Conclusion: My third and final deliverable is a care package – an attempt to conceive some of the concepts and ideas from deliverable 1. Unfortunately due to the restrictions that followed Covid-19, I was unable to get the physical product out for a proper photo shoot. I did however finalise the material choice and printing treatment for my packaging:
– Compressed corrugated board (Pressing cardboard using the Foundation 2D print press machine)
– YUPO Sticker (MATT Finish) to overlay final artwork after die cutting
– Spot UV print treatment for typography portion so that they shine and glisten
I strongly recommend viewers to download the high resolution pdf for better viewing purposes. With that being said, the above few images are a mock up of my pseudo website for ‘The Care Project’. It features various functions and acts as a landing site when users scan the QR Code from my preceding poster.
Following which, users can peruse the website and find out what exactly is it that we do. Also a good opportunity to expose the brand and generate awareness to both our online presence and cause.
LINKING PAGE to deliverable 2
I would of course like to draw our attention to our upcoming events. For now, the website names a few examples and I foresee this to be scalable even in the future; holding talks or workshops and even raising awareness to children in schools, these are all future possibilities.
So what happens when users click on ‘READ MORE’?
Users will then be taken to an alternative web page that would focus and provide more information about that particular event. This is also an example of how the website can alter its layout to fit a function or purpose.
‘more than just a Fold’, the first of a three part deliverable series that targets the issue of homelessness in Singapore. The poster title is a pun on the word cardboard. Something synonymous with the homeless and ties in with my second deliverable.
A bright yellow sheet of paper smacked right in the centre of the poster contains the details of an event (deliverable 2). Having a ‘Wet-Glue’ texture, the poster is akin to the art styles we see on the streets. The sheet of paper very much blocks out the underlying photo; alluding to the fact that although visible, we tend not to see the full picture.
The poster also offers the viewers something more. Though obscured by the yellow sheet of paper, it is clear that the background image is of a homeless elderly man who seems to be going about his daily routine – cardboard collection. Intentionally monochromatic, a halftone filter is also applied over the photograph; both is meant to induce a sense of dissipation and ‘hard of seeing’. The elderly man back faces us, and even though we cannot see his face, we can tell from his ragged attire and exhausted posture that he is just trying to get by.
The poster is a call to action for volunteers to offer their help and services.
To gain insight on their understanding and attitude towards the issue.
Their aesthetic preferences and opinions on existing examples.
(‘Their’ refers to friends, relatives & the general public.)
Setting the Context
Hi, before we begin can you share with me your name, age & a short description of what you’re currently doing?
So, as a (what they’re currently doing), have you ever come across a homeless person?
– if yes, can you share the encounter?
– if no, do you think there are homeless people in Singapore?
(Share statistical information on homeless rates to enlighten)
What do you think being homeless means?
Can you share what you think these people do daily?
And what about their night routine?
When was the last time you:
Imagine yourself without a home, where in Singapore would you go to fulfil these basic needs?
Why do you think these individuals/groups end up as they are now?
Do you think there’s a way out of their predicament?
So being homeless is of course without shelter, but that doesn’t exclude them from having their belongings – personal items and at times even family members. How would you advice someone in such a situation?
Here are some examples of campaigns and activations done overseas. Do you think they will be effective in a place like Singapore?
Is homelessness a policy problem or community problem?
Let’s put aside political intervention. Who in society do you think can drive the greatest impact upon this community?
In your own capacity now as a (what they’re currently doing), how do you think you can reach out to the homeless?
Which would you be more interested/open to participating:
– an outreach activation
– an immersive experience (role-playing/experiential)
– none of the above?
Below are audio transcripts from my interview:
Conversations with Nat Chan – A 23 year old Lawyer in training.
This conversation was an interesting one. Returning from a 3 year study stint in the UK, Nat provided legal perspective on the issue of homelessness. Although the interview was skewed towards a local context, his views from abroad were definitely still useful. Download – Chatting with Nat
Conversations with Chua Yen Ling – A 26 year old Media Planner.
Entering this conversation, I made sure to get her expert opinion as a media planner regarding the effectiveness of existing campaigns (highlighted in my exploratory research). Also upon interviewing Yen, I realise not many were interested or keen in an immersive experience. Download – Chatting with Yen
Conversations with Ho Yuning – A 39 year old Dietician.
This conversation was very fulfilling (prepare for the long read). I doubted how much she knew about the topic entering this interview – I would be lying if I said otherwise. But it was very heartening to see how much shareable knowledge she had despite her age and profession.
Conversations with Tan Jin Teng – A 63 year old Retiree.
