10 – Reflect + Propose


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: 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.

blog 9- Visual Documentation of The Brainstorming

By Marcella K. Handoko Kwee


The Mindmaps



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

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

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

blog 8- Possible Ways To Reduce Mental Illness

By Marcella K. Handoko Kwee


The Possibility

There are possible ways to make a difference in mental health issue in range of age between 18-25. People must take care of themselves physically and also emotionally. It has always been a great idea to be aware of what is happening inside the body and mind. In case they notice something wrong with them, people should actively take further steps to help themselves. Daily business can be a great distraction however, there is nothing wrong by constantly checking on themselves. It would be really wise to prevent further damages within mind and body than fix what has already happened.

Early prevention of mental illness must be considered seriously. Few examples of early prevention are:

  • Reduce time on social media and turn notifications off for a while. Social media notifications might cause people to feel anxious. Furthermore, the usage of mobile phone in the middle of night causes people to have restless sleep.
  • Build self-confidence/awakeness. Hopelessness is associated with depressive thought. People should try to shift their way of thinking for a bit to get their confidence back and keep moving on, willing to change.
  • Get familiar with, take your participation or build understanding in meditation app/video that might allow you to touch on particular point or to draw etc, self-help system/tool kit (mental health online/offine test), motivational quotes, yoga session, mental health organisation associated, counselling session, etc. What people would like to achieve from using these services are feelings that get better from the beginning to the end, awareness of mental state and analysis of habits (the good and the bad).
  • Practice mindfulness (brain training) regularly. Sense of mindfulness can be achieved through yoga or meditation practices. It helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Get to know yourself, including characters and personalities. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, what you really want to achieve in life (life goals), vision and mission can help building self-identity, purpose. Feeling lost, not knowing what you really want in life and hopeless can be really stressful for people.
  • Learning about colors. Colors are associated with emotions, moods or feelings. People might try to corporate colors that create sense of calmness, happiness, relaxation into surroundings, such as computer desktop, bedroom wall, clothing, stationaries, garden etc.
  • Keep journal that allows you to pour out your deepest emotions privately, scribble (draw something) to release stress and anxiety etc.
  • Try to be more engaged with others, build emphathy towards others: “How do you want to make people feel?”. You should make people feel like the way you want to feel from others’ treatments.


The Proposal

I have came up with a few ideas of service design in relation to stress and anxiety reduction. These service design ideas suit the needs of modern society in this modern era with a little bit of touch of traditional-nature aspects.

(Saxena 2015)
(dreamwingirls 2015)

Stress and anxiety are caused by excessive usage of gadgets and social media during the day, particularly during the night hours when we are supposed to get some sleeps. On the other hand, getting familiar with apps, certain objects and colors that will give you the sense of relaxation and happiness can help reducing stress and anxiety by pulling you out of the reality and putting you into a state of mindfulness.

Phone Charger

(Wakelin 2015)

In relation to the issue of excessive usage of gadgets and social media in this modern world, I have came up with an idea of phone charger. This specific phone charger suits the needs of people from different groups of age, work position, ethnic society, and most importantly those who are required to use communication technology and addictive to games app and social media in their daily basis. This phone charger will allow the users to charge their gadgets (particularly mobile phone) only at night during the sleep hours. Furthermore, this phone charger can be used if only the users put their mobile phone on the charger based tray and in off-mode. The phone charger is linked to an app that can be downloaded on their mobile phones to setting up how many hours will you use your phone for the next day, what will you use your phone for in the next day, how much battery left before you charge the phone etc. The charger will follow up the instructions that you have put in. Therefore, the mobile phone users will not be able to use their mobile phones at midnight, instead they will start looking for something that might be a better option for them, such as books and music.

Meditation Box

(The Alternative Daily n.d.)

While it is a good idea to put their mobile phones away for a while, there are some alternative ways that they can do to reduce stress and anxiety. I have came up with an idea of a physical design solution that allows you to touch, smell and possibility to see artificial nature design. I would name it a meditation box. This design is targetted for everyone who needs to release the mind and body tension during the day. This object allows the users to touch its surface inside the box with both hands. The surface could be made of sand, rocks, grass etc. It is also designed with ‘fragrance mode’ functionality button, so that the users would be able to imagine like they are in the real garden, beach etc.

Easy Design App

(Tynker n.d.)

