Design Proposal : Naming or Shaming

By Courtney Brookes

Project title: Naming or Shaming

Emergent Practice:  The emergent practice that the design project lends itself to is a combination of social action and experimental process. The end product will be a call for social action and the content will be created through what I consider to be something experimental.

The issue: As Feminism has evolved as a movement we have seen a New Wave emerge which heavily relies on modern technology, specifically the Internet, to share their cause. Using Social Media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, and Personal Blogs issues such as Body Image, Sexualisation, and basic gender equality are challenged and opened for discussions in mediums the contrast the traditional protests and essays of the traditional movement from the 1960’s. The accessibility of the Feminist discussion now has opened the movement up to a large amount of backlash and shows high amounts of verbal abuse against individuals sharing their opinions and the entire movement. The degrading language and comments is now almost inseparable from New Age Feminism and highlights the necessity of the movement, but is also simultaneously holding it back through stopping the discussion.

The possible change: The possible change that can occur is a reduction in derogatory and abusive language used towards woman who identify as Feminists, as well as, common place names used for all girls and women. The effects of the ‘slut-shaming’ will be made prevalent and also be reduced overtime.

The design action to the support change: The design action to support the change in language surrounding Feminism and women will be in the form of a video. It will be a structured and scripted short film, which will go for 3-5 min and use dialogue, which I have created, and some from the comments section of various Feminist social media accounts.

The Brief: The project ‘Naming or Shaming’ will be a 3-5 minute video, which utilises humour to address the serious issue of derogatory and abusive language, which is affecting the Feminist Movement, and overall perception of women. The video will consist of a number of scenes all filled with vulgar dialogue which can be labelled as ‘slut-shaming’.

The everyday scenes will contrast reality, as the normal reaction to this language will be removed, showing a speculative future but also highlighting how frequently this type of language is used to describe women and the Feminist Movement.

The video will have to be storyboarded and scripted using dialogue created and collected and then locations scouted to film the variety of scenes. The scenes will interchange quite frequently and create a humorous and punchy video that has quite an obvious and serious underlying message. The video will be easy to share online which will assist the Feminist Movement also attempting to fight this issue.

Subtle but serious.

After reflecting on the findings of my brainstorm two design possibilities stood out for me as a possible starting point for Task 3. The first being the idea of using a video format that conveys statistics and using voiceover of quotes from famous feminists about this issue to immediately inform viewers, in particular women, of the credibility behind the issue. I also feel a video approach whether it be using animation or simply words can help garner empathy and emotion from a predominantly female audience.

A second design possibility would be using irony and paradox to flip the issue, where at first the design whether it be a poster or object, reveals what many especially more males feel about feminism in a work context and then subvert this using the design form whether it be a transparent layer to ‘reveal’ the real issue or using size or other visual elements in a subtle way on paper to show the hidden relatively unknown issue on a global scale.

Thus from both these considerations it is clear that the approach I am going for is in a serious but subtle way where using irony, video format, and subtle visual elements to flip the issue or simply argue the issue well, is what I feel is best to bring the matter to the surface quickly and allow it to be impactful in particular to women who respond well to emotional and empathetic designs.

By Koshila Perera

Design possibilities

Following the brainstorm that I conducted myself, I have come up with some design possibilities that have been inspired from the context and audience my issue targeted to.

  • As this issue is still relatively new and unknown to the public especially on a global context a design possibility could be to use form to express this such as using a physical layer or mask to ‘reveal’ the issue.
  • Another possibility could extend to using a video format as this issue itself is quite complex and involves statistics to argue the case. Therefore by using a video a stronger argument could be made and the idea could be expressed clearer.
  • As this is mainly targeted to women to be aware and speak up against the inequalities and biases in the workplace an empathetic and emotional approach would work best for women such as using personal stories from women who have been a victim.
  • However saying this even a positive and celebratory approach could also be used where positive stories of women speaking up that have been successful could work too.
  • Also from this brainstorm as I have realised this issue is not as present in contemporary mass media as it perhaps should and thus using famous figures in the public such as celebrities could help give immediate credibility to the issue and help women be aware and spread the message immediately.

blog 7 scan copy

-Koshila Perera

A Playful Design Possibility

By Courtney Brookes

A design possibility that I could explore focuses directly on the question I proposed in my previous blog post, around opening the discussion about Feminism on online platforms. What I want to focus on specifically within this is Internet driven intolerance and the backlash to the conversation that has been started.

