Reflection and Proposition: The Mind Spectrum

Post 10

Over the past week, I have been brainstorming and honing in on my proposition in the practice area of Generative System / Participatory design. As stated in post 9, I wanted to visualise the ‘invisible’ nature of mental health issues and create a change in perspective or attitude in the people that are involved. My first discussion drew out a few problems, the main being:

  • How will this event attract people in the first place to participate? Their incentive?
  • What are you exactly achieving? Unclear – needs clarification and distilled down
  • What are the design restrictions and generative system rules applied?

After some visual and theoretical research on generative systems and design from last week, I have come up with an improved design proposition.

Project title: The Mind Spectrum

The Issue: The stigma attached to mental health issues discourages ‘open conversation’ and the action of seeking support. This project aims to provide new insight, a changed perception and attitude towards the negative stigma.

Practice type: Generative System / Participatory Design

The possible change: A changed perspective and attitude towards Mental Health giving heightening a sense of importance to the issue as well as making it a more approachable topic (for 18-24yo).

The design action to support change: Creating a space that is a fresh and fun approach allowing creative expression on the topic of Mental Health. The space also allows a chance to meet and connect with new people who have similar interests encouraging a sense of community and support.

THE DETAILS

The participants are invited to draw/ illustrate however they like on a tablet screen on a given word that they choose. The words consist of 3 words for 3 sets. Each set being on a topic of stress, depression, and anxiety – the most common mental health issue for people between the age of 18-24. The 3 words is a spectrum of stress, anxiety and depression to its antonym with an inbetween word. For example:

STRESS – UNEASY – RELAXED

ANXIETY – INDIFFERENCE – CALMNESS

DEPRESSION – COMPLACENT – CHEERFUL  

This is then saved on the server and played as simple animation screenings on the wall for other people to watch. In addition, the participant will receive their drawing as a designed postcard immediately printed. Not only will they receive their illustration postcard, but also the other 2 words in the word set that other people have drawn. This is the incentive of the activity, allows the person to see the changes of the emotional spectrum. This aspect of the generative system gives a chance to see how similar or different others perceive each word which in result gives a new angle of understanding and possible a shift in perspective about mental health.

Users also have a choice to input their social media account information (instagram, twitter account etc) which will be printed on their postcard illustration highlighting the proposition’s ‘connection’ aspect by allowing Sydney’s young adults and creatives to build a network. As this event is aimed for people interested in art/design/culture/mental health, there is a high chance there may be local artists, designers or students involved who then can keep in touch after this event on the social media platform.

THE RULES

Simple drawing constraints will be given for each set to maintain and highlight how each word changes to its opposite within a boundary.

For example:
– Using only lines, express what STRESS/UNEASY/RELAXED is represents to you.

– Using only circles and dots, express what DEPRESSION/COMPLACENT/CHEERFUL represents to you.

– Using only zig zags, express what ANXIETY/INDIFFERENCE/CALMNESS represents to you.

VISUAL EXAMPLES OF OUTCOME

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 8.06.41 pm.png

FEEDBACK AND REFINEMENT

The feedback received from peers and tutor was extremely helpful in refining my proposition. A few points I have taken into deeper consideration and will be changing is placing this activity within a proper context of a mental health workshop aimed at 18-24 year olds who are interested in art/design/mental health. ‘The Mind Spectrum’ will be a subpart, a small event within the workshop for the target audience.

In terms of giving a word to illustrate to the user, I was initially thinking of allowing the person to choose 1 word out of the 9. However this will result in uneven data results of the drawings which unbalances the live projection happening in the space. Therefore, the interactive tablet will already have a word chosen for the person to ensure even distribution and a better visualised animation of the word spectrum.

Written by Helen Chang

Image References

Daikoku Studio, 2012, Musashino Art University <http://daikoku.ndc.co.jp/filter/graphic/2012-Musashino-Art-University-2012&gt;, viewed 20 September.

