STRATEGIES FOR VISUAL RESEARCH BY JESSICA DAUGHTERS
The aim is to develop an appropriate solution for markets, users, environments and specific contexts outside the realm of my own experience and knowledge. During this assignment I will investigate how I as a communication designer can explore and produce design research and outcomes that address a chosen social issue. I will work within a tutorial group using Problem Based Learning. PBL is intended to help with learning to deal with real-life, ill-defined and unstructured problems exactly the type of situations I will experience in the design industry.
DISCOVER DELIVER DEVELOP DELVE DEFINE DETERMINE IMPACT
DISCOVER: SETTLES STREET THE PROBLEMS
- Graffiti - Parking - No wheelie bins - Loud noise at night - Rubbish: fly tipping, daily piles on the street - Lack of recycling - Mice and foxes - No communication or community spirit - It is seen as a temporary home - most properties are rented and not owned which leads to a lack of care
DISCOVER: PROJECT STAKEHOLDER MAP
LEAST POWER This stakeholder map aims to show the people who are affected by problems on the street on a daily basis. The street itself is very much cosmopolitan - a fusion of cultures from around the world.
FAMILIES SCHOOL CHILDREN INDIVIDUALS STUDENTS COUPLES PASSERS BY
TEACHERS THE JOB CENTRE SHOP OWNERS BIN MEN TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL LETTING AGENTS LANDLORDS
DISCOVER: SELF ETHNOGRAPHY
Eurgh, is that rubbish building up?
We generally keep the full bags in the hall of the house, however having a problem with mice along the street we occasionally find ourselves contributing to the problem by placing our black sacks with the others on the corner of the street to avoid our flat from smelling. As we aren’t allowed bins, I feel like sometimes there is not much of another option.
There’s a lack of community spirit, most of the properties are rented and therefore it is viewed as a temporary home. There’s also a lack of meeting people as there are no communal areas. It is also used as a cut through due to being the road which links Commercial Road to the East London Mosque.
No no, they take it every day
I moved to the street in August 2013, and it was completely different to any street I’ve ever lived on, purely for the mix of cultures and being a row of terraced victorian houses which are split into converted flats. There also seems to not be many families, it’s mainly friends or individuals.
— PASSERS BY 17TH OCTOBER 23:17PM An example of where false information is being passed on
When I moved in I asked the estate agents what day rubbish was collected and they couldn’t tell me. They told me to ask a neighbour, which I did. He told me he just puts his rubbish out by the tree across the road as it’s collected daily, and was unsure of the collection day. He also doesn’t recycle. There seems to be a lack of communication somewhere. Everyone who has come to visit me is always shocked that we have no bins.
Living with one other student our rubbish builds up quite quickly - we both have a bedroom bin, bathroom bin and then we have a 50l kitchen bin which we manage to fill every 2-3 days.
Due to a busy lifestyle sorting the rubbish is a chore, and recycling seems an effort as we’re limited on space. Whereas when I was living with my parents I was an avid recycler because we were provided with recycling bins - but in London it seems to be quite a challenge as there is no system in place.
DELVE: QUALATIVE INTERVIEW KARL & RICHARD FROM VEOLIA RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
No one here recycles.
Are the street cameras used to catch the culprits of illegal dumping?
There was once three bins but it was too expensive for the council to empty - it’s cheaper for bags to be removed by hand
R: The thing is if you look most of this can be recycled, but people don’t, in about ten years time rubbish will be checked and people will be fined for not doing it. When the supermarkets start charging for bags the council are hoping it will reduce the amount of rubbish. Has the rubbish always been this bad? R: I’ve worked here for 36 years and there’s never been a sort of solution on how to stop illegal dumping. It’s a viscious cycle. Fieldgate has always been like this. What we’ve found is that since this area, Shoreditch, Dalston, Aldgate East has become up and coming, people are moving in but aren’t being provided with dumping points or bins. The council needs to get in touch with the landlords. Shouldn’t there be some big on-street bins? R: There were bins here but the council took them away as they were too expensive to empty and the council can’t afford to do a daily collection. Where do you take the rubbish? R: We take it to the city tip by Tower Bridge, our company Veolia has a contract with Tower Hamlets.