Last thing I have came up with an idea of being mindful through visual color landscape app. This app can be downloaded on mobile phone and other similar technologies. This design is targetted for everyone from kids, students, workers, business women/men who are interested in color and design, games app and technology. This app allows you to build your own imagination of landscape/view, such as lake, garden, beach, mountain and even some kind of fairytales landcscape, such as enchanted forest, castle etc. The app should be easy to navigate because the point of this idea is for the users to be able to focus on one thing at a time, particularly this visual color landscape in order to get away from the overwhealming reality situations. The users should be able to use drag point to position certain elements of nature into the design page. Furthermore, the elements will create sounds according to elements’ real sounds everytime the users drag them into the page.


Post 6//Scraping the web for data

By miyoung kang

For this task, I have chosen to scrape data from Twitter which is one of the most popular social media platforms today. Twitter is a Social Network Service that enables users to share or communicate their opinions and thinking through short messages called “tweets” within 140 characters. This is an online space which users can up load their daily moment and feeling in the literal sense of the word “twitter”. I think this is a social Network Service combined with the function of blog and messenger. The main function of Twitter is called “follow” which users can subscribe to someone who they are interested in. They follow others who have similar thoughts or are impressed and then add them as their “follower”. With that, the users can share and read their information, feeling, hobby, situation, or state of mind.

The unique qualities are that without their permissions, we can register them as a “follower” and send messages or check their movements. The Twitter’s scope of activity is not only diary, memo, tools of marketing and pen pal but also infinite functions such as conveying breaking news.  The URL is ” http://twitter.com ” and its account for the users is displayed “@id”. I think the advantage of Twitter is that in so far as information can be shared and spread in real time immediately, it has faster spreading power than messenger and simple interface rather than blogs.




For my first advanced search I used keywords that relate to my issue, anxiety disorder because I wondered about people’s personal perspectives through their own experiences and then changed the language to Korean using another tool called “Datapipeline” which can export my Twitter searches to Excel in order to compare with its result.

When I tried to search the keyword in English, most of the tweets were users’ personal mentions on anxiety disorder. Sometimes, there were useful and helpful links on mental illness because of the features of the Twitter that can leave message only 140 short characters. I guess they might not had enough space to leave all information. I have observed lots of people just leave their comment without any images.





In the next stage, I tried to use another search tool “Datapipeline” but in this tool, I changed language option to Korean and exported my Twitter searches to Excel and its result was amazing. The data shown in Excel was very detailed and well categorised. Data was classed by id, text, created date, re-tweet counts and hashtags etc. After analysing its data based on excel, I have found very interesting points. First, the most counted re-tweet was emergency news which someone was finding a hospital in a specific area urgently because of the anxiety disorder. People shared that tweet in real time responding immediately. It was re-tweeted over 120 times in a day. Another standing out point was that most of the re-tweets were from celebrities or other media’s links. Most of the tweets were just personal mention at that moment. It was not positive but negative.

Below is a five-point summary of my findings:

  1. Most of the tweets I viewed mentioned anxiety disorder in some kind of both negative and positive contexts. But most of these tweets like their personal state of mind were not retweeted. The users retweeted only celebrities’ tweets or particular links based on news or events regarding this keyword.
  2. Tweeter has an easy connection between users, also the spread of information is very fast.
  3. Most of the negative contexts mentioned that they have panic and anxiety disorder. On the other hand, positive contexts were mentioned, loving and cheering messages for their friends. Otherwise, sometimes there were tweets mentioning others’ experiences. Some were jokes unrelated to the medical phenomenon of mental illnesses.
  4. There were a lots of accounts that just anxiety is totally different from anxiety disorder and we need its understanding.
  5. The users looked like focusing on their state of mind at that time based on my keyword rather than specific information.


Post 9: Thoughts on the Collaborative Ideation

As discussed thoroughly in my previous blog post, we were given the opportunity this week to brainstorm ideas for possible design responses to our issue. For this post, I’ll be sharing my visual documentation and my thoughts on this brainstorming process.

Due to the late start in doing this exercise during the lesson, my peer group was only able to do brainstorm one of the design practice types – service design. Initially, our group didn’t quite understand the exercise and so it was very slow to start until one of the tutors came over and explained it thoroughly for us. It was encouraged that we write any idea that came to mind and not judge our peers when they gave out ideas. With our group’s friendly dynamic, the latter wasn’t the problem.

