Design for real – Challenging Assumptions

Today Ian and Wendy came in to tell us about their experience visiting the Gaer. The area seemed quite bare from what they told us, they have a limited amount of shops, no coffee shops, no bus shelters, benches, rubbish bins as well as the google information in the local area being incorrect.

The things the area is lacking in could be an opportunity for new designs and new ideas. We also found out that Derwen don’t want to do anything themselves, and want the residents to run a sustainable community within the hub so my ideas need to be sustainable and easily run by the community.

Wendy and Ian have also put the Pobl brand guide as well as the Derwen house styles on moodle for us to experiment with.


Design for real – Mentor meeting

Today we met with our assigned mentor for this project, Matt Bonaccorsi to discuss our opinions on the project as well as get his viewpoint in order to better understand the brief.

We discussed dynamic designs with Matt, and he advised us not to get stuck on the restrictions that this project has, and to try different things such as encouraging physical activity and giving residents the opportunity to spread their ideas. Matt also said that designing in a way that parents the residents would be a bad approach, so alternatively we will try our best not to do that.

After this meeting I took away a few ideas and processes I would like to try. I want to work in the order of Design > Placement > Response as Matt recommended and make sure to find out what the client wants, what they ask for, and what they need.

I also need to speak to Wendy to discuss my idea of a social Committee, our groups concerns with the range of visual deliverables as well as there being no signs of any health science students that were meant to accompany us on this project.

Design for real – Creative brief

This is my creative brief for my Communicating with men project.

Communicating to Men

Prepared by:
Liam Mullen, 07715049571 ,

1. Background / Overview:
The Overall project will be assisting the people of the Gaer area and the Derwen Hub, and to focus on the male audience and to encourage their engagement within the community getting them involved and developing friendships, clubs and a friendly welcoming atmosphere among the residents.
The main problem is the stereotype of stubbornness that surround the target audience, they aren’t extremely likely to engage with new ideas or accept outside help.
A lot of other groups I have previously heard of have community trips with a small fee where the transport and bookings are taken care and the residents can relax and enjoy themselves without having to organise anything. Also clubs and interest groups that provide people with roles and responsibilities.

2. Objective. What is the goal of the campaign?
The main focus of the campaign is to involve the male residents of the Gaer area and the Derwen Hub to provide them with a sense of value and happiness, as well as getting them to make friends and participate in activities that will get them out of the house to engage with others. We want to do this with respect and care, and not to patronise the target audience.

We want to approach them in a way that will make them want to take charge and integrate into new communities and develop roles among their clubs and community.

3. Target audience: who are we talking to?
The target audience for this project are the elderly males in the Gaer area and Derwen hub. These are a stubborn target audience and will need a lot of persuasion to get involved in activities or engage with advertisement.

4. What’s the most important thing to say or show?
The most important thing to show to the target audience is that they have a purpose and value, to offer them an outlet to engage with willingly to encourage them to make friends and socialise between themselves without being too forceful and respecting their own choices.

5. What are the most compelling reasons to believe, to try, to buy in?
It would instill confidence and a sense of purpose to the target audience, any activities and groups can provide them with roles among them, which can bring out a sense of responsibility and uselfulness among their peers as well as providing them with a boost of happiness.

6. Phases of creative development
Here’s where you can include your own methods, insights and initial ideas.
Some of my ideas were to try outings to watch local sports games (Rugby/Football) as well as hobby based clubs where the residents can share a passion and bond over certain activities, films or music. Also a minibus where all the residents could pay a small fee to be collected from their homes to get to and outings planned or to bring them to the hub to participate in activities.

Phase One: Inspiration
Phase Two: Experimentation
Phase Three: Idealisation 
Phase Four: Synthesis
Phase Five: Implementation
[x] Do we have sufficient reference sources: ads, brochures, documents videos or websites?
[x] Do we have contact info / links to people, research or resources that can help the creative team?
[x] Is it clear from the client what must be in the communication, and what might be in the communication? What are the client requirements versus client preferences?
[ ] How do we represent the client’s issues, concerns, wishes?
By not being patronising and respectfully approaching their needs and sense of independence by not being to forceful with our approach.

Design for real – Tutor discussion

Today my group had a discussion with our tutor Ian, we were discussing our plans going forward into the project and writing our creative briefs.