K: Instead of using the cameras for crime the council uses them for cars, but today there’s a guy from the council who has fined two people. As a borough is Tower Hamlets the worst? K: Tower Hamlets is the worst, but I grew up in Hoxton and it was nothing like this, neither is Hackney, look most of this can be recycled, but people don’t, it’s laziness. Who informs you when the rapid response unit is neeeded? K: In the morning trucks come to check it, but there’s certain times when people can’t like the weekend. You can’t come every single day.
It has always been a bad area for rubbish disposal People don’t listen and aren’t informed Furniture can be arranged to be collected for free by the council They don’t work for the council but they have a contract with them. The council do the scheduled collections from outside the houses every Monday morning. However, in the morning of each day someone will walk past and inform them if a rapid response unit with a cage is needed. It’s the residents who need to change, and be better informed.
YOU CAN’T KEEP ON TOP OF IT. IT’S MURDER. IT’S THE RESIDENTS WHO NEED TO CONTROL IT. — KARL
THE VISCIOUS CYCLE 28TH OCTOBER: TIME TO CLEAR: 1 HOUR
MOTIVATE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
INITIAL BRIEF SOCIAL PROBLEM
There is a lack of communication between residents and the council which has lead to false knowledge of rubbish disposal CLIENT
Tower Hamlets Council AUDIENCE
People who live & work on the street ISSUE
Rubbish disposal, fly tipping & recycling FORMAT
To be decided ROLE
To create a concept to help with the disposal of rubbish by informing residents of the correct collection day and how to recycle Imaginative ways to solve the issue of rubbish
DISCOVER: CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES
LITTER AND YOUâ€™RE RUBBISH
Litter and youâ€™re rubbish is part of the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign. The Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KABC) of Western Australia commissioned these billboards, bus sides and posters to graphically illustrate the point that if you litter you are a piece of rubbish as well. Litterers are shown surrounded or covered by bugs, seagulls and rats.
Auckland Council wanted to educate small businesses about waste disposal in a move to keep the city clean during the Rugby World Cup. The organization hired Colenso BBDO & AIM Proximity to create a campaign discouraging illegal dumping that was designed to make garbage beautiful and handed out garbage bags that looked like hedges. They distributed 100,000 kits to businesses in the area with the bags and educational information on how to correctly dispose of trash. The campaign made illegal dumping drop by 78%.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
M&C Saatchi created an integrated advertising campaign to raise awareness of litter-related delays to the London Underground service. It aims to encourage travellers on the Tube to dispose of their litter instead of leaving it on the trains or platforms. The clever copywriting and use of symbols on the other posters, makes for a simple but effective piece of design.
DELIVER: EXHIBIT: OUTCOME VERSION 1
My plan is to raise awareness of the correct collection day through a simple design and language which is easy to understand by all residents.
From showing these two initial posters to peers the positive feedback was that they are clear, and the simplicity and use of symbols makes it easy to understand, however I realise there needs to be more information about other forms of rubbish disposal and consideration needs to be taken when it comes to deciding where to put them.
DELVE: CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES: TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL
The website itself is not very user friendly or engaging in terms of encouraging people to recyle. In order to find the correct information you have to navigate through a lot of pages. For people who are not great with technology or have busy lifestyles this isn’t a great service for the user.
SERVICES THEY OFFER
- Pink recycling bags which can be ordered through the website - Garden waste collections - Bulky waste collections - However they don’t offer a food waste collection
The Recyle for London website is much more user engaging through the use of colour green dominates throughout which we all assocatiate with the environment and recycling. The copy is much more to the point and makes information a lot easier to find, I feel this website makes the visitor want to recycle and feel good whereas the formality of the waste section on Tower Hamlets is very formal and dull.
% of the waste we produce can be recycled
£ million was saved last year in Tower Hamlets by recycling
OUTCOME VERSION 2: FLYER People aren’t aware of how to recycle and dispose of rubbish properly because information isn’t provided upon move in. I plan to design a flyer to provide the correct information simply on how to dispose of a variety of household waste the correct way. The Tower Hamlets website at the moment isn’t very user engaging or friendy, and it’s hard to find the correct information.
THE POWER OF SYMBOLS
The size is half of A4 which means per A4 sheet two can be printed, and only needs to be cut once.
Rather than exploring the possibilities of using different languages, symbols are a more effective way of communicating information to a wider audience.