As I’ve described in blog post 8 and several other previous blog posts, collaboration exercises like this allows for a varying of perspectives to come together. With the relatively short time frame, we tried to bounce many ideas off of each other for each of our focuses. Once we got into the rhythm of idea generating, it was quite easy to find new possibilities through associations of previous things that we would have said. The discussion in between the ideas allowed for possible connections to be made with other ideas, creating an even more effective design possibility. While we were not as rapid as other groups in writing things down on paper, we assessed each idea with an audience, its main purpose and why it’s relevant to our issue. This process allowed for a more fulfilling experience as we were able to generate ideas with conceptual reason and deeper understanding.

Time continued to wane on, and it was clear that our initial enthusiasm was draining while the excitement of going home was growing. It was specifically clear when the focus was on my issue of the law enforcement and mental health. The issue itself is quite heavy to think about, and it’s not as simple as my peer’s other focuses on mental health. Even one of my peers exclaimed how complex the issue was with the numerous factors and actors that were involved, and thus he found it difficult trying to think of something that could be created in service design for my focus. I was able to come up with several ideas quite easily because I had the understanding and knowledge from my research, which my peers didn’t have. They did offer input and feedback to my ideas that I eventually wrote down; but a weakness in this brainstorming exercise is that not everyone in the group has a solid understanding of the intricate details in each other’s focuses. If members had a common understanding on each member’s focus, then maybe participating and ideation would have been easier and more effective.

In conclusion, because of our circumstances on the day, I feel this exercise could have gone a lot better if it was started much, much earlier in the lesson. All in all, we had about 40-50mins left in the tutorial to complete the task; and in the way my group went about our idea generation, it definitely wasn’t enough time. With that said however, the exercise proved to be fruitful with ideas that couldn’t have been possible with brainstorming alone.


Buisman, H., Lin, J. & Mijares, J. 2016, Mental Health Design Response Ideas: Service Design, mind map, Sydney, Australia.

Mijares, J. 2016, Close-up of Service Design Map 1, photograph, Sydney, Australia.

Mijares, J. 2016, Close-up of Service Design Map 2, photograph, Sydney, Australia.

Mijares, J. 2016, Close-up of Service Design Map 3, photograph, Sydney, Australia.

Header Image:
Mijares, J. 2016, Producing my own Service Design Map, photograph, Sydney, Australia.

Post 8: Possibilities for a Design Response to the Law Enforcement and Mental Health

During this week’s tutorial, we were prompted to begin focusing and brainstorming possibilities on formulating a designed response to our issue. In the focus of my issue, I considered all the stakeholder maps, previous brainstorming sessions, and the primary and secondary research I conducted on the law enforcement and mental health throughout the semester. In my last two blog posts, I had already begun considering possible design responses, ranging from creating several information visualisations based on user engagement and activity on the issue, to an interactive visualisation of key stakeholders that aims to educate others on the larger issue in my focus. However, this class gave me the opportunity to effectively delve into this problem, and explore with my peers on many possible design responses.

At first were given the task to define a problem statement by answering simple questions to guide us in the next stage of the lesson. It was a true test to which parts of my research throughout the semester really stood out to me and how these would direct my attention to the actual root of the problem. It was quite difficult to say the least because, as evident in my blog posts, my issue is intricately complex. It is riddled with many factors, stakeholders and histories that could be possibly carried into a year-long (or perhaps even longer) research expedition where you could finally acquire a truly objective and educated perspective as well as a possible solution to the problem. It doesn’t help that my issue is largely located in the United States, a culture that I don’t even live and breathe in but I’m only constantly influenced by from afar. Nevertheless, I was able to write the following for the questions. I tried to keep them succinct and straight to the point of what I really cared about and wanted to explore further.

Who does the problem affect? Be specific.
My problem mainly affects the law enforcement and mentally ill people who come into contact with the law enforcement. A secondary actor includes the general public – specifically those who engage with articles and media concerning the law enforcement and mental health.

What are the boundaries of the problem?
Lack of awareness and training on dealing with mentally ill persons.

Lack of insight into the procedures and the role of a police officer.
Lack of empathy and understanding on both sides of the issue.
Lack of understanding on the wider factors of the problem.
Stigma surrounding mental health and the affected persons.

