Task 1A: Exploratory Research

  1. What are some of the current issues confronting our world today? Amongst them, what is of interest and a cause of concern to you? (250)

Through online articles from National Geographic, Times, NASA and many other well-known sites, I found out that there are various issues confronting our world today. Amongst them, I have narrowed it down to a few.


Firstly, we have mental disorders that is prevalent in the world but they are not well received or addressed. Mental disorders affect one in four people. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Eg. Chester Bennington http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/


Image result for mental disorder

Racial segregation between the white and black people is an issue. Though all humans, just because of the different skin colour each was treated differently in society and have different privileges. There are many articles about the black receiving harsh criticism even though it was nothing serious. https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/5/1/15499996/jordan-edwards-police-shooting-texas-balch-springs

Environmental issues

I believe that human activities, leading to climate change is the most prevalent and important issue that we all have to address. Due to human activities, the climate suffers. Even without statistics, I’m sure everyone experienced the weird climate recently, where it rained continuously and temperatures dipped to as low as 21.2 degrees. https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2671/long-term-warming-trend-continued-in-2017-nasa-noaa/

Image result for nasa temperature data earth climate changeImage result for nasa earth temperature climate change

Also, due to human activities, the wildlife, flora and fauna suffer. Logging and deforestation, overfishing, dumping into ocean and shark finning are just some of the examples. Being someone who feels for nature, I want to reduce these problems before they get serious. These can cause damage to the environment since plants are the basis of ecosystems and that animals help to pollinate them. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150715-why-save-an-endangered-species

(will focus more towards plastic affecting marine life)

Image result for shark finning

  1. Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how? (200) 

Confronting human activities that damage the environment is important. Since the whole ecosystem is interconnected, one action could lead to multiple problems. For example, dumping in the ocean by factories would cause marine life to die. With the factories continuously in production, toxic fumes would be emitted and cause damage to the ozone layer. And these would thus lead to a loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves etc. Global temperature is rising continuously every year. If we do not start act now, it would be too late and the whole ecosystem would perish, perhaps lead the world to another cycle of ice age.

Some impacts on the environment:

  • Corals bleaching
  • Land degradation
  • Habitat destruction
  • Ozone depletion
  • Ocean acidification
  • Water pollution: Greenpeace stated that at least 267 different animal species are known to have suffered from entanglement and ingestion of plastic debris. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.


  1. Who do you need to communicate to, and why? (150)

Communicate to the public, consumers as well as the government and organisations. (Technically everyone) There is a need to raise awareness and educate them about the concerns that this problem would bring about and what each one of us could be contributing in order to help. E.g. sustainability, reduce waste and decrease plastic production, substituting it with another more environmentally friendly material. Hopefully, the public will be educated and grasp a hold of how dire the situation of climate change is and start to adapt and change their lifestyle bit by bit.

  1. How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?

Designer: Evelyn Rydz, Pigmented Ink Print, 2014

Evelyn Rydz is a Boston-based artist who takes photographs and creates illustrations of man-made objects that have washed ashore, presenting these artefacts like an archaeologist of contemporary history. Through her photos, we can see how the journey through the ocean has changed these objects.

I like how these ocean waste morphed and changed throughout their journey in the water, exposed to erosion and thus becoming so unique and one of a kind. They indeed do look like artefacts but are actually just man-made objects in the sea/ocean.



Designer: Benjamin Von Wong, Photography, 2016

By using the recycled plastic bottles as a stand-in for the ocean, Von Wong hopes the images start a conversation on how plastic bottles are polluting our oceans.

Due to the plastic waste in the ocean, the mermaid’s life is at stake. He was probably trying to grasp the attention of the audience with how beautiful the mermaid is but with a dark twist. Her being surrounded and swimming in a pile of plastic waste. Indeed being a designer/artist, we have a hard time trying to change the world. But this project showed that through passion, by spreading the word, you can make a difference.



Designer:  Surfrider Foundation and Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Advertisment, 2008

“Catch of the Day,” a guerrilla ad campaign sponsored by Surfrider Foundation to educate people at farmers’ markets about the amount and kinds of pollution dumped into our seas.

Working with the ad giant Saatchi & Saatchi, real-life trash was collected from various beaches in America and packaged to look like seafood and then offered at various farmers’ markets.

This ad caught my eye immediately with the strong visuals. The ad speaks for itself. Fishes being replaced by waste in the ocean. This ad is definitely strong since it uses an everything object to “package” something different.

Image result for plastic surprise surfriderImage result for plastic surprise surfriderImage result for plastic surprise surfriderPlastic Surprise



More artists that are worth reading about:



Sea Globes

5 Types of Plastic You Can Trash From Your Daily Routine To Help Save The Oceans

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