Through breaking apart the various audiences to this intolerance as the witnesses, the perpetrators, and those who aren’t aware, I was able to acknowledge and understand who to direct my concept and design too. Whilst all of the audiences will be addressed the main targets will be the perpetrators and those who aren’t aware. From our discussions in last week’s session the first consideration for my design possibility was the importance of understanding the audience.

The approach I am looking to take will be playful as I believe the current Feminist discussion is quite direct and serious, this tone can be attributed to the stigma’s the movement holds and also encourage the antagonising resistance. I would like to explore the design possibility through the medium of video, a short film which will explore ‘removing the reaction’. The video will host a variety of conversations either quoted from other sources or generated by myself to highlight what the future could hold for Feminism and Gender Equality if the conversation does not shift.

Realising a Design Solution

by Keira Scurry (blog post 8)

The intensive research and group brainstorming over the last few weeks have evolved my understanding of perceptions surrounding gender roles and feminism, and a clear goal has been established. The end goal for my research is to eliminate the negative ‘masculine’ stigma associated with feminists, and further open the discussion surrounding gender expectations.

My design solution needs to essentially be a re-brand of feminism; provoke thought around preconceived notions of masculinity and the role it plays in feminism today. The rebrand will have no face, but a strong voice. There will be a large focus on tone and persona in order to emphasise that a feminist looks no particular way, but instead is defined by his or her voice and values.

My primary and secondary research revealed that to most of society, feminism today embodies values of violence, dominance, masculine females, and outspoken females. The movement is also represented through associations with high levels of education far beyond that of the ordinary millennial. My brand will therefore not take on any of these values, and appeal to the masses through a typography based medium. It will outline the basic principals of feminism to society in a way that is cohesive and approachable, creating a voice for feminism that emulates its core values in order to realign misconceptions.

FURTHER THINKING

Rebecca Shalala (Blog Post 8)

Last weeks brainstorming session provided the most clarity toward my thinking of a design project. However there remains two conflicting ideas and target audiences that I will need to discuss with my tutor.

The first is to educate young boys below the age of 18 as I believe this is where the problem lies. I wanted to design an education tool or system that would help them understand the idea of gender equality- beyond the negative stigma attached to the term feminism. The tone of this approach would be educational.

The second concept will be aimed at 18-25 year olds, the target audience specified by the brief. I would be attempting to challenge these male (and female) views on the sexualisation of women in our media being ok, in a satirical and lighthearted approach. This could include a social media campaign and a collection of meme’s that are successful in attracting this audience. As I have been exploring the effects of digital media, I will need to further my research in the most efficient ways to implement this idea.

Both of these approaches would be an attempt to eradicate the serious approach taken by previous campaigns and educational tools. My aim would also not appear to exclude realistic ideas of femininity held by todays society but slightly challenge or make my audience aware of the negative effects of it. I would also avoid re-making adverts such as the successful Dove campaign, as I believe this has been overdone, where other similar adverts released since then have been unsuccessful. Undertaking further primary research on my primary target audience who are young males, needs to take place through the form of interviews and questionnaires that I hope to send to my younger cousins and their friends aged 16-25. This may provide a clearer direction for me, as I will then be able to establish what needs to be addressed in my project.

Feminists Brainstorming Feminism

2015-09-01 14.57.00

By Courtney Brookes

The question I presented to my brainstorming group was “How might we open the discussion about New Age Feminism from circles that are majority females? So that it’s not so much of a one sided discussion.” Immediately this was broken down through understanding that the ‘we’ was (being current New Age Feminists using the internet) and giving a location to the said discussion being had (social media sites and online forums). Keeping a short time limit over the process allowed us to generate wonderful insights and design possibilities through breaking down the ambiguous endings of our questions.

  • Understanding the audience/ audiences of the issue is imperative to the success and reception of the design. As well as the obvious audience, what is important to recognize are the audiences, which aren’t participating. This is relevant to my question as my design possibility should not be directed purely towards women as that is where the discussion is already being held, but rather to the people who aren’t aware or the attempting to stop the discussion.
  • Making an informed and appropriate decision towards the design possibility. Recognise what voice is missing in the conversation that is happening.
  • Hypothesise and anticipate a response to all design possibilities. Through mapping out all the elements such as message, medium, audience the strongest design possibility will become evident.
  • Work with what you value, investment within a design possibility is going to strengthen the concept and reception of an idea. Personally I value the use of humour and playfulness so it is instinctively more relevant to use these tones, as my own comfort with this should translate to a greater audience.
  • Listen and value all opinions especially those you had not previously considered as these can highlight elements within you idea and add depth to you design possibility.