Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts on My Senior Degree Project

I have always tackled design problems that are safe, and that are easily discussed. I have noticed in my past that I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like telling people what they don’t want to hear. I would like for my senior degree project to involve an issue that is easily swept under the rug or not talked about. Pushing myself to be more involved with a serious issue would let me grow as an individual and as a designer. So, I have been looking for problems to confront that are involved with our physical, and mental health.

I have thought about tackling the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and by taking a health class this year I have come to realize what a widespread problem this is. std prevention, education, and awareness seems to be something I would be uncomfortable with, but I want the challenge. It is especially a problem within my age group, and within the area in which I live if you were too look at the statistics. I am thinking that I could partner up with a local health clinic, or a hospital close by. I can’t cure anything, but I can help to prevent these things with the correct means of awareness and education. I also could help the ones who are affected by std’s, and could give them the educational information and confidence that they need to stay healthy. I could also be able to look at schools, because the average age for kids to start having sex is 12-13 years. This brings up the issue of sex education within schools, and some schools don’t even offer sex education.

Another issue that I have looked at is the problem of stress. Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis, but there are different levels of stress that are considered healthy. I want to look at different ways of coping with this, because stress isn’t going to go away. We can’t ignore it, but we can find means in which to cope. There are a plethora of things in life that we stress about, constantly, such as; academic, personal, social, time, financial concerns, the future, our job, etc. All of these things can lead up to a very un-happy you. I would like to look more into why we stress so much about all of these things, how we can deal with it, or how we can eventually change it for the better. This issue can also lead into the issue of on-line social networking, and the need for an on-line presence. Some find solice in existing in a fantasy on-line world, and this can cause major disconnects and stress within the real-world. I think that as a graphic designer we can be designing for an on-line participatory environment, but what if that tends to someone’s stress, or need to be only present in an on-line space?

On a different note, my father has chewed tobacco for over thirty years, and we haven’t seemed to be able to get through to him that he shouldn’t be doing it. I do realize that the anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigning has been going on for awhile, and everyone is really aware of the side effects. I am wondering if there are other ways to deal with this issue, that are more individual based. I want to look at chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc. I want not to tell someone that they will die if they smoke, but give them constructive advice on how to quit effectively and efficiently.

I also want to look at the issue of weight management, which is an increasingly growing problem. It is a problem for all age groups. I believe that when you are young, and taught how to eat healthy and act healthy you will be fit for life. The things that we retain, like information, knowledge, activities are the things that will benefit us in the long run. A good amount of weight management stressors are highly related to the environment in which someone lives or grows
up in.

I could also look at the amount of crime within our area, and give the information needed to better protect yourself. Awareness of your surroundings, although I wouldn’t want to stamp Kansas City with crime spots. I would just like to promote strategies in which you can defend or protect yourself from an attack. I would also like to specifically research ways in which women can cope with rape, or potential strategies you can learn to deter your predator while in the act.
So...these are just a few issues that aren’t something I would usually tackle, and I think that any of these issues will educate me just as much as it will educate the ones that are affected by the final design.

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