the same view, that policies need to be put in place to be preemptive to the issues at hand, whether it is housing afford ability or domestic violence or marginalisation, most authors already write with a convincing amount of data. Some authors have even pinpointed that certain groups of youth are even more susceptible than others such as the ones that are gender insecure, curious or experimental.
These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk.
Lisa Cugnetto a Freelance writer and content Producer, wrote the article “These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk.“ published on SBS. The article is a small explanation of six initiatives that charities and Non Government Organisations have started to try and help the homeless. Cugnetto initially wrote most of her articles on wordpress, however her writing has gained traction within larger professional bodies such as the SBS which feature her “social good” articles regularly.
It is unclear to what exactly motivated Cugnetto to write this article, however it appears that the article is a positive demonstration of the goodwill of small businesses and individuals towards the isle of homelessness which may be a response to the Governments lack of initiative. All her articles on this topic have been featured on SBS because of the unique angle explored, one which many authors don’t explore. Within this context, the author is not an expert however demonstrates expert knowledge and research skills in her compilation of information.
Cugnetto has written one other article that is along the same wavelength as this example. It examines at a charity group that give homeless woman sanitary products and health care supplies to try and lighten the mood and uplift their spirits. Cugnetto focuses her writing on social activist groups, charities and the goodwill of private organisations, often only writing from a positive angle, deliniating undertones of hope.
The article can be described as a factual editorial. Comprising of short snippets on each of the organisations, the author explains some of the key services currently available for the homeless, started by people who were I totally homeless or people who are severely moved by the issue.
Cugnetto takes a hopeful stance within this article. Her goal, to explore “…six initiatives that are taking a unique approach to helping those sleeping rough or at risk.”. Many authors of articles that talk about homelessness and social exclusion attempt to create empathetic resonance and thus, change by decisively making the reader aware of failure in politic, politicians and their policies and society by creating a sense of urgency through the use of well researched statistics. Cugnetto on the other had takes the second most common approach. Attempting to engender a sense of hope, a common theme found in writers discussing this issue, articles such as this may then be used to assist these charities and independent organisations through crowd funded hopefulness. Cugnetto not only explains what the organisations are, but the (often) inspired history. For example, she explains that The Streets Barber is giving back to the community after overcoming a drug addiction. Cugnetto has a marginal position, it has only become a recent trend to use writing to support crowd funding campaigns brought about from the perpetual lack of government intervention, most writers writing in this niche field, focus on the stories of the homeless, rarely the small organisations supporting them.
Cugnetto , L. 16 FEB 2016 – 9:19 AM, ‘These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk’, SBS, viewed July, <http://www.sbs.com
Push to support homeless LGBTI youth after influx at crisis accommodation centres.
The author of this article is David Lewis,a journalist working with the investigative radio documentary program Background Briefing on RN who commonly writes for ABC news. Lewis has covered many exclusive articles on niche topics. However well informed,this article is, as a journalist, Lewis is not an expert sourcing his factual based writing from provided data from expert researchers.
Lewis (not having written about this issue before) was motivated to write this article because of a lack of recognition of LGBTI as a serious cause and categorisation for the soaring number in homeless youth and the fragile nature in which these sorts of statistics are recorded as certain labels are damaging. Written as an introduction to an ABC Background Briefing, there is an understanding of an internal review that will consider widening the scope of the information provided to the database, known as the Specialist Homelessness Services collection.
This editorial contains the bias of Professor Susan Oakley from the University of Adelaide who passionately argues that “We need to have a better understanding of who is presenting to begin with, before we can start to to think about how we can tailor our support services,”. Included is also the bias’s of members of that particular community. An opinion from member of parliament Alex Greenwich is incorporated as well as the opinion of someone directly correlated with the group in discussion.
The article suggests how the data collected from support services is a treasure trove for policy makers if the initiatives are taken to use them for causal change especailly in a sensitive manner. However there is slight resistance from members of parliament such as Alex Greenwich who believe that this needs to be done in a sensitive way, as this group of people are in an anxious place and would optimally “come out” confident. Lewis, is the facilitator of this conversation, exploring the issue from several angles. His writing is confident in the fact there is a serious problem not categorising LGBTI youth however the author understands the complexities of label slapping. Lewis’s flexible point of view links well with other articles that explore the tentative nature of youth homelessness. Many authors write in a weary tone because of the entrenching nature of this issue especially with the increasing statistics from support services and Census data collections. As this is a rising issue of concern, Lewis’s stance is becoming more and more common as even policy makers are becoming weary of the growing issue and the socially exclusive issues around its resolution.
After reading the following articles it has become clear that the topic of homelessness has a broad reach within the discourse of journalism and media. The most interesting finding from this aspect of research is that the topic of homelessness is in some respect, an unfavourable topic of discussion. The sizes of the articles, the general topic of the articles as well as the identity of the authors of these articles suggest that professional researches aren’t contributing to the cotinual casual discourse of this issue. This is indicative that socially, there is a lack of interest and thus, understanding and empathy of the greater concepts being proposed in weakened by the overlapping impact of event activism, which as a promotional device, is kept short and sweet making it difficult to fully connect to an audience that is generally non-the wiser of the issue at hand, creating apathy.
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