One colour printing reduces printing costs and compliments the simplicity of the design - it’s clear and simple. Using crisp white card - makes it stand out from other ‘junk mail’. I did consider making a booklet, but to keep it simple and reduce on binding and printing a single flyer is much more effective. The hole is so that it can be hung in the home or tied somewhere easily
DEFINE: USER JOURNEY MAPPING
OCCUPANT WILL PICK UP MAIL
FLYER POSTED THROUGH DOOR
VISIT THE TOWER HAMLETS WEBSITE (TOUCH POINT)
PLACE RUBBISH OUT ON THE CORRECT COLLECTION DAY
ARRANGE FOR FURNITURE TO BE COLLECTED
DISCOVER NEW NFORMATION
TELL OTHER TENANTS & NEIGHBOURS WORD OF MOUTH
ORDER PINK RECYCLING BAGS
DETERMINE IMPACT: FEEDBACK & USABILITY TESTING
- People don’t pick up the mail - this is something I noticed in my own flat after I designed the flyer - Printing costs - would the council continue print runs to accomodate for the increase in new residents?
I think the flyer is a really good idea, it’s well designed and I didn’t know this information before. But I still don’t think it solves the problem of rubbish. We need bins or more collections - Fahmy Fayed, 28
- When new people move in how will the council be notified, and know to send one out - Language barriers - for a lot of the residents English is not their first language I like it as a leaflet but with a busy lifestyle I don’t think as a taxpayer what the council is offering is the best solution - Sajida Ahmed, 23
Photo of the mail for the three flats in my hall - a mix of post addressed to previous occupants, junk mail, and post for the three flats. A flyer would easily be picked up, left or binned, unless addressed to the correct person.
DELVE: CULTURAL REFRAMING
FASHION: GARETH PUGH
FINE ART: ART IS TRASH
FINE ART: RUBBISH DUCK
British fashion designer Gareth Pugh created these outfits from strips of bin liners. What’s interesting is the irony; creating something high end with something ‘rubbish’ related. The pieces were showcased at Paris Fashion Week and were created by layering the strips to create the outfits and accessories.
Spanish artist Francisco de Pajaro makes stunning, ephemeral sculptures from rubbish he finds lying around. He rejoices in the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of his work, turning bin-bags, boxes, broken furniture and other detritus into human figures, monsters and animals. “I am creating fun and beauty out of something society considers gross and disgusting.”
Rubbish Duck is a sculpture made out of more than 2000 plastic bottles, all collected from the Thames and Regent’s Canal. The sculpture symbolises the disregard towards the local environment but also draws attention to a larger problem plastic pollution causes globally.
DELVE: CULTURAL PROBES A DAY IN THE LIFE
DAYS AFTER COLLECTION
LAURA DEVANE, 21, STUDENT DAY 2
I think the rubbish in the hall has started contributing to mice in my flat, I feel annoyed because I’m paying so much to live here and I didn’t realise about the bin problem when I moved. Because I’m a student I can’t afford to get a fine putting the rubbish out, but the smell gets really bad, and it’s embarrasing when people come to visit. I love to keep a clean flat, and I’m house proud. I want to be into recycling and do my part but I can’t. I don’t think sticking the rubbish out once a week is enough. It’s not doing the street any good, especially with the amount that’s out there. Asking me to photograph the rubbish throughout the week made me realise how quickly it builds up, and to think this is just one flat along the street. It’s not hygenic.
DELVE: QUALATIVE INTERVIEW
THE KITCHEN IS INFESTED WITH MICE AND COCKROACHES, BY REMOVING THE BINS THE PROBLEM IS EVEN WORSE
ANDRE SINGLE MALE TIME ON STREET: 3 YEARS
SHARMA MOTHER OF THREE TIME ON STREET: 15 YEARS
The council didn’t give us a chance when the bins were here before. It’s not pleasant for the children. They should collect every day but they don’t sometimes they go two or three days without collecting. It’s embarrassing when someone comes to visit the street they think ‘ fucking hell what is this’ it gives a bad name to Whitechapel. I don’t talk to my neighbours much, just the people in my building. Come on we’re in london. No one talks to each other, look at the tube for example. Now the council just write to say ‘we can see that many residents aren’t doing what they should be doing so if you get caught you’re fined £80 for putting it out at the wrong time’. They didn’t have a discussion with the residents, they just got rid of them, because they thought it was ‘better’ for us and they only gave us a weeks notice. Normally you should get about a years notice, and we had to adapt straight away.
