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XIANGHUI YE 2010

CONTENT

-Research question -Statment of intent -Field of study -Focus -Context -Methodology Research plan Development plan

-Outcome -Reading list -Bibliography

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Research Question As a graphic designer, how can I represent the problems and challenges of culture shock?


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Statement of intent

Culture is “historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols…by means of which men can communicate, perpetuate and develop their own knowledge about and attitudes towards life.” (Geertz, 2007, Online)

Culture shock is a common phenomenon amongst groups of international students. After international students leave their own culture background, families and friends, they start to fit themselves into the new culture by transfer at different levels, such as personal and cultural values, customs, eating habits, unfamiliar study or working experiences. They speak the foreign language most of their time as the basic means to communicate in such new and strange environment and try to live by themselves without any help from home. Most people experience the confusion somehow at the psychological level. People live in their own countries’ culture background for almost 20 years; they are used to judging everything based on it. Also people develop based in their own culture background, and deal with many different things and live the same as other people who are in the same culture. It is like a firm belief that comes out of thinking and morals. It guides the way of your life. However, when people live in another cultural background environment, they cannot be guided by their usual culture. Even more, from the new culture point of view, the culture they lived in before might be wrong, adapted or not accepted. All of those issues might make international students think that their own cultures are threated.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Many international students are getting lost because of the difficulties and challenges that cultural shock brings, they become confused and anxious. They may also feel isolated by the local environment. All issues could cause mental illness or give up in the middle of study.

The culture shock stages. (UKCOSA, 2004, Online)

So my proposal is to hope to help most Chinese students who feel confused or anxious to realize that they are not the only one fighting culture shock and understand both its variety and universality by discover and collecting different issues that Chinese students have been through in UK. Further more, I am hoping to analyse and discover how could international students gradually adopt to the impact of culture shock and how could they avoid or neutralize the contradiction between two different cultures by collecting examples of culture shock. In the mean time, I also wish this project will help the Chinese students who are going to come to UK to find out what the life is going to be like, so they could prepare well. “The wise person looks further ahead. There may be many unknowns or uncertainties, but it's possible to lay the groundwork for a productive time overseas.� (Robert, 2001, p.6)


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Filed of study “We’re looking and absorbing information via web. We’re steeped in it. Maybe even lost in it. So perhaps what we need are well-designed, colorful and - hopefully – useful charts to help us navigate. A modern-day map book.” (McCandless, 2009, p. 6)

In this project, I wish to discover how to use graphic design to represent personal experience and research how I can use more graphical and visual methods instead of word based information to represent this. The aim I want to achieve is using communicable graphics and image to summarize simple events or phenomena. Most life experiences need few words to be described clearly, so the key of my research is how to make my audience to understand those life experiences more quickly, well and truly. Further more, the difficulties and challenges caused by culture shock are a continuous process, inadaptation change according to the time spent in London. How to represent this process is another part that I want to research. Finally, all the collected information of issues and challenges caused by culture shock are complicated and disorganized. They cover every different area in lives, such as: misfit between lives, difference in thinking, contradiction in values, or maybe just simply contrasting the difference between lives in China and UK. How to clearly classify and represent this information will definitely be considered.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Focus “Our ability to generate and acquire data has by far outpaced our ability to make sense of that data.” (Lima, 2010, p.28)

As I discussed above, this project is aimed at creating better understanding of the culture shock by using graphic design. Graphic designers have the responsibility to simplify all complicated information and translate information graphically, abstract events into more distinct. Graphics or images could shorter the process of understanding, so “how to build up the relationship between audiences and myself through an intermediary” is my position. Information design inherits from statistics. In the early time, information design was mainly used for visualizing figures. Diagrams and chats were the most widespread format. Since 1980s, information design have been progressively introduced into the field of visualizing word based information and language. Designers have been starting to use graphs and colors to describe things more complex than statistics, such as the course of events and the structure of complicated objects. Nowadays, designers combine illustration, photography and other creative approaches with information design and make it more widespread into various fields. For instance, describing social phenomena and the potential invisible relationships behind objects. On the fact of this, developing the way of doing information design can give broader space of it.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

It is a challenge that using information design to describe culture shock. There is not much statistics about the culture shock affect. Even worse, most of the examples about culture shock don’t have clear cause and result. Choosing appropriate design sources decides how far the project can move on. There are certain rules that must be followed to achieve communicating information correctly. Selecting inappropriate visual symbol might cause misunderstanding from audiences or only a few audiences could understand. By consulting the existing work about information design, I realized that graphic designers are really careful about choosing graphics when they are visualizing information. The process of picking key visual information must strictly refer to the most commonly understood. Some processes of description or design of relations between events, need to deal with the lay out of different kinds of contents. As well as a consideration of people’s reading habits, setting a proper reading sequence, bad structure of information lay out will cause confusion when reading and affect information delivery even though visualization has been done well.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

Meanwhile, because of the specialty of this project, and large variety of resources which I have collected, some of them may not be used in this information design. Some of the designers use flow chart to describe course of events or all steps of a certain process. But I want to try something more different. While I am presenting the process of culture shock affect international students, I may use visual story telling because it is more straight forward than pure information design. I will also try to combine both of them to deliver messages in visual experimentation and build an appropriate relationship between them.