Studio Moniker, 2013, Your Line or Mine, <https://yourlineormine.com/&gt;, viewed 20 September.

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10 – Reflect + Propose

Reflection

As mentioned in my previous posts [08 and 09] I came into this week’s tutorial session with a fairly sound proposal in mind, one that I already felt quite strongly about pursuing. In essence, this design responds to the association of ‘choice’ with mental health and seeks to defy the limitations placed on the identity of those who are ill.

When proposing the functionality of the generative website it was suggested that a level of curation will still need to be involved. The purpose of which wouldn’t be to limit responses to those that I personally agree or identify with, but rather to determine whether they are indeed related to the issue and respectful to the actors involved.

Whilst explaining the intended digital and physical output of my generative design proposal it became evident that as a curated design, the postcard series does also fall within the sphere of poetic data visualisation.

The most interesting aspect of the postcards is the idea of combining statements to illustrate an intriguing, humorous or critical point. Furthermore, the continued engagement beyond the parameters of the original design would be interesting to explore. A hashtag could be attributed to the project to encourage sharing of stories and further increasing the reach of the work, which ultimately seeks to provoke open discussion and prompt genuine understanding. By including a hashtag on the postcards further statements can be sourced to feed back into the original generative website format.

draft proposal sketches
Draft proposal sketches

Continue reading “10 – Reflect + Propose”

POST 10: Reflection and Proposition // The Waiting Room

LAUREN FITZPATRICK // 12048880

Reflection

When I explained my concept to my partner and tutor, there were some great pieces of feedback that helped solve some issues in my proposal. I always find that my ideas develop a lot better when I try and explain it to someone out loud so this class exercise was invaluable in shaping and improving my design proposition.

I firstly identified my design proposition as a combination of a generative system and service design in the form of an app. The aim of the app is to make the experience of being in a doctors waiting room and appointment more humanising. One of the main pieces of feedback I received was how to create a common language between patient and doctor. From this feedback, I went back and read through my scholarly articles that first sparked this idea to gain more data and information to create this language.

Another aspect of my proposition that I hadn’t considered was how to make the app a post and pre experience for both patient and doctor. Will the doctor have access to what the patient is recording in real-time or will the doctor just have access to the accumulated data of various patients? I think the latter is more realistic but it would be great if the doctor could know what their next patient is feeling before they enter the room. This means the app needs to be site-specific and integrated in the space of a doctors waiting room and office.

Finally, the main problem with my design proposition is that I need to make it engaging so people using it become attached to it. My tutor used the app Pause as an example of an engaging design. The way the user follows the flowing shapes on the screen is meditative and draws the user in. This visual engagement and level of meditation is something I want to emulate through my design proposal so I conducted some more research into interactive mobile apps. Once example I found was Feel Me by Marco Triverio explores the disconnect present in communication through technological devices. As one person moves their finger on the screen, the other person can see the movement in real-tim. This is a concept I want to explore in my design response as it creates an emotive connection between both users.

Overall, my design proposition received a positive response with some small issues that I have addressed above. My tutor said it was something she hadn’t heard of or considered before so I think that the basis of my concept is solid. Now, I just need to refine my proposition and figure out how to visually represent it.

Proposition

The Waiting Room

Generative/ Service Design

The receptionist is typing vigorously while the printer whirs and spits out sheets of paper. A child is crying in his mothers arms while she rocks him hysterically to silence him. The man to your left is jiggling his right leg which is making the couch you’re sitting on move and the woman to your rights is tapping her pen on the clipboard piled with forms. You are sitting amongst all this noise about to see your doctor. How do you feel?

Put yourself in this situation. We have all been there before. There is no wonder then that the stigma of mental health patients not wanting to seek help is so prevalent. The way we feel in particular situations is often based on our environment. Through my design response, I want people in the space of a doctors waiting room to be able to feel comfortable to talk about their feelings, especially when it is time for them to interact with the doctor. The problem I am addressing is the stigma doctors often inflicted upon patients and the stigma of patients not wanting to seek help. It is a double-sided issue which makes it even more complex.

