As part of my final year at university I completed a Design Honours Research Project. Targeted at combatting misinformation during the pandemic, my project encompasses not only my final outcome but the prototypes I created along the way.
I took a practice-based approach to my methodology, with the work evolving as a result of feedback and reflective practice. Initially this project investigated the integrity of the 24/7 news cycle. Having read a number of misinformed posts, I became frustrated seeing people continually re-interpret a story until it manifested into a new one. A major turning point in my process, was the realisation that the majority of our news sources come from the internet and are usually triggered by something we see on social media. As a result, I began exploring how meme culture was used as a coping mechanism to the pandemic.
Although my project always centred around the idea of creating an installation, I explored a number of avenues to reach my final prototype. My initial work looked at creating memes that were in response to the information overload that had resulted from the pandemic. I then went on to create posters inspired by Douglas Coupland’s activism project, Slogans for the 21st century. I went on further to explore how I could use the medium to convey a message by creating sketch models out of toilet paper as a response to our stockpiling behaviour.
In the second half of my iterative process I explored network dynamics, using design activism and data visualisation techniques that were inspired by Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec’s project, Dear Data. I collected primary data from my peers and using it to drive my visualisations. I ended up creating a number of graphics that explored the relationship between COVID and misinformation. In the second half of the trimester I started culture jamming COVID ads to misinformation, further exploring the relationship between the two, with the last experiment leading me to redesign the social distancing stickers which led to my final project.