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

My studies will lead me to fallowing research questions: 1.How should I classify all the collected examples about culture shock? 2.What is the key information of each example that I can pick up for visualization? 3.How can I choose visual symbols to represent the contradictions between Chinese and British culture? 4.What is the common understanding of ordinary things and colors refer to each example? 5.What is the trend of doing information design? 6.What are the different approaches of describing course of events in information design and visual story telling? 7.Are there any possibilities to combine information design with visual story telling?


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Context Subjects related to culture shock include difference of lives, cultural contradictions, difference of thinking mode and psychological conditions under the impact of culture shock. There are 4 main stages, which are Honeymoon phase, Anxiety or rejection phase, Regression and Adjustment phase, Acceptance and Adaptation phase. All the subjects mentioned at the beginning refer to these different 4 stages. In the examples of culture difference I have collected so far, there is one about a German ethnic Chinese graphic designer who represented contrasts between lives in China and Germany. She analysed the life styles in two different culture backgrounds by using simple images, and it needs no extra words to explain. In the examples of British culture shock that I have collected, there is no shortage of comparisons between Chinese and British lives similar to her works. Studying her way of selecting the most representative part to design, would help me to concentrate on what the most I want to represent, and to prevent too much complication and go to far from my original aim.

Created by Yang Liu (2003-2006) From:http://www.yangliudesign.com/


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Nowadays, designers combine illustration, photography and other creative approaches with information design and make it more widespread into various fields. For instance, describing social phenomena and the potential invisible relationships behind objects.

Created by Matchstic (2009) From:http://michaelbatistich.com/ nice-piece-of-visual-mapping-bymatchstic


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

The 2005 print Epica d’Or winner. From:http://www.epica-awards.com/ pages/pastresults2005_epicador_ press.html

This work was created by Foote Cone & Belding, which is a Portuguese advertisment agency. The client was Grande Reportagem Magazine. In this project, designers celceted the most typical social issue of each country and combined it with the characteristic of national flag. For example, in the first American national flag, the red stripes represent those in favour of the war in Iraq, the white stripes represent those who are against it and the blue area of the flag are those who don’t know where Iraq is. (Epica d'Or, 2005, Online) From this work, it is very clear that choosing a creative visual symbol to represent information and express the meaning more powerful. In terms of my project, I also would liketo try some visual experiment on selecting appropriate visual elements instead of drawing charts.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Methodology Research plan In the methodology research plan, I mainly want to use a clear and realistically scheduled work plan to help me program the main structure of the final work step by step. Also analysis of the strengths and weakness in design & rhetoric, will give some directions in the process of primary and secondary research, and will help to research focused resources. CULTURE SHOCK HONEYMOON STAGE .e v w eryt . h onde hing av is tim ing rful ab e of a gre le o en ut t arn at viro he ing nm ir en t.

REJECTION STAGE . fe . fe el dif fi e co l anx cult nfu iou se sa nd

REGRESSSION ADJUSTMENT STAGE . st a the rt to d be diffe eal t cu we ren with . re lture en o ce ld d the efin and ne ms e w elv es

ACCEPTANCE STAGE .a b an le to the d pro ente . c ne spe r o w r cu mbin cult in . m lture e 2 ure ak s e b . lo alanc an s na ing o e tive f th cu eir ltur e

MY PROJECT AREA

Primary source In the stage of primary source, basically, the key work need to be done is to collect enough suitable examples about culture shock. And finish some part of the test of visual experimentation. After done my preliminary survey about culture shock, the target information I want to use in the major project are clearer. So I am planning to change the questions and talk to my peers about their life experience again in detail. Then I will start to search for more relevant material about differences in lives and consciousness. I will summarize some typical differences between Chinese and British culture. Put them into different catalogs. For example, the way teachers teach and the way students learn, the difference of personalities, habitats, costumes, social environments, foodand some different understanding of the same objects. From


Supermarket is a place that confusing international students the most. All the labels and name of food are so strange for them. It's a suffer when buying something but you don't know how people call it in another language.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

my point of view, all the difficulties and challenges are caused by those contradictions. After this stage, I will talk with my language tutor who has lots working experience with international students about the examples I sort out. Asking for suggestions and recommendations of reading resources. Also, I will try to contact the university language support about holding a workshop during the pre-sessional English programme, talk about the culture shock experiences with new come students, collecting ideas from them. Analyzing if there is any relationship between the length of stay in the UK and the level of culture shock impact. In the meantime, I will investigate existing works of information design and test some appropriate way of translating information. Experiment the possibility of combing information design with illustration, photography or visual story telling. Secondary sources I will continue researching on broading my understanding of culture shock by reading the books listed. And explore how to organize collected information and try to figure out the potential relationships between them. In later stages I will examine the possibilities of how to present my work to my audience clearly. Because most of the influences culture shock brings to people are psychological effects, I will also do some more researches about psychological identity and cultural identity.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Methodology Development plan


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Outcome

By the end of this project, I hope to have achieved the visualization of a various examples about culture shock, developing a better understanding of the problems and challenges in international students’ lives in the UK. In consideration of my ability and interest, book might be an appropriate form to document all information. But I will also consider about the form of poster, presenting the beautiful information charts. It will depend on the further experimentation and the final result of the project.