I propose a generative and service design app called The Waiting Room which is site specific to stressful and suspenseful situations such as waiting to see your doctor. The aim of the app is to make the user feel comfortable and positive in that environment and to be aware of their feelings. This enables patients to connect with their thoughts in order to communicate them better to a doctor.

The Waiting Room can be classified as a meditative app to prepare patient’s minds for their appointment. The user will be able to build their emotions using abstract shapes such as squares, circles and curves by they won’t know the exact meaning of each shape. While the patient is creating their abstract artwork, the doctor will have a real time connection and knows what each shape represents. This enable the patient to meditate and connect with their thoughts whilst the doctor knows how the patient may be feeling before the appointment. It is an abstract and gentle connection between patient and doctor that isn’t invasive and will hopefully improve both mind sets and reduce stigma.

Featured Image:

Unknown. 2015, Don’t Waste Your Wait, viewed 25 September 2016, <http://write15minutes.com/category/patience/>

Post 10: Reflection & Revised Proposition

By Yu Zhang


Introduction:

During week 7, I had a opportunity to receive feeback from colleague and tutor for my draft proposal, and it’s really useful that I got lots of idea to understand how to refine my proposal that base on the data, and what kind of data are appropriate to my data visualization.


Reflection:

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The direction of my draft proposal is about the inequality between women and men, includes treatment, physical power, and protection. On the other hand, I was confused about what’s the specific issue for the proposal because it includes a lot of data that’s relevant but still too broad to develop a data visualization. Fortunately, my colleague and tutor suggested me to focus on how does men treat to women while make women feel less equal, so I had a specific audience for the proposal. This suggestion helps me to finalize the audience and direction of my proposal and guides me to narrow down the sources of the data, which is really useful. Also, for the visual style of my proposal, my colleague suggested developing a data of question that relates to inequalities of women and creates a map that base on specific locations in Australia. For example, the data could be ‘The percentage of women that feeling abused at home’, and the location could be Pyrmont, Burwood, Seaforth etc. I think this idea guides me to realize visually about how’s the data visualization look like and helps me how to insert useful information to provide a useful data while engage and synthesize with the audience, which is men. Overall, this session really helps me to understand further about what’s the next step to arrange the data, develop it visually, and what kind of data should I research further for my revised proposition.


Revised Proposition

Project title: Women = Men

Practice type: Data Visualization

The issue: Inequality between women and men. According to the survey report of young people attitudes violence against women, women are always higher than men in the rate of being violence and assaulted. Also, men,especially young men between age 16-24 are lack of awareness about their treatment to women are hurtful and disrespectful, especially non-physical behaviors. On the other hand, women received more violence and assaulted from acquaintance than strangers, includes husband, boyfriend, father etc. It’s the social issue that would affect the mental health situation of women, the rate of domestic violence and the level of authority of women in the society.

The possible change: Reduce the rate of disrespectful behavior to women from men and encourage men to rethink their treatment to women, includes forces women to have sex, tries to control by threatening to hurt others, harasses by repeated phone calls etc. Also, educate men to start recognize the awareness of protecting and respect women instead of using violence to harm women. Finally, display visually what kind of behavior should be forbidden to women and how to affect the mental health situation to women after they had experience with those behaviors.

The design action to support change: Develop a data visualization to support the evidence of women are being the situation of inequality in gender while educating men to recognize their inappropriate behaviors to women. Basically, I would like to develop the design as a digital advertisement that can display on screen. The ads are able to publish on the big digital screen around the city and shopping center, audience is able to touch it and the ads will show the data on screen. The ads also available on any school and government website to publicize the issue. The data will base on two main aspects: physical behaviors and non-physical behaviors. Every individual data will base on one specific behavior from men to women like repeatedly criticizes to make women feel useless. Visually, the design will display by a circle to briefly describe about the issue. After that, audience is able to extend the circle to the next circle while there will have several selection to choose. Also, every circle include 2 to 3 different colors to represent the percentage of the data. After extending all of data by the main aspects, the data visualization should look like a molecular system that can reflect the serious problem of treatment to women from men are in an inequality situation with rich information as the evidence.