I would categorise this conversation under – ‘a little concerning’. Although I appreciated his candid and honest views, Mr Tan’s knowledge on the matter was admittedly amiss. This interview was still incredibly valuable to me as it reflected the reality of society; the extent of unawareness and the general nonchalant attitude towards the issue.
What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing an elderly person?
I was little perturbed when we were initially led to view some of the installation exhibits prior the role playing experience. Albeit informative, I thought it a bit ‘lame’. I really thought that was all there was to it; just simple installation pieces with a bit of interactive elements here and there…
Francis and Wong (our guides) later took us to a viewing theatre and that’s when I realise the tour was only beginning. I especially enjoyed the interaction session with Wong in the ‘blue room’; he shared his past and talked about his present. His first-hand experience with ‘ageing’ surely got me thinking about my own life and what I wanted to be doing if I were to reach that age. Sonder overcame me as Wong’s shared experience humbled me to reconsider reality; that each and every one of us lead vivid and complex lives equal to my own. This really substantiated the effectiveness of the role playing room that followed.
Overall, I’m incredibly grateful for the experience at Dialogue with Time. Although I’m struggling to see how I’ll be able to come up with something as good, I really appreciate how the process has challenged me to appreciate the difficulties of an elderly with more than mere words. I personally found it insightful that Wong’s shared experience meant so much to me through the process; I see how experiences can influence, shape, refine and even strengthen a design – I mean… there’s a good reason why all the guides are old!
Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role playing?
Addresses preconceived notions
Prior knowledge and expectations were addressed over the course of the exhibit. The role playing experience answered misconceptions I had and substantiated my knowledge in other areas.
Getting your hands dirty; a taste of the problem
Experience of situation. Nothing better than to get some first hand experience. Actually ‘living their lives’ – remembering the pills, being hearing impaired and limiting my mobility – Feeling helpless, useless and stupid in the various role playing scenarios made me realise how difficult it really was for these individuals.
“How would you react in a situation like this?”, I asked myself this question a lot during the experience. Probably because I wanted to prove to myself that I ‘wasn’t that bad’. Though I eventually succeeded in adapting to most scenarios, I took a few tries… I can only wonder how hard it has to be for dem old folks.
Sobering and humbling
Formulates the appreciation of the issue. The process of sobriety was not an instant one. Though slow, it was incremental and impactful.
Can you think of some contexts where role playing can be useful to help discover and define design challenges or contribute to the development of design solutions?
In the context of my working idea – ‘addressing the issue of homelessness in a first world country’ – I see serious potential in what role playing can offer.
Even though I am confident (without the need to role-play) in making plausible assertions about the typical challenges a homeless person would face. I think it’s incredibly challenging for me to cater design to their specific needs. Why? Because I simply do not know what they are. I think roleplaying in this instance will be a useful tool to dig up and uncover hidden aspects of their plight. Less conspicuous issues and problems can be brought to light and addressed alongside the main problems.
Role playing allows me as the designer to understand the real needs of these individuals. Eg. When they spend the night on a lifeless street, what is of paramount importance; warm food/drinks? Portable toilet? Security system? Privacy? Is there anything I don’t know or cannot predict? In turn, this informs the development of my design solutions. Designing to their needs or rather, the needs I developed as I role play their circumstance.
This technique will really help me to be a more effective designer as I can design products that better empathise and resonate!
Ever dreamt of living by the bay? What about in the Central Business District (CBD) area? You can now! Just join other Singaporeans as they ‘set up shop’ for the night along the Singapore River on any one of the many benches or stone steps. Quickly! Good spots often snag up fast!
Yes, even in Singapore a reported estimate of about a 1,000 people roam the streets every night. Seemingly taboo, this issue is rarely heard of in our first world nation. Certainly one that needs our attention.
Singapore’s water disputes with Malaysia are far from over, with the new Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir calling the contractual 3 sen per thousand gallons “manifestly ridiculous”. Though upheld in sacrosanct, war seems inevitable should Malaysia choose to denounce and breach the water agreement of 1962.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people who suffer from severe mental disorder are more prone to chronic and infectious disease, elevated suicide rate and are even more likely to pick up bad lifestyle habits and behaviours; smoking. If you’ve never had it, you’ll never get it. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying!
Kiasu is a Hokkien word that when broken down literally translates to ‘scared lose’. A discernible trait in every Singaporean, regardless of race or language. Many take pride in this “unique” characteristic and some even encouraging us to treasure this cultural behaviour. But arguably, an ethical problem that over generations have bred an egocentric society. Talk about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on another level.
Conclusion//Homelessness: After my quick literature review, the issue of being homeless in a rich environment like Singapore thoroughly piques my interest. Because of its domestic context I find this topic closer to home and closer to heart. I wish to understand and shed light on their unseen plight.
Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how?
Statistically, a study conducted by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), an average of 300 cases of homelessness are identified annually. Bearing in mind that these are just cases MSF was able to record; many more remain out there without a roof over their head. A study conducted in the year 2019 recorded a whooping 1,000 individuals roaming and living on our streets. 87% of the homeless being men and about half of the total were judged to be in their 50s or older.
Many are clueless to just how prevalent and inescapable homelessness can be in Singapore. Though we boast development with a nominal median income of S$4,563 (per citizen), I worry that encouraging statistics is turning into a façade to mask, undermine and forget about human rights. How would you feel if you had no roof over your head ? Worse still, what would you do if there was no way out of it? A good figure does not change the truth and admittedly even though long lasting solutions remain in political debate, there still remains much we can do to offer help and care for our fellow man.
Who do you need to communicate to, and why?
My target audience would primarily be the general working public (aged 25-50) as I believe them to be a great and effective force for change: unfortunately too busy, caught up and unaware to care. An emphasis will be place on those working in ‘homeless hotspots’ in particular the Central Business District (CBD) & Airport areas. My secondary audience would possibly be the older generation (aged 45 & above) as research has shown (homelessness not exclusive to just age) that individuals of this age group, especially those divorced, widowed or single are of potential risk.
Educating the public is of paramount priority. I believe humans are all innately wired to care for themselves and for others; yes, even the most ‘Kiasu’ & ‘Kiasi’ of Singaporeans. Not because they don’t care, but because they don’t know/don’t know enough. Regardless, giving the benefit of doubt has its limits and ignorance cannot be bliss, it’s time we act!
How has Visual Communication contributed to address the cause?
The past four weeks learning about history has been fast paced, overloading yet quirky and informative one. Admittedly due to the wide learning scope (there were so many names involved!!!!!!), I found myself struggling to glean as much as I could during lectures. So I would say my knowledge of each artists is merely surface. However, what felt like a hectic and tedious routine at the start of each week soon became an efficient process of analysing and understanding. As much as it requires more effort and time, the reflection posts have really been helping me to swallow better and additionally encouraging my ‘lazy ass’ to do personal research outside class time. Thank God as well for the split test; on hindsight a much better option over the alternative. The set list of keywords coupled with the bi-weekly pop quiz really aided my study and research process; as I was able to search up relevant terms and slowly draw the links myself. All in all, albeit a little overbearing at the start, but progressively, I realise the entire work system was benefitting me a lot more than I thought it would; for starters:
“Fast paced lectures with heavy content + own personal research and reflections”
Surprisingly, this really motivated me to learn independently, and in the process, I’ve retained a whole lot more compared to Art History I & II last year! It has been a joy learning about the History of Graphic Design under Desmond and this new found appreciation and knowledge will go a long way in my own Graphic Design journey!
Thank you, thank you so much!
And of course, the story of Paula Scher blew my mind. I also want to sell a logo for 1.5 million dollars :(…
Calligrams! was what caught my attention this week! A series of text arranged in a manner that formed and reflected a thematically related visual/image. Executed through a myriad of ways; in a poem, a phrase, tiny bits of scripture or even single words. The visual arrangement of the typeface was paramount to it working, because if you think about it… you have nothing to work with apart from typography, no pictures, no gifs and certainly no videos.
No he is not wearing a head-band, he got shot in the temple when serving in the World War.
Guillaume Apollinaire was a poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist and art critic. This guy is amazing, he is considered one of the most prominent poets of the early 20th century. Better still, upon further research I realise he was the one who actually coined the names of the two movements ‘cubism’ & ‘surrealism’ in 1911 & 1917 respectively. I wouldn’t be surprise if the term ‘calligrams’ was also coined by him.
Apollinaire is a renown calligram writer and also the author of a book of poems called Calligrammes, subtitled Poems of Peace & War. I found a link by the ‘Public Domain Reviews’ that allows you to view the whole book in its entirety, HOHOHO (The Link)
In his own words, “The Calligrammes are an idealisation of free verse poetry and typographical precision in an era when typography is reaching a brilliant end to its career, at the dawn of the new means of reproduction that are the cinema and the phonograph.”
Many of the poems deal with Apollinaire’s wartime experience, and through his calligrams, exude a sense of longing and desire for liberty and peace. Here are some examples that caught my attention.Calligrams value added to the poetry Apollinaire wrote, the ingenious arrangement of typefaces intensified each composition and perhaps, even allowed the reader to get a glimpse and relate closer to the artist’s intentions.
Here are some examples of modern day calligrams that are really fun to look at.