1. Research into previous or current groups that look into or promote/ raise awareness of social communion
Social Cohesion in Diverse Communities- An exploration of the relationships between new and established communities in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods.
Ethnic difference and community relationships are under greater scrutiny following the 2001 disturbances in the North of England and the ‘war on terror’. A high-profile policy response has been the promotion of social cohesion. The study takes a critical look at the meaning of social cohesion for new and established residents in Moss Side in Manchester and North Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey. The study:
- describes patterns of neighbourhood diversity;
- gives residents’ accounts of social interaction, within their own ethnic groups and across others;
- considers whether ethnic difference is a source of neighbourhood tensions;
- examines the meaning of community and belonging;
- draws on resident and service provider accounts to show the factors that hinder or promote social cohesion; and
- provides recommendations for policy and practice.
The study was relevant in the fact it offered a chance to ask residents how they feel within their homes and how they feel about their neigbourhood. Constantly through out the study many elderly residents aspired to have more of a ‘sense of community’ in their neighbourhoods, that had been lost due to labour and housing market changes that had led to increased turnover in local populations. As well as this, compounding issues of overcrowding made it difficult for providers to give appropriate support to new established communities. This indicated to me that maybe I needed to design a tool that could be mass produced, so that this tool could also be mass sent through large populations.
People’s perception of the ‘unfairness’ of the distribution or allocation of such resources pervaded many accounts. Residents of different ethnicities felt that new arrivals received more favourable treatment from service providers. Their perceptions often belied the hardships experienced by these newly-arrived groups. Here I though that instead of trying to appeal to get particular groups to come together, why don’t we start small and try and get people tied in with their actual housed neighbours. Starting with the people that live closest to each other would be the better start, instead of trying to invite whole communities to come together though invitation. As well as this, ethnic or age disclusion wouldn’t be a factor, as it would simply get society to get to know your next door neighbour. This could in turn would make residents feel more comfortable and safe, which is all part of have a good sense of well being.
Know your Neighbour Weekend
This organisation suggest that if you don’t know anyone on your street, go and get to know them. The website aids you in creating your own even, swell as giving you the opportunity to download promotion material like poster and badges. Also, the website has a number of links so you can share it through your own social media sites between friends and strangers. Moreover, it also give you a list of suggestions for activities that you can and your neighbours can take part in.
I think the concept of the website and its ideologies are good, however I don’t think that it is successful as it can be. Simply suggesting to people that they should go and see their neighbours and community isn’t enough. I feel it requires a quality that would provoke feelings and need of change, rather than simply recommending people to come together without any real reasoning. I think this quality could be brought out by incorporating some sort of questions, that would make the audience think ‘I would never ask my neighbour to do that’, that would be handy if my neighbour could do that for me, life would be a lot easier if my neighbour could do that for me, I would feel a lot safer if my neighbour was doing that for me.’ When designing my tool, it will need to interact somehow with both the receiver and the neighbour, so questions can be asked from the tool to allow these provoked thoughts.
Waste Watch- We help people to waste less and live more.
‘Together we exist to inspire, educate and enable people to be litter free, waste less and live more. We believe improving our environment is a positive message that goes hand in hand with improving our well-being and happiness in life. It’s about bringing people together to share more, to learn new skills, and to build stronger communities that actively care for each other and the planet.’ – Waste watch
The process of getting community together here is to invite people to change something that helps the environment, as well as having quality time together enabling the chance of communication. This is a good technique of getting people together as it has a goal of getting people together, as well as cleaning the communities they live live. Having that bond of sharing something only enhances the relationship these people will gain from participating in this voluntary work. Sharing is a good motive for getting people to connect, as both part will receive benefits from doing so. I think sharing will become a large angle for getting neighbours to come together.
Further thinking has lead me onto the fact that what sits parallel with ethnic and age issues is the use of technology. Elderly generation must have previously felt a sense of community in their earlier years. This has previously been indicate in earlier research, however it is at this point that I have made the research decision to look out how people would have been forced into social communication. Then I may be able to reflect one of these instances in my design.
To conclude my research into previous/ current groups that promote/ raise awareness of social communion, I found this quite relatively difficult. There was a lack of diverse techniques to get communities together, as a lot of the techniques simply utilise the fact of volunteer work. Persuading people to do volunteer work is difficult in Britain’s society, as Britain isn’t as strongly influence by volunteer work as other countries. This indicated to me that to raise social cohesion between communicates, we need to take a new approach.
From previous/current research, I have considered is to target home owners and their neighbours. The tool will be designed to be:
- mass produceable/ sendable
- allows interaction between both receiver and their neighbours (and vice versa)
- appeal to all ethnic/ religious people
- persuades/ promotes sharing
- provokes questions/ thoughts of the target audience (‘I would never ask my neighbour to do that’, that would be handy if my neighbour could do that for me, life would be a lot easier if my neighbour could do that for me, I would feel a lot safer if my neighbour was doing that for me.’)