After speaking with Ian about my current ideas and getting his outlook on the brief there are a few aims and vital things to consider whilst I design.

I need to be conscious about other’s needs before making creative conclusions, as well as thinking about my own grandparents as a resource to gain information while designing for a similar demographic.

I need to focus on creating inclusive design that focuses on needs and benefits. Possibly using the allure of free introductions to events or clubs with the main idea being an inclusive atmosphere promoting self esteem and importance.

We discussed positives and negatives about our target demographic on post it notes which was helpful, I came away with a better understanding as well as having some content to reflect on and produce some ideas with.

Design for real – Client Presentation

Today we were given a presentation by Vicky from Derwen to inform us about the plans and work that Derwen housing have for their new complex in Gaer, as well as what they have done previously.

She gave us plenty of facts about the company. Derwen have 158 thousand homes across wales and house 10% of the welsh population, they provide traditional as well as specialist houses that are for sale as well as for rent.

They support people with different issues such as homelessness, drug addiction and single parents. All their clients are over the age of 55 and have new housing developments for older residents in the pipeline.

Derwen are very passionate about their active ageing ethos, their aim is extending healthy life expectancy and quality of life, optimising opportunities for health, participation and security. They also provide help regarding social, economic, spiritual and civic affairs.

Some things Vicky said that I will be considering when I start to design are; the age range of 55-98 years old spanning two generations, most of the tenants are living on a low income, some still work, there is a combination of couples and single residents with a range of interests, life expediencies and skills. These traits will be something that I have to design carefully in order to accommodate for so that my work will be displayed in the appropriate light.

I also need to take into account what the residents want. The residents want to feel useful and to have the opportunity to act as a resource as well as taking part in meaningful activities, show their personal skills in a friendly welcoming environment in order to make friends and companions. This is all vital towards achieving better mental and physical health as well as feeling safe.


Design for real – Empathy Day


Today we had a workshop on ‘Empathetic Creativity’, our first task, after being told a story with the moral being to approach situations with more care, was to answer two questions.

  1. How does the North Wind represent prevailing design thinking?
  2. How does the Sun represent future facing design?

I had heard this story and learnt this previously in primary school but it was applied to a different situation so I already knew how to analyse the story in order to answer the questions.

I found that the North wind has an ignorant approach that provides no passion, it’s commanding, controlling, in order to threaten, instill fear and force it’s clients to conform according to it’s opinions.

I found that the Sun tries to connect to it’s clients on a human level, wants to please them, cares for them, shows compassion and love, respecting their wishes and opinions.

we also had another debate with two moire questions to consider.

  1. Which is worse, to kill a Cat or Dog?
  2. What could be empathetic versions of the following?
    1. No Smoking
    2. Wash your hands
    3. Buy this product

Rather than deciding based on personal views I thought it would be better to look into it rationally by wondering why. I was thinking about a reason instead of a preference. are the animals injured? are they being put down humanely? are they aggressive?

For the second question I used rational alternatives that strayed away from the aggressive ‘North Wind’ approach. No smoking could be, Consider the effects that smoking could have on the people around you, or your children. Wash your hands could be asking them to be careful about spreading germs and buy this product could be replaced with, this product could benefit you for ‘x’ amount of reasons rather than trying to force someone, giving someone the option yet providing them with the opportunity to make their own decision.



Design for real – Stepping into the shoes of older people

Today we had a meeting with Amanda from Health Sciences to explain to us some of the things we should be taking into account when designing for them, such as 64% of their clientele are visually impaired, 20% of over 75’s have some form of dementia.

During the meeting I noted down some factors to consider when I start designing. Red and Yellow are the most commonly used colours among dementia patients, they struggle with dimly lit as well as very bright scenery, as well as having difficulty with heavily cluttered and heavily patterned surfaces. I will need to properly evaluate my work and compare it to these notes throughout so that I can properly cater for the disability when designing.

There are a few different kinds of visual impairment that I should consider, Ocular degeneration disrupts central vision, diabetic retinopathy impairs vision in blotches, cataracts result in blurred vision, glaucoma results in issues seeing colour as well as light and dark areas and dementia can make people see shadows as holes and shiny may appear to be a slippery surface.

Bold patterns can be perceived as moving objects so should be avoided. I should make good use of colour contrast because it is used to reinforce confidence.