In our year groups we were asked to re-think the way in which we could communicate the colleges ‘Prevention’ posters aimed at preventing radicalisation of students and young people. We began the process with some divergent thinking task given a series of random objects and given approx 90 seconds to think of as many improvements to those objects.
This was a good way to help get into the frame of mind for the project and start the creative process. Following this in our groups we had to come up with as many ‘peaceful protest’ ideas.
We had a look at a government website initiative on prevention to try and get a better understating on the subject. Personally I don’t agree with this topic and the information provided was very vague. However after researching into radicalisation and some of the case studies surrounding it, we found that there are often issues with understanding the causes and signs of radicalization specifically in students. As a group we agreed that a lot of these ‘signs’ and ’causes’ are primarily and more than likely signs of other factors that could be affecting someone such as depression and not just indicative of radicalisation.
One of the main vulnerabilities that young people in danger of being radicalised have is the feeling of not belonging, so we wanted to address this in our design. We wanted a friendly and supportive approach to our message, encouraging communication from both the students and tutors in supportive roles. As we feel that communication is a key factor for prevention.
On the second day we broke into smaller groups to start to think of design solutions. We ended up coming up with our individual ideas, keeping in mind that the target audience was to be focused on younger students. I wanted to avoid the cliche solutions that came to mind initially, like having an image of some older kids influencing a younger student in a peer pressure kind of setting. Trying to avoid this I thought of having visual metaphors that could represent the feeling of belonging and thats how the idea of having a ‘shape fitter toy’ came to mind. This idea helped encompass our message as a representation individualism (different shapes) with a place of belonging (the fitter toy). When thinking of this idea I though of the slogan ‘Not all shapes, But all shapes have a place’ Which I think this rounded up the message nicely both visually and metaphorically.
We all contributed our ideas which all varied in complexity and solutions but all carried the same message we had agreed on which was focusing on the same key point, communication.
Above is an idea of having a floor illusion painting which gave the impression of a precipice with the idea similar to the old ‘ would you jump off a cliff if everyone else did’ idea.
Here is another one idea focused mainly on communication again using speech bubbles.
This was another metaphorical approach at looking at the ‘root of all problems being at the core’ by people sitting around an apple trying to reach the core.
Here we show the silhouettes of people overshadowing another more vulnerable peer, in a more peer pressure scene.
After we all discussed our ideas as a group we had a vote on which idea we would carry forward. My idea was voted for to be used. After refining our thoughts on the chosen solution, we came to the conclusion that instead of using the ‘shape fitter toy’ we would use a globe puzzle shapes instead. Even though I liked the abstract visual metaphor of my initial idea, I think this was a good move as maybe the shape fitter toy was a bit more ‘childish’ in a way, even though it would be understood by older students anyways as it’s something a lot of people have interacted with at some point in their childhood. Keeping the globe it would lose some of that abstract quality but would allow for a more universal visual approach as well as to help emphasise the message of belonging even more in the context of global unity.
The idea behind the globe made up as a puzzle, is to suggest that the world is like a puzzle in itself, and that each piece only fits with peace and cooperation from everybody. We want people to feel as though they always have a place in the world, without needing to turn to radicalised solutions. In terms of the poster we wanted to incorporate the original slogan “Not all shapes are the same, but all shapes have their place”- referring to people and with connotations to feelings of belonging and individuality. We were also to include some subtext in order to give a little more in-depth information about the message behind the poster; “It’s not uncommon to feel like you don’t belong, but everyone has their place. Prevention starts with talking.”. Hopefully this encourages students and tutors alike to open up and communicate more about the issue.
We didn’t want to leave our design at just a poster; we wanted to take it a step further. Keeping with the idea of the Earth made up as a puzzle, we wanted to have something 3 dimentional and interactive to attract a wider audience and create something memorable. We came to the idea of a large scale globe that could potentially be placed outside the college. The idea would be to project an animation of the jigsaw pieces moving on to the globe, all fitting into place. This could be a looping animation to serve as a permanent reminder of the issue at hand, as well as a direct link to the accompanying poster. Obviously we realise that this is quite an extragavant venture, and as a more possible alternative we thought that a short on screen animation of this idea could be made to be played on the large screen outside the college, for everybody to see.
Above is an idea for having a sculpture version of the globe that could be placed somewhere around the college. This could be interactive where students could go up to it and place or remove pieces from it.
This was a sketch done by James, visualising the idea of the puzzle globe with pieces coming of at different distances. We though of creating a small animation similar to this with the pieces coming in and out at different distances, fitting into their corresponding spots on the globe.
We wanted to create something a little bit more concrete so we did a rough mock up of how the posters would actually look like as a more finished piece.