I wrote a letter to them saying it’s not fair because in this street the majority of flats are converted. We don’t have a balcony, we don’t have an alley, we don’t have a garden. Other streets across such as Parfett Street, Myrdle street they have gardens. Look I’ve got a child who’s 2 years old she’s got dirty nappies. I can’t store them in the house. I have three children, I have to store my rubbish in the kitchen which is infested with mice and cockroaches, by removing the bins the problem is even worse. They should be at least collecting more than once a week, then you won’t see loads of rubbish piles down the street. Especially in settles street. I wrote to the council and at first they didn’t respond, until eventually they did but they didn’t answer the question. They spoke about fly tipping and I said look I don’t care I’m concerned about my family, my children, my future. They don’t like going into the kitchen with the awful smells. No one would. It’s disgusting.
The only solution is to bring back the black bins and purple recycling bins. It’s as if we’re guinea pigs in an experiment, because other streets have the bins. Why should we be different?
I don’t want to put the rubbish out on the street because I don’t want to get fined. But sometimes you have to put it out. I’ve been storing my rubbish inside for one whole week.
THE COUNCIL EVENTUALLY RESPONSED TO MY LETTER. BUT THEY DIDN’TANSWER THE QUESTION FIRST OF ALL IT WAS A SHOCK. I WAS THINKING ARE THEY CRAZY? PEOPLE LIKE CHANGE IF IT’S FOR THE BETTER. NOT FOR THE WORSE
Extracts from interviews with two people who live on the street with different lifestyles. I met with them for a coffee and these are the points I found most interesting. Both wished to not have their photo taken.
DEVELOP: LATHER RINSE REPEAT
THE AUDIENCE IS THE COUNCIL, NOT THE RESIDENTS. I realised from chatting to fellow residents more and more that the council isn’t the client, the street is. The council needs to acknowledge the problem, as it’s harder to change people’s behaviour than put a system in place.
ATTRACT THE COUNCIL’S ATTENTION
Rubbish piles form along the street on a daily basis due to there being no bins, which raises health and safety issues with mice, rats and foxes; but also it looks untidy CLIENT
Residents of the street
Bins would restore order, fulfill the needs of residents, and no other work needs to be done, especially for new tenants as there would be a system. Either that or more than one collection a week. By providing a purple bin would also encourage recycling, as most of the household waste which gets dumped around the trees is in fact recyclable.
However, everyone has their own motivations and so far keeping rubbish in the home for a week is not ideal when you don’t have access to a garden or alley. It is clear that there is a sense of frustration.
There are more residents than ever, so what is the council tax paying for?
Tower Hamlets Council ISSUE
Rubbish disposal, fly tipping & recycling FORMAT
Installation, sculpture, video Instigator SUMMARY/AIM
To create an awareness raising campaign, in order to encourage the council to reinstate the bins for general waste and recycling
USE CO-DESIGN BOOST COMMUNITY SPIRIT GIVE THE COMMUNITY A VOICE AND SHOW THAT PEOPLE DO CARE ABOUT THE STREET
DEFINE: REDEFINE COMMUNITY ACTION CAMPAIGN
COUNCIL TOLD RESIDENTS THEY WERE REMOVED BECAUSE OF COMPLAINTS OF THE BINS OVERFLOWING
THERE WERE BINS UNTIL MAY 2013
NOW IT BUILDS UP ONTHE STREET THERE IS NO CONTROL
BINMEN SAY IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE TO EMPTY THEM
INCREASE IN RESIDENTS MORE COUNCIL TAX WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?
WHAT THE COUNCIL SAY Hello Ms Daughters Unfortunately, Settles Street at its junction with Fieldgate Street is a known hotspot for dumping and the Authority received numerous complaints from residents about the misuse of the on-street bins and called for their removal. The bins had proved ineffective as their presence tended to attract a high volume of fly tipping in and around them leaving residents without the full use of the facility. The amount of fly tipping has not increased since their removal but there are some residents and businesses who continue to illegally dump waste on the public highway. This encourages others to do likewise. Where evidence is found, enforcement action is taken against the perpetrators. There is a programme of de-cluttering and removing such facilities as over time they have not proved cost effective and have not solved the problem of dumping. The Councilâ€™s statutory duty is to collect domestic waste which is currently done once a week.
THOUGHTS It seems that everyone is passing the blame. The people Iâ€™ve spoken to on the street think the bins should be back in place in order to have a system in place, or think we should have more collections, however people sometimes want the option to be able to put rubbish straight outside.
