1A Design + Care Research [Yr2: Visual Communication 2| P1]

Task IA: Exploratory Research – Exploring the What, Why, Who and How?

Project Brief

Creating designs to respond and contribute to meeting the challenges of human needs resulting from social, economic, health and environmental issues confronting our society today.

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

I am interested in driving into global issues that applied to everyone.

Climate Change & animals

“British naturalist says climate change is an ‘urgent crisis’ that must be solved”

“Climate Change Is Strengthening Typhoons, Hurricanes and Cyclones.”

“This has been an ecological disaster, a disaster that is still unfolding,”

“Lewis’ the koala rescued from NSW bushfire dies due to extensive burns”

The Australia bushfire starts from June 2019 and until now (January 2020) the fire is still ongoing. Climate change and global warming are becoming more serious. Strengthened typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, bushfire, sea level rise are issues arose from it. Animals and human are heavily affected by climate crisis. We, as the cause of climate change must address and put in effort to ease the crisis.


Animal Rights & Animal Abuse

Australia to cull thousands of camels

“animals have a right to be free of human use and exploitation”

“It’s been estimated that there are 900 to 2,000 new cases every year of animal hoarding in the US, with 250,000 animals falling victim.”

Human has been crucial to animals. Recently in Australia, up to 10,000 camels are being cull by Australia government to secure water supply for residents. Animals have the right to be treated as the individuals they are, with their own desires and needs.

In Singapore local context, there are increasing cruelty reports in 2019.


National security and individual privacy – you are being watched

“The world is full of lies”

Edward Snowden: “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

“Personal data of more than 6,500 people ‘inadvertently’ leaked by Singapore Accountancy Commission”

“Personal info of 1.5m SingHealth patients, including PM Lee, stolen in Singapore’s worst cyber attack”

Use of digital devices have been causing leak of public personal information much more common and easier. People’s browsing history, camera, messages, locations maybe spying by someone at anytime, anywhere. Are we being watched by someone? How much they know us? Edward Snowden reminded and told the public about the truth 10 years ago, but government still work the same way, public awareness against private security is still low. How can we protect our individual privacy and how can we be more aware of this issue?


Smartphone addiction – when can we talk face-to-face?

“60% of people check their phones before falling asleep.”

“Smartphones May Be Leading to More Traffic Deaths Than the Government Realizes”

Increasing advance of technologies has brought ease and convenient to human’s life. However, nowadays people are highly dependent on smartphone. Smartphone addiction lengthens distance between friends, families. Netizens prefers living inside virtual world through their smartphones rather than the reality.


Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how?


Among climate change, animal rights & abuse, privacy leak and phone addition, I am most interested in climate change, raising awareness to the consequences of ignoring climate crisis and how animals are being harmed by the crisis currently. Human cause serious damage to the earth. Recently, I had been connected to the Australia bushfire emotionally a lot. As an educated human being, there is a need to contribute and save our mother nature. 

This is the urgent issue that applies to everyone and every single living creature in earth, karma is already taking action on climate change. The environment is heavily disrupted. Pollution kills 1.7 million children every year. When I was small, I was affected by allergy due to pollution in HK. Every single person on the world is responsible to the global temperature increasing. It is always not late for us to do something to correct our mistakes. However, most of the people acknowledged the problem, but they choose to ignore and avoid resolving it. 

  • Climate change lengthens fire season and causes the worst bushfire in Australia.
  • Global warming leads to melting of glaciers, rise of sea levels, coastal areas are at risk to flooding
  • The 45th US president Donald Trump keeps gutting climate change regulations and avoiding to face the urgent issue. 
  • Human’s action which leads to global warming: air pollution,  burning fossil fuels

“Koalas or face functional extinction, fires burn 80% of habitat”

“Long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped in ice and permafrost for centuries, are reviving as Earth’s climate warms”

“Trump Admits Climate Change Is ‘Not a Hoax’ After Proposing Rollback of Environmental Law”

Who do you need to communicate to and why?

I would like to target a large audience across regions, especially the young (10-25). The young are our future. They are more educable when compared to older generations, in the context that the older generations has failed (look at how Trump is dealing with it…).

Although, as ordinary people, we couldn’t make big changes to correct our mistakes, we can start from small steps, such as eco-friendly actions and sustainable living style to lower our destruction and interventions to the earth. Designers can suggest eco-friendly actions and provides positive alternatives to people.

How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?

  1. Global Warming, Fred Martins, 2016, posters

Fred Martins is a Nigerian artist who creates a series of posters to trigger emotional response from viewers to global warming.

The artists maintain a high consistency throughout the whole series by using same font, color scheme and composition. The composition and color combination are simple yet the message is powerful and straightforward. Global warming kills animals. The red attracts viewers’ attention to the theme: global warming and the blood on animals. Blood is dripping from the mouths of animals. I think this series is a very engaging design which trigger emotional shock from the viewers.

2. Earth Now, NASA, 2014, application

NASA developed an application to display an earth in your hands. Users can interact with the earth by spinning, rotating and zooming in and out the 3D modelled earth to see how each climate data map affects a specific area.

Colour: it has a serious and dark theme to address the issue, this color scheme also helps to resemble the earth realistically

Font: EARTH NOW is especially emphasised in the application. It is a angular professional font that communicates a serious manner

Clarity: information is listed clearly

Engaging: it is a highly engaging application which users are given the chance to take a close and detail look at the polluted earth.

3. Climate & Animals ,Daniel Tan, 2019, Web interface design,


Daniel designed a wonderful web prototype to bring awareness towards climate and animals. I appreciate interactiveness of the design, it is informational and also playful with the colour used and style.

Font: rounded and readable, friendly

Clarity: High

Color and theme: comfort and chill with light toned and earthy color combination

I think this design is prefect as a web extension which appears when web users open a new tab. Therefore, an animal and climate change information would appear daily, reminding user about climate change.

I am interested to create infographic that could tell how ordinary people could help animals from dangerous situation and participate in eco-friendly caring to ease climate crisis.


Climate change & animals is a broad topic. Would be good to drive into the local context. For example, animal and urban development. Do you know how many kinds of animals existing in Singapore?

Click to read my Further Research


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