When does the problem occur?
The problem occurs whenever someone who is deemed innocent by the public, is fatally shot by police. This occurs especially in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement and mentally ill people. Sensationalist media articles and reports are then released, leading to quick judgements and assumptions reigning the comments.

Where does the problem occur?
At this moment, the problem specifically occurs in the United States in correlation to their Black Lives Matter movement and the controversial gun law debate.

Why is this important?
Innocent people cannot keep dying for no reason, especially by a person who is supposed to be protecting the people. People need to be aware that there are ingrained cultural beliefs and attitudes in society that we were grown up to thinking that these things are okay. Assumptions and stereotyping is rampant, and they work subtly in influencing people’s decisions whether they are aware of it or not. This is one of the many possible reasons why African American people and mentally ill people are shot – ingrained attitudes from a wealth of media and society paint negative associations towards these minorities. Recognising these attitudes and perspectives with proper education and training may better improve police’s role in society and how they handle encounters with mentally ill people. Making the public more empathetic and understanding the complexities of the issue will allow more informed and objective perspectives that will spread towards wider society. It can create a much safer environment for the mentally ill, and improve how we perceive the law enforcement. It will also help in focusing on the wider actors participating in the issue, prompting them to push for change on smaller things before larger and more effective changes can happen.

From this with my peers, we then were prompted to brainstorm possible design responses based on our statements using three practice types of design that we could produce something out of – service design, information visualisation and generative design. Due to the lateness of when we were prompted to begin the task, my peers and I were only able to brainstorm ideas for ‘service design’ together, leaving myself to brainstorm the others myself at home. As I’ve stated in previous blog posts, brainstorming ideas in a collaborative setting is quite insightful and fun to do. You’re able to bounce ideas off one another easily and take away differing perspectives that you may have not thought of yourself. It opens new ways of seeing the problem, especially when you have each peer focusing on another part of the issue. They are able to consider other possible stakeholders and provide additional contexts to consider in the problem. Despite the short time that I’ve spent with my peers in this exercise, I was still able to generate ideas for my peers as they did for me.

The following five points are some of the potential design possibilities I identified in this brainstorming session, with and without my peers.

  1. Assisting officers in training using an interactive design to help them become more empathetic and aware of people with mental illness.
  2. Improve public perspectives on the issue using an interactive map that charts out the relationships between key stakeholders involved in my issue.
  3. Evaluate the public perception on police officers by having people with mental illness and no mental illness, and of any age, draw what they think a police officer is.
  4. Assisting officers in training by creating a database that is easily accessible through an app but exclusive to officers, that provides case examples of encounters with mentally ill people as well as suggesting better ways of approaching them.
  5. Enhance police training and encounter procedures by collecting information on how a wide scale of officers (those new and experienced) would approach a mentally ill person.

From these, below is a proposal of one that I am leaning more towards to in developing my direction for this subject.

In the rising issue of the 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. Despite all of this however, is this truly how people view the law enforcement?

Thus, I propose a design response using a collaboration between generative systems and information visualisation, where I would invite others to draw a simple drawing of how they view this person in blue. Afterwards, they’ll be prompted to provide a reason onto why they drew that way. The activity invites people of all ages, especially with those who have a mental illness, to participate in the exercise. In order to identify them, a simple age, gender, race and if they have a mental illness will be filled out beforehand. 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 the activity as they like. The works would then be collated and organised on a site, where users can then sort the drawings  by the participant’s gender, age, race and existence of mental illness. 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.

Through this design response, I hope to elicit the varying perspectives 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 of those who have mental illness. People would be able to share their own personal experiences with the police, generating empathy towards all those involved dependent on the situation. 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.


Mijares, J. 2016, Law Enforcement and Mental Health: Generative Systems Ideas, mind map, Sydney, Australia.

Mijares, J. 2016, Law Enforcement and Mental Health: Information Visualisation Ideas, mind map, Sydney, Australia.

Mijares, J. 2016, Law Enforcement and Mental Health: Service Design Ideas, mind map, Sydney, Australia.

Header Image:
Malland, J. 2016, Range Ta Chambre (Clean Up Your Room), arrestedmotion, viewed 13 September 2016, <http://arrestedmotion.com/2016/07/recap-seth-range-ta-chabre-teatro-india-999-contemporary/?images=1&gt>.