2. Research into previous or current campaigns that have provoked a change of feeling in an audience. (These campaigns can be directly or indirectly related to the brief topic, as it will help to gain a knowledge of campaign techniques.
Coca-Cola: Small World Machines
In the past, they’ve been known to give you a beverage only if you give them a hug, or if you dance or sing in front of them. Now, the beverage giant is attempting a much loftier goal: world peace. Along with agency Leo Burnett, Coke created “Small World Machines”, two vending machines, one placed in India, and the other in Pakistan, that turned into communication portals. The idea was to let citizens of both countries — long embroiled in a bitter political and religious battle — see and interact with each other, even complete shared tasks. Once those tasks were accomplished, the machines dispensed a Coke. The move earned the beverage company plenty of Lions at Cannes — three Golds, among them.
Even though this piece is interactive, it brings people together as it invites you to get your beverage as the cost that you meet someone new. The reaction on the video said it all, as it got people laughing and smiling taking part in interacting with someone in a different county. Whats interesting about the piece is that words are not spoken with the other person, yet the machine was described as not communicating without words, and that action speaks louder than anything else.
This idea that words don’t need to be said, and that action speaks louder than anything else interests me for my project. My piece may not need a physical confrontation between neighbours initially, and possibly I could create a tool that is sent between the neighbours houses. People I think are generally scared of meeting new people, and prefer just to live their own lives and stick with old friends. However, if I could design a tool that would create a parallel reality that shares interaction between two neighbours, possibly this 2nd reality can come into reality with given time.
Bill Drummond- Draw a circle
Bill Drummond came up with with the idea of baking cakes, drawing a circle on a map and on that circumference he would deliver the cake to a stranger. He calls this the cake circle. Drummond claims that he did this ‘out of randomness’, and he life the confrontation. However, what is interesting is the thought process that goes through the receiver of this cake. People may think your mad, think you want something in return, think theres something wrong with the cake etc all point out the fact that we rare simply not trusting of our fellow man. Why is that we can’t simply bake someone else a cake out of kindness? This is an extreme process, but the extremity does point out how untrustworthy we are. This has given me a design idea that is just as extreme, however the process eases each participant into it, which encourages them to go through with the campaign.
Here is the scenario if you don’t know you neighbour:
- You and your neighbour both receive a checklist of household items.
- You are required to circle one of these items, to then post to your neighbour requesting that you want to borrow it.
- If your neighbour responds appropriately, they will leave this item on your door step (or an appropriate place) , posting their checklist through your letter box requesting what they want to borrow
- Once both checklists are complete you both humbaly invite each other to shake hands
I think this campaign idea would strongly answer the brief and what my research has asked of me to do. The interaction between the neighbours initially wouldn’t create a confrontation that requires physical communication, which solves the problem of people feeling ‘too scared’ of meeting new people, so they won’t choose to ignore it. As well as this, the checklist will be able to act as the role of the ‘physical tool’, that will interact between both neighbours through being posted door to door. Moreover, requesting to borrow small household items will make people appreciate the small things, which is a key trait to what the Danish believe adds to their happiness. The appreciation will stem from not actually purchasing the item, but from actually requesting it at the convenience of your neighbour. This will highlight how reliable a neighbour can be, which reflects one of the aspect having a full sense of well being, which is too feel comfortable. Also, the point raised about fairness will not be an issue as both neighbours will posses checklist, which both request the same type and number of items to then go onto meet and shake hands. The reason the people meet and shake hands after the checklist is complete is too initially highlight how handy it would be to have a neighbour that could lend you things of the list. One of the items on the list I though of including was a spare key. This would be the last item to check off, which like Drummond’s cake highlights is trust. Trust and safety are a very important part to incorporate into the design, as they are ‘key’ to having a full sense of well being.
Now I have my design idea I will discover what form my checklist could take. This could simply take the form of a shopping list or extend to an enclosed envelope, considering that this tool is meant to be mass produced.
3. Research into previous tools or object that have or could potentially bring face to face social communion, that minus out the use of technology.
Now I have my main basis for my idea I now needed to investigate what form it could take. Earlier in the research I stated that elderly people previously would have experienced more of a sense of social cohesion, due to the fact that technology was no where near as advanced in the years of the World Wars. Beneficially, from my own knowledge I knew that in the World War they had ration books. Enemy submarines sank so many ships that there was a shortage of some foods. Rationing made sure everyone got a fair share. Fairness is something that is reflected in my tool, so gives me good reasoning to take influence from the design of these books. As well as this, the ration books required you to hand over coupons, which in turn would have created social interaction. There is certainly reason to take influence from the ration books.
