Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Project + Hypothesized Design Solution

[BEFORE] How can graphic design change the beliefs and connotations about cancer to inspire life through knowledge and tools that focus on prevention and effective lifestyle choices that ultimately ignites awareness and sustainable prioritization of cancer through personal human connections?

When first communicating this project focusing on young adults and cancer, there were many factors and areas I wanted to address. With these many areas came a list of assumptions and through additional research and experimentation, for the most part, that list has been split into ‘proven’ and ‘dis-proven’ assumptions. Through these trials and tribulations, I feel the project now has a more well-rounded approach that better reflects the true need of the demographic in regards to the situation at hand. There are several points I hope to address in this project, each having some level of relatedness to one another, and in the end the goal is to have a functional, successful, and practical piece that speaks to the unique young adult (18-23) demographic. Not necessarily knowing exactly what design solution will be executed at this time I have speculated, based upon revelations from additional research and experimentation, the direction I see as best fit for the ideas I am aiming to communicate.

The essence of my project is brought down to the ideas of communication and significance, both interwoven to convey the main focus and end goal. Communication is the foundation of the project and with communication comes relationships; these relationships are what I hope to establish and further advocate for. The young adult being the center of these relationships which branch out to doctors and health care providers, family, and friends. The concept behind these interactions is that they are advocated from both sides, matters are understood and communicated effectively. For example, the doctor and individual should be able to advocate, together, for early diagnosis, prevention, and have a comfortable understanding so that nothing is miscommunicated or one-sided. The goal here as well as with each of the other two relationships is to dispel the ignorance and preconceived invulnerability that is seen from both sides upon the young adult demographic. In relation to family, communication should be easily shared and expressed in regards to genetics and family history. And the biggest influence that I hope to spark is that of friends advocating for friends; having the tools and knowledge to spread virally.

Encompassed within these relationships are four interlocking ideas that I hope to convey in a positive light through tools, knowledge, and awareness. These four ideas are advocating for yearly physical examinations, challenging the preconceived invulnerability, early diagnosis, and prevention. However, with these ideas there is a fine line that if crossed might evoke fear and negativity. The goal is to put a positive lifestyle spin on these ideas so that they are taken seriously, but not so seriously that each time an individual gets a cold they are over-frequenting the doctors office and living in fear of the disease. Early diagnosis and prevention are key in this project and will exist as the overarching goal and I plan to challenge the ignorance that is self-inflicted on the demographic and likewise, observed from the outside.

The remaining foundation to discuss is the significance I aim to convey in tandem with the communication aspect. Once again, working with the idea of this project functioning on two dimensions; one being from within the demographic, self, and the other being how the demographic is perceived by outsiders. In one dimension the objective of the project is to provide the ability for young adults to become self-advocates and push for answers, perhaps not only for themselves but for others around them. As mentioned before, I aim to do so through the supplementation of tools and knowledge that are uniquely embraced by each individuals. The most important part of this idea of significance is essentially giving a face to the young adult demographic in regards to health care and cancer. It is a demographic that is often ignored and the proposal of a viral branding campaign strategy seems to be viable at this time. It can provide an image for the unique demographic that communicates to themselves as well as family, friends, doctors, and other outsiders. This could be further justified through the exploration of partnerships with health care providers, school and universities, insurance companies, as well as not-for-profit organizations. I envision, giving the young adult population significance through two-dimensional communication.

[AFTER] How can graphic design bring significance to the young adult demographic in respect to cancer by dispelling ignorance's through the utilization of communication strategies that work both to communicate to and within the demographic, as well as to those important members outside of the defined demographic?

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