Reference:

Harris A., Honey N., Webster K., Diemer K. & Politoff V. 2013, Attitudes towards gender equality, Young Australians’ attitudes to violence against women, Australia, pp44-47.

 

POST 10: Reflection and Proposition

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Reflection

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

Design Proposition – Hello Neighbours 

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

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

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

REVISED

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

TITLE: Hello Neighbours

PRACTICE TYPE: Service Design

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

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

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

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Post 10: Drawn in Blue

From the draft proposal workshop last week, I was able to garner valuable feedback and suggested refinements on my issue’s design proposal. While the majority of the workshop catered to collecting feedback from one peer, the informal and casual atmosphere of the classroom allowed pairs to discuss in groups with each other. Thus, I was able to collect feedback from a variety of perspectives from people who researched different areas. The casual nature of the experience allowed for a very non-judgmental attitude when we shared ideas and offered suggestions, creating a space where we can constructively help each other.

With my paired peer, he understood and liked my idea, also offering many design suggestions on improving my proposal in order to create a more engaging system. Some of his suggestions included a ‘bad-ness’ rating system for a cop, creating annual or monthly police profiles based on the data collected from that term and sorting the data by geographic locations. He also gave me advice that I should consider the finer details of the project; for example, how long the project should run for and whether it is a global or localised project. Moreover, as I spoke to more of my peers about my proposal, they offered similar suggestions. One peer even suggesting that I create a rotoscope animation with the drawings. However upon speaking to my tutor, while he did enjoy my proposal, he noticed that its focus seemed to stem away from mental health and instead onto the idea of the police in general. He suggested that I try to bring back mental health as the main focus so that my project isn’t lost in the wider context of my research from this semester.

This workshop was quite fruitful. As such, I’ve refined my proposal with finer details and better design considerations offered by my peers, as well as highlighting mental health as the main focus.

Refined Proposal:

Project Title: Drawn in Blue (TBC)

Practice Type: Generative systems

The Issue: In the rising issue of excessive use of force by police, and their many cases of fatally shooting mentally ill persons being reported on almost daily, the public perceptions of this authoritative role in society has been met with chaos. Doubts, anger and demand for justice against those who deal out the justice have emerged, instigating many debates on public online forums and comment sections. This public perception of the police has encountered a precarious balance between their use of authority and their duty to society – are they protectors or abusers of the power? This becomes extremely problematic as it is generally taught in society that we reach out to the police when we are in dire need of help; but if a mentally ill person is afraid of the law enforcement because of the latter perspective in addition with the evidence of the fatal incidents, then how can they trust and seek help from these deemed protectors of society?

The Possible Change: Through this project, I hope to elicit the varying perspectives of different mentally ill people between the ideas of authority and protection. In visualising the data and analysing people’s reasons for drawing the way that they did, we can identify certain factors and trends that influence people’s perceptions of the police; especially when we gather data from people who suffer from different mental illnesses. People would be able to share their own personal experiences with the police, generating empathy towards all those involved which is dependent on each person’s circumstances. Identifying these factors can then prompt for changes in attitudes and behaviour towards the police as well as changes within the law enforcement’s system in order to better aid those with mental illnesses.

The Design Action to Support Change: The design response consists of two parts – first, a generative system where I would invite those who suffer from a mental illness to participate in a simple drawing exercise, and the second part would be organising the data from the exercise onto an interactive site.