There is confusion as to why neighbouring streets have them and good people are made to feel like criminals when fined by the council for illegal dumping, but sometimes they have no choice if itâ€™s affecting their household.
Marlene Bourne Clean & Green Streetcare Officer Communities Localities & Culture
Many people have also contacted the council, and they avoid answering the question - why do we not have bins?
DEVELOPMENT: PRIMARY RESEARCH
ENCOURAGE TOWER HAMLETS TO BRING BACK THE BINS
The neighbouring streets have bins in place which are referred to as ‘bin rooms’. The infrastructure in place appears to be working as there is no rubbish on the street. Some are positioned in the road, which would be appropriate for Settles Street. The purple bins are for recycling making it more accessible for residents to “do their bit” as most people aren’t willing to go to the lengths of ordering bags online, or don’t have the space to have two separate bins inside of their flat, they would rather they have the option of using a bin outside.
EXPERIMENTING WITH SCREENPRINTING
Initial designs which could develop into posters for a campaign. I used this as an experiment to practice screenprinting, and to consider new processes for my final outcome.
DElVE: CULTURAL REFRAMING & CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES
TIM NOBLE + SUE WEBSTER: NIHILISTIC OPTIMISTIC
Nihilistic Optimistic was the first major solo exibition from Tim Noble and Sue Webster since 2006, feauturing six large scaled works. Using discarded wood and other materials, the artists describe these sculptures as ‘street compositions’. ‘each work appears abstracted or even unfinished as the debris of the artists’ studio – gathered sawdust, wood shavings and tools – lie scattered around the sculptures. a sense of urban chaos is implicit within the construction of the surrounding gallery environment’
Stefan is known as a typographer and designer for his bold and timeless designs who achieved notoriety in the 1990’s as the designer who selfharmed in the name of craft - carving type into his torso. The underlying humour yet serious attention to detail provides the viewer with something new each time they look.
‘Having’ from the project ‘Having guts always works out for me’ a six double page spread comission for the Austrian magazine .copy.
When looked at from different angles it no longer reads as type, which is what I want to achieve.
OUTCOME VERSION 3: INSTALLATION
In order to determine impact I thought collecting rubbish, and creating an outcome from that would be a more visual and hands on approach to highlighting the problem - making an outcome out of the issue. AIM: To create a process video, and a final
piece which could be used to send to the council or to inspire the final outcome.
From collecting rubbish between two of us for a few months, it was shocking how much we get through, and how much of it can be recycled. CO-DESIGN: Using two friends who on the street to help with laying out the rubbish, I also asked neighbours to donate some of their rubbish
DEFINE: PHYSICAL PROTOTYPING
Prototyping is key for something so large in scale. I’ve tried out different options considering the best way to create rubbish typography.
- How to create 3D type out of rubbish and get people on board? Forums?
Laying the rubbish on the street would take too long, and would most likely blow away so there needs to be a way to hold them together without being obvious to allow for filming of close ups from street level.
- How to photograph it?
In the end I opted for a glue gun and sellotape.
- How to not get destroyed?
- Scale? - Time of day?
- Do I premake the letters? - Bad weather - Disrupting the public
DEVELOP: HOPES AND FEARS
I hope that the rubbish creates the effect I want, initially I intended for it to be even bigger and placed in the middle of the road but that just wasn’t practical as there are always cars passing through. The project is weather and light dependent. ThereforeI hope for good weather - no rain and no wind so that the letters don’t blow away.
Testing the sizing and scale of the letters
DELIVER: EXHIBIT & PLAYFULNESS
“ Creating a type installation on the street for an hour on a Sunday morning attracted lot of attention by residents on the street and passers by all of whom were really interested and supportive of the project.
I expected there to be some negative comments, or complaints that there was rubbish on the path, however it was interesting to note that everyone walked around it - almost as if it was precious. One resident even referred to it as “beautiful”.
YOU FIND PEOPLE WHO HAVE A CLEAN STREET WANT TO KEEP IT CLEAN. YOUR PROCESS VIDEO IS FUN & YOU HAVE EMPLOYED STRONG RESEARCH METHODS WHICH HAVE LEAD TO YOUR OUTCOME
— MAYA ROBERTS HEAD OF STUDIO & DESIGN WIEDEN + KENNEDY
The aim was that from a distance it just looked like rubbish on the street, until seen from above. A playful element was achieved through choice of song, speeding up footage and showing that it didn’t quite go to plan with the wind.