Unfamiliar and lonely city


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Bibliography Books Ward, C. (2001) The psychology of culture shock. USA: Routledge. McCandless, D. (2009) Information is beautiful. London: Collins. Robert, L. (2001) Survival kit for overseas living: for Americans planning to live and work abroad. USA: Intercultural Press. Turner, G. (1996) British cultural studies: an introduction. 2nd ed. USA: Routledge. Hofstede, G. (2001) Culture's consequences: comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. 2nd ed. London, UK: Sage. Klanten, R. (2009) Data flow 1: Visualizing information in graphic design. 3rd ed. Germany: Gestalten. Klanten, R. (2010) Data flow 2: Visualizing information in graphic design. Germany: Gestalten. Kenya Hara. (2008) Designing design. 2nd ed. Baden, Switzerland: Lars Muller. Cheung, V. (2009) Design-Play. Hong Kong, China: Viction:ary.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Websites Chinese Cultural Studies: Understanding Culture http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/culture. html

Intercultural Communication Home Page http://www2.soc.hawaii.edu/css/dept/com/resources/ Intercultural/Intercultural.html

Traditional Chinese Family http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/hbfamilism-u.html The Culture Page http://www.css.edu/users/dswenson/WEB/ CULTPIX.HTM

Culture and Personality http://www.stlcc.cc.mo.us/mc/users/vritts/self.html

Understanding Cultural Differences and Dynamics http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Plaza/2286/cd.html Cultural Differences http://info.citruscollege.com/studyabroad/Handbk/Culture.htm Culture Shock - Educate yourself http://www.juliaferguson.com/shock.html

UKCOSA. Guidance notes for students http://www.hw.ac.uk/registry/resources/ISA/UKCOSACultureSho ckGuidanceNote2006.pdf How culture shock affects newcomers http://www.everythingesl.net/inservices/cultureshock.php Understanding Culture and Cultural Differences http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/culture.htm On-line cultural training resources for study abroad http://www2.pacific.edu/sis/culture/


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Design & Rhetoric This project is based on the difficulties and challenges affecting international students. In other words, it means establishing a target group of people to be the subject of and audience for the graphic material, and they are certainly Chinese students in UK. Having decided this direction, I have started to collect relevant information. At the beginning, I designed a survey of culture influence. The questions are: 1. Length of stay in the UK? 2. To compare with the past of you in your home country, what kinds of external and internal changes have happened to you since you came to the UK? 3. Can you list some examples about something you couldn’t get used to or you didn’t like when you’re just arriving in the UK but you feel better and accustomed now? (For example: climate, eating habit, study, fashion, social activity, custom, values, people’s character, etc.) 4. What are the factors do you think that make you change and get used to those things you mentioned before? How? 5. According to your experiences, what are the contradictions between your original culture background and British culture?

This is only a preliminary survey, it aims to help me to find a general idea or direction in this project. All researches about culture shock exist in theory only. Professors analyse people’s mental changes and emotional changes by collecting resources of culture shock, then they explain all different kinds of psychoreaction and physiological reactions that people experience under the culture shock, and discover the ways to solve this. However, it is still abstract for graphic designers. So I will use this general survey to find suitable ideas as much as possible. After the survey, I’ve established my research question progressively. I hope to direct people “how to survive in the British culture shock.” In the design & rhetoric section, by using the information I collected so far, I tried to choose some of the contrasts and tried to translate them into graphics. Also, I drew some sketches documenting the difference of outfits between Chinese and British in the same seasons. I think it’s an alternative way to represent the climate difference. In the mean time, some of the works about using photos document international students's life have been used in the major project proposal.


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Living difficulty ? ? ?

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From international students' point of view, when they just arriving in the UK, products that selling in the store appear like this. They need to start over learning all the name of food, information on the lables and enrich their shopping experience.

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? ?


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Contradictions Teaching & Study UK

China

Teaching Discussion Process of teaching


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

UK

China

Concert Applauding In a concert/performance


XIANGHUI YE 2010

UK

Sanctity Violence Elegant

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

China

Black White Red

Consideration of color

Festival Death

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

UK

China North

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Summer

Fall

Winter

South

Spring

Year Rain Climate


XIANGHUI YE 2010

UK

China

Or

Or

Or

Or A day Rain

Or

Cloud Sun

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

Climate

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

UK

China

0 degree Temperature


XIANGHUI YE 2010

4 seasons

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL


XIANGHUI YE 2010

AN VISUALIZATION OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA

LCC MAJOR MAGD PROJECT PROPOSAL

Psychological condition under the culture shock


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