The first part invite people who suffer from any mental illness, no matter how serious it is, to draw a simple drawing of how they view this person in blue. These people would be various in their circumstances of their illness – types of treatments, medication and therapy, whether they’ve been admitted to hospital for long term care, whether that admittance was forced or voluntary, if they’ve ever encountered the police because of their illness, and etc. Other information would include their age, gender and race. This information would be filled out after the drawing exercise on a printed questionnaire that also prompts to provide a reason onto why they drew their drawing the way that they did. The exercise would consist of simple paper and pencils – coloured and lead – making it easy for the participants to understand what to do. Participants are also encouraged to be as open with their interpretation of activity as they like.

The second part is where the works would then be collated and organised on a site. Users can then sort the drawings by the participant’s type of mental illness, type of treatment, admittance to hospital, history with the police, gender, age, race and geographical location. Depending on the parameter, users can also compare groups of data with other parameters to garner a better understanding of the issue. There is also an option to organise the drawings on a positive and negative spectrum to allow users to evaluate the wide variety of perspectives.

The project would be ongoing throughout a few years and initiated globally. This will allow for yearly and geographical comparisons as well as revisits to some of the participants to see if their perception has changed since their last submission.

Header Image:
Mijares, J. 2016, post 10 header, drawing, Sydney, Australia.

Post 10: Reflection and proposition

SUMMARY AND REFLECTION

After a long term studies in this area, this is a quite interesting area, mental health can be researched by many different aspects. In the beginning, I studied about the people who would be the most vulnerable on mental health problems, through my research, think it would be teenagers, they are not mature enough and always be influenced by surrounding person or things, it is not easy for them to control their emotions, it will lead to a mental health problem easily. Also, teenager is an important part of a country’s development. In my opinion, how to improve and solve teenagers’ mental illness is a project that be worth investigating. After that, I read a lot of resources to understand the causes of teenagers’ mental health problems, I think finding the reasons of a problem is the most important for solving it. As I mentioned in my previous posts, teenagers always get pressures from their family or studies, teachers and parents can impact on their mental activities in the most direct way. After a few weeks’ development, through our group discussions and these map exercises, I started to have some ideas, to establish a connection between parents, teachers and teenagers, so lat them have a better communication and understanding with each other. In the last week, I tell my teacher about my draft proposals. Firstly, between the teacher and teenagers, I think teenagers can present their real thoughts through their drawing, teachers can record their observations of teenagers on an online system, parents can consult all information about their children at home, this can help parents to know their children’s situation at school and it is good for communicating with children at home. But through my descriptions in the class, the teacher gave me the feedback is: the draft proposal appears to contain too many projects, I just need to focus on one idea of these, then improve it and make it be a mature design . In this week, I reviewed my previous research, discussions with my group members and all feedback or suggestions from others, I refined my proposal, I’m not suers it a good design proposal, but I think it should be helpful for the issue that I studied on.

REVISED PROPOSITION

Project title:Online communication system

Practice type: generative/service design

The issue: Parents can’t know teenagers’ mental activities when they were in school.

The possible change: Establish an online platform for a better communication between parents and teachers, let parents know more about their children, a better communication and understanding between teenagers and their parents would be helpful for preventing or improving a mental illness.

The design action to support change: Teachers can record anything about all teenagers through their observations in schools, teenagers’ parents can read their children’s information in this system, so parents can know the situations about their children in schools, they can have a better understanding of their children.

CONCLUSION

In last week’s class, my tutor Chris suggested me to focus on the drawing test, this is one of my draft proposals that the psychologists can testing teenagers’ mental health by their drawings, this is an interesting design, but I did a lot of research about the parents and teachers’ impacts on teenagers’ mental health, so I want to keep my opinions, I want to offer a proposal that can help parents to know teenagers’ situations in the schools, it should be private, so an online system would be more private for all teenagers and it is more convenience for the communication between teachers and parents, if parents can know things about their children in schools, they would have a better understanding of their children,they can know teenagers’ study pressure, their interpersonal relationship. When parents can know their children, they can get along well with each other, this would be really helpful for teenagers’ mental heath, they wouldn’t get much pressure from their parents, even they can make friends with their parents.