WATCH THE PROCESS VIDEO
DELVE: CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES NESTA
SAVE LEWISHAM HOSPITAL
Looking at the work of Nesta was really insightful as they are the UKâ€™s innovation foundation. They exist to help bring great ideas to life and do that by providing finance through programmes, investments and grants, and mobilising research, networks and skills.
Save Lewisham Hospital is a great example of how the community is coming together and taking action with the audience being the goverment. Their website ties in with different social media allowing space for people to post their support and opinions.
Innovation In Giving is a microsite bringing together the stories of the organisations and ideas supported through the Innovation In Giving fund to increase levels of social action.
However the website itself is hard to engage with as there is a lot of information and links- making it hard to find a general overview of the project.
The website features a wide range of projects all with a social design element, and showing how community action is taking place.
Itâ€™s important to look at existing campaign videos to understand what elements make them successful. Looking at a variety of charity videos, especially those of Oxfam improved my understanding of how they intend to communicate their message - most videos are around a minute in length - and highlight the problem before providing the solution at the end.
OUTCOME VERSION 4: DELIVER: VIDEO DOCUMENTING THE PROBLEM
SET THE SCENE THE STREET DAY TO DAY LIFE
HIGHLIGHT THE PROBLEM
OFFER THE SOLUTION/ MESSAGE
SHOW HOW IT AFFECTS THE STAKEHOLDERS
The “he said she said” nature of the problem and the miscommunication between the stakeholders by creating a documentary video which could be sent to the council.
STORYTELLING THROUGH EDITING MOOD: Black and white sets a more serious
TIMING: 1 minute in length is the right amount of time for a campaign video
Not enough people wanting to be filmed, and therefore just filming a couple of people would not put across the view of many. Likewise with using voice recordings from the interviews - people like to see who they are listening to. Therefore pulling quotes from interviews, and overlaying type seemed like the most appropriate solution, although I feel some parts are hard to read, but after playing around with typefaces and colours, DIN Medium and white was the only one which seemed appropriate. In order to make it more personal I felt it was important to include the names of who said it, and state who they are, The way I chose for the type to appear is meant to create a ‘conversational’ feel.
MUSIC: The viewer needs to not be distracted by lyrics. Cutting clips in time with the song creates pace. ANALYSIS
WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY VIDEO
Overall I am happy with the video as an outcome but I feel it was visually stronger before I added the type. However it needs the type otherwise the video could be misinterpreted and not clear as to what the message is. I’m also not quite sure that it’s enough to showcase the voice of the street to Tower Hamlets.
DETERMINE IMPACT: PROGRESS AND FEEDBACK
ROBBIE BATES SENIOR DESIGNER AT USCREATES
Talking to Robbie for hours about social design, making mistakes, research he’s carried out for projects really improved my understanding of social design as a whole. Upon showing him my research, process video and campaign video really made me realise how I had lost sight of how I was going to attract the target audience of the council.
IF THE PROJECT WAS TO GROW WHAT WOULD IT BECOME?
He spoke about how they’re nice videos, but is it really giving across the voice of the street? Is it enough of a collated insight to give to the council? How can I really get their attention?
He highlighted the importance of if you go to the council you need much more of a collated/solid insight - showing how something is working and the community coming together around an issue if they are going to consider funding and their distribution of money.
& ET DG BU OR E
A) A COMMUNICATION PROBLEM/SOLUTION
He highlighted that there’s three parts to the problem:
Robbie is currently working for Uscreates as a senior designer, and working as a Project Developer for The Big Issue. He’s passionate about using design to benefit the environment and communities we live in, whether it’s workingwith start-ups, public sector or social organisations, or big corporations who want to make a difference through engaging CSR models.
B) COMMUNITY COHESION C) BEHAVIOUR CHANGE CORE IDEA
DARE YOURSELF TO SAY SOMETHING. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT’S WRONG
FINAL OUTCOME: PROPOSAL: MICROSITE
THE START OF SOMETHING BIGGER
After talking to Robbie and looking back at all of my research I realised the videos are just a small insight and not enough to attract the council - they need to see a collection of data in one outcome. Change happens in numbers.
SHOWCASE COMMUNITY VOICE
FRAMING THE PROBLEM
Creating a microsite to showcase the community voice would be a much more powerful tool offering overall insight. HOW WOULD THIS BE ACHIEVED?