I think the presence of the book looks fit for its once purpose. The design is simple, using soft beige coloured paper, contrasting with heavy black ink, which is used for both for the simple fonts and grid structures. No unnecessary design is incorporated into the book, which is something I would like to reflect in my design. I want my design to have as little text and imagery as possible, as I want the this to the process of the using to the tool to meet your neighbour. An example of too much information and imagery would be the recent campaign flyers for voting:
Currently, they are trying to change the age of voting for politicians from 18 to 16. These flyers may possibly reach out to older generations who have more time to read the campaign letters, however current teens and young adults have a much shorter attention span. Moreover, the attention span according to Statistics Brain (2014) claim that the average attention span has dropped from 12s in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. These flyers personally didn’t grab my attention, and ‘couldn’t be bothered’ reading them knowing that the information would take more than my own subconscious allotted time for reading something new. You can see the that inside the leaflets there is a lot of crammed information, which in politics is probably important as they have a lot of persuading to do to get the vote. However, it is also the front covers of the flyers which instantly stopped any appeal from me personally. Simple statements are a good to get points across however they have provoked no motivation for me to vote. This could have been achieved through clever play-on-words, or clever use of text manipulation to symbolise something relevant to tier campaign. When designing my front cover, I want the text to be short and also resemble sharing or meeting. This shall be done with deep considerations of what I want the audience to first read, as well as clever manipulation of text.
Here is a clever example of manipulation of letters in words. The O’s have both been moved out of their natural positions to resemble a sun settled and rising, using the base at which the letters sit on as the horizon. Very effective, and instantly draws you into the design. As well as this, I like the subtleness of light shadow that the backgrounds posses, making the letters seem like there in front of the space, rather than printed on the space. This is defiantly something I would like to take across when designing my final tool. I think the play on letters would make the subject light hearted, which would make the reader feel easy, allowing them to open up to information or a set of instruction that the tool would contain.
This design stood out to me, due to the use of simple block shapes resembling household utensils. Instantly makes the design feel homely, bringing a sense of security and warmth from the viewer. In my design, I may look to incorporate some sort of neighbourly sharing items or somehow change some of the lettering to people meeting.
This design stood out to me as this could well be my front cover for my tool. The use of removing the head and the heart away from the body and replacing it with a large hand, instantly removes human thinking and feeling, which would normally stop someone from waving and saying hi to a stranger. The hand has no sense of regret, and makes it seem simple to say hi to everyone. The act of waving suggests to other people you are enjoying same instance as the other person, gives of sense of security, in turn making people feel happy. This certainly reflects what I want to achieve, which is to reveal to an audience how easy and how nice it would be to know your neighbour, which will give a great sense of well being.
Looking at these designs have instantly given me ideas for developing the front of my tool. A play on simple words, by either manipulating or adding to the letters will instantly make my subject light hearted which is important to get people to talk to the neighbours. I want to create something thats humorous and implies how silly it is that the audience shut themselves and their neighbours from their lives.
Next I wanted to decide what form my tool would take. Since it is been sent between houses it will have to fit through a standard letter box. As well as this, the flyers that I analysed demonstrated that a lot of information can be contained within the space, which my subject matter is little anyway due to it being a simple set of instructions. I looked at a series of flyer styles to see which would be the best structure for my campaign.
Considering my tool is meant to be mass produced for heavily populated city’s, I had to consider the best way for print which would be A4 printing. Printing in A4 would allow me to either split that into 2 and create A5 flyers, or I could fold it and turn it into an open up flyer. These are the best 2 options for simplicity and size, and would allows me to fit the neighbourly instructions on it, and use it as the tool between neighbours.
It was suggested that I should looks at the works of Daniel Eatock, to take inspiration for my design development.
former graphic designer Daniel Eatock displays an ongoing interest in proposing problems; problems to which he sets about formulating solutions. These problems themselves often cannot be understood before they have been solved, resolved or contradicted, yet in applying a rational mind to the irrational world.
I can understand why I was suggested to look at this artists, as his designs reflect the simplicity and the humour I want to put across in my postal flyer. The the most imaginative piece had to be the ‘utilitarian birthday card.’ The card is humorous for the fact that it takes away the hassle of looking for a ‘nice card’ to give to your special someone. The fact that it contains the material properties and recycling logos on the front is humorous, because it makes that seem more impotent then the persons actual birthday. Moreover, it sets out the instructions for the purchaser how to fill out the card, and tick off the main birthdays or other. This has inspired me to make my flyer as humorous as possible, to make the subject matter more accessible. Making it humorous will make people feel positive about responding to the instructions the flyer will set out.
To illustrate what the neighbours will be borrowing from each other, I will use simple icons to indicate what will be shared between the two. At either side of each icon I will leave a small space, so that these can be clearly marked for each neighbour to lend the item that wants borrowing. I thin using simple icons will be plenty enough to explain which object is which, without having to write what the objects are. Depending on how I decide to reflect the whole them of the design, will determine the style in which I produce the icons. I may use simple drawn illustrations that look they they have been scanned in, or may go for a more modern 3D look.
I think I have come to a stage where I can now start to develop my final final campaign postal flyer. I have gathered enough information from my research for the basis of my design, and enough design research to reflect what I’m trying to achieve. In my design development, I will research into neighbourly traits to inform what goes into my flyer.