With three ways of getting the community to talk - documented in three videos which sit in the bigger picture 1) Using visual aids to dig deeper - for example setting up a street project, a bigger version of the process video - the community would be encouraged to put certain rubbish in a particular space on a metal art wall - which once filled would spell ‘Bring Back The Bins’ This element of co-design would engage and bring residents together
Through the visual aids and word of mouth residents would be encouraged to use the microsite The microsite would: 1) Offer a space to post opinions & stories 2) Have a petition to “Bring Back The Bins” 3) Create a platform showing how the visual aids have bought residents together (co-design) WHY A WEBSITE?
People like to keep track and see change how they are playing a part. It is also easy to access by all stakeholders.
2) Insight report - Finding a selection of people to film offering their insights 3) Documenting the problem - showing how it is affecting all stakeholders in a similar style to one I have already made These would then lead to the final outcome.
GETTING THE PROBLEM ON THE RADAR, AND SPARKING CONVERSATION
CREATING A VOICE TO PUSH THE OUTCOME
Initial thumbnail of how the microsite could look and how it ties in with different social media platforms which would promote the problem and get other members of the community on board.
FINAL OUTCOME: PROPOSAL: VIDEO TO THE COUNCIL
GIVE THE STREET A VOICE EMPOWER
EMPHASISE THE ISSUE
ATTRACT THE COUNCIL THROUGH COMMUNITY COHESION
INSTIGATE THE SOLUTION BRING BACK THE BINS
After a period of time, the collated opinions, photos, stories, petition and videos would then be sent to the council in one final video along with the microsite, so that they could track the progress and see how the residents are taking action. HOW THE AUDIENCE (TOWER HAMLETS) AFFECTS THE SOLUTION
They aren’t going to understand from just one outcome, if there is money involved they’ll want to see a whole insight and collection of data. BUT IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO CATER FOR THE CLIENT (THE STREET’S) NEEDS
Creating a microsite and featuring the residents in the video makes them feel involved as they have a role.
These may be really initial ideas, but as this change of outcome happened late on the project it is something I want to push forward in my own time; and also use my existing outcomes as a starting point which I can develop on from.
This project, for me, has really emphasised the importance of talking to people as a designer, and the power of conversation. It’s encouraged me to become a part of the community; before this project I felt the people on the street didn’t care, when in reality they do and for some people it is a permanent family home. I attended an open day at the East London Mosque as a way of speaking to more of the local community something I may of not done otherwise, and I was very much made to feel welcome and told of its role in the local community for everyone, something which I didn’t know before. When considering the different research tools, I feel prepared for future projects and realise how in-depth research throughout the design process really does determine a successful outcome, and the importance to keep on researching throughout a project as it was the research which flipped this project half way through. My initial problem wasn’t in fact the problem, and it was the research which lead to this revelation/resolution. WATCH THE PROCESS VIDEO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY VIDEO
It was getting out there and talking to stakeholders which really drove the project and understanding that everyone has their own motivations. But who does the problem affect the most? & How can you deal with that? I’ve been introduced to new methods of collecting data which I would not of considered before, and also realised that I had been using some, such as concurrent activities - I just didn’t know the correct term, and I think it highlights the importance to research into existing design just as much as it is to gather primary research.
This way you can analyse what has previously been successful or unsuccessful - where it’s gone wrong and what could of been done differently. It’s taking this and balancing the client and audience needs, along with the communication of the message which matters. In terms of feedback it was amazing to get such a positive response from the residents of the street - especially when I did the typographic installation out on the road. People were excited by the project and wanted to talk about it. Normally people don’t communicate with each other, but if there’s a reason to, they will, and I realised if I could set up an art wall over a longer period of time then people would be willing to get involved. It was also great to talk to Maya Roberts of Wieden + Kennedy to look at the project from the view of someone who solely works with big commercial clients. However, for me it was talking to Robbie Bates that was the most insightful - he really helped me understand the concept of social design, and how to bring my idea back to the people and the way in which to create a voice and spark cohesion. It was this conversation near to the end of the project which made me realise I had lost sight of the end goal - to engage the council; and It’s very much now turned into a “If I had more time and money I would do this...” which highlights the importance to get all the research collated much quicker at the start of a project in order to reach a successful solution. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s to not be afraid of not getting from A to B smoothly, and to never base on assumption.
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Published on Jan 30, 2014