Deliverables for AUS 2018

Problem Statement

Create an inclusive space to spark conversations about an issue where responsibilities are diffused.

The space could be for any target group(s) of the participants’ choice, the conversations could relate to any topic/cause , and the purpose of the space could range from hosting conversations within itself to raising awareness beyond the space.

+ Group 1: Culture Integration Activities(CIA) Conversation

Diffused responsibility identified is between migrant workers (blue-collared) and the general local population. Migrant workers may find it hard to integrate themselves into general society. Although there are many social organizations targeting migrant workers’ welfare, they often target their physical well-being or offer more material benefits. Hence, there is a general lack of effort to culturally integrate workers into the Singaporean narrative. The CIA Conversation aims to provide emotional support rather than basic needs and a platform for migrant workers, who are otherwise detached from mainstream society, to interact with the local population. This is done through universal languages such as food (cooking classes), music and theatre, in order to exchange culture through daily life activities.

+ Group 2: 'By Bus' - Easy bus boarding machine for the visually impaired

The inclusive space created is one where everyone is treated equally and is welcomed in society. In particular, group 2 aimed to allow the visually impaired to be independent when using public transportation, especially buses. They designed a machine that eases the process of boarding for the visually handicapped. This machine had 3 goals - easy to understand and use for the visually handicapped;minimise disruptions to daily commute whilst installing new features; keep costs to a minimum while not compromising on the quality. The features of this machine include big buttons with braille letters for the visually impaired to indicate which bus they are waiting for. The button will turn red with an announcement played over the speaker to inform the person that the button has been pressed. Bus drivers will be notified by the light if there are any visually impaired persons waiting for their bus.

+ Group 3: Inclusive Cinema

How can we enhance the movie experience of the visually-impaired, hearing-impaired and mobility-impaired? Can we maximise the movie experience of the above groups all at once? The inclusive cinema brings all these groups together with the average movie goer, to enjoy a movie. With features such as wide accessibility ramps throughout the cinema, an enhanced auditory track that verbalises the action shown on the screen, availability of En-Achromate (colour blind) glasses and friendly cinema staff ready to render assistance, all can enjoy their time at the movies without feeling singled out.

+ Group 4: RENEW

Marginalised and stigmatised ex-convicts are commonly discriminated by others to return to their old ways. But the responsibility to include this group into society will recreate new social connections for these ex-cons which can help them to integrate. Ex-convicts need exclusive access to rehabilitation classes e.g. yoga, meditations, social emotional learning so that they are able to seek solace in these communities to cope with the transition from prison to general society which will hopefully allow them to reintegrate back into society. This earmarked inclusive space has the characteristic feature of allowing ex-convicts to stay anonymous of their previous identity which they may not want to relate to as it increases the propensity of regression. Providing an inclusive space allows these ex-convicts to have an opportunity for personal and collective growth.

+ Group 5: OTOO cafe (Online to Offline cafe for the old)

Given the measured taken to resolve issues that arise due to an aging population, what is missing is an outlet for older people to feel connected to the rest of society. Therefore, it is essential to create an inclusive space which sparks conversations and builds bridges between the elderly and the younger generations. This cafe will have books which cater to all age groups and genres. The life stories of the elderly will also be documented in the form of journals and books. All the books will be available in four forms: the ordinary paper books, braille books, audiobooks and “human books”. The latter form where senior citizens act as “human books” considering the amount of their knowledge and experience, allows the younger generations to glean illuminating insights and important life lessons from these seniors. Apart from books, many different types of workshops such as traditional workshops to learn aspects of the traditional way of life or other miscellaneous workshops targeted at youth and elderly will also be conducted.

+ Group 6: Community Room for Underprivileged Children

This space is targeted at bridging the interaction gap between underprivileged students and students of a higher socio-economic status aged 10-18 years old. This space, in the form of a community room in schools, aims to let underprivileged students feel included as well as provide the moral support they may lack due to their family background. This space will include a library for everyone, private room for conversations and the sharing of personal problems with counsellors, a reflection room for students to have their own space to consolidate thoughts, a games room, a gym, a lounge where everyone exchanges ideas and discusses their experiences as well as a cafeteria for students to bond over food.

+ Group 7: ET Connect

Professionally competent recovered/recovering mental health patients (mood and anxiety disorders) need a dedicated space which provides them opportunities to secure meaningful and well-suited employment because it gives them socio-economic independence and makes them feel like the dignified members of society that they are. Hence, by providing a centre with an inclusive design for patients recovering/recovered from mental health illnesses to gain suitable and meaningful employment. This curated space will allow potential employers to undergo virtual reality simulations to help them better empathise with the professionally competent recovered/recovering mental health patients, as well as facilitate dialogue between these patients and their employers (under the facilitation of doctors/mental health experts). This space is a 2-room venue that allows for VR simulations as well as discussions and interactions between employees and potential employers. This will create a safe environment where professionally competent recovered/recovering mental health are free to express themselves and empathy in employers is forged through conversations.

+ Group 8: Let's Talk Sex

Group 8 designed an inclusive space to spark open conversations about sex among 13 to 18 year old students. The current top-down model of sex education used by schools does not take into account the needs, interests and feedbacks of students, making sex education boring, meaningless and futile. This high-risk age group regarding sex, needs co-created student- centric sex education programmes which reflect their voices. Safe physical workshops and virtual websites can be created for students by students, with students coming together to engage in open discussions and gain access to reliable information. Discussions in regular workshops will encompass a variety of topics including giving consent, teenage pregnancy, birth control, LGBTQ+ relationships etc. Group 8 hopes that the creation of such a space will promote sexual health, wellness and empowerment among both male and female teenagers. At the same time, our space is not merely physical. Physical discussions will be translated into learning points and get recorded on our user-friendly website. Hence, this opens up yet another virtual space for teenagers to learn about sex and sexuality.

+ Group 9: Peers Support Club

Creation of a space in the form of a ‘Peer Support Club’ within schools which facilitates discussion on mental health in an open and healthy manner which will allow students to act as bridges encouraging their peers who may be suffering from depression to open up and seek professional help.The diffused responsibility here is the problem of bystander effect in the students of high school towards their peers suffering from depression. The bystander effect arises when the students do not respond to their friends’ distress either because they are unable to recognise the condition or do not feel confident enough to deal with it on their own. This discourages depressed students from expressing themselves even to their friends thus, the students are required to realise how much they can do to assist their peers and encourage them to seek professional help. The Peers Support Club will screen videos for entertainment and stress-relief, host interactive theatre sessions where students can learn about mental health management whilst visualising possible consequences of their actions, have in-house peer mentors to comfort students as well as have discussion rooms for students to express their concerns and seek comfort in the presence of others with similar issues.

+ Group 10: Inspire Centre

This space is targeted at children from relatively poorer backgrounds who are likely to be excluded from the educational space because public schools cannot provide sufficient resources for them to explore their potential talents. This new integrated community centre, called the Inspire Centre provides these students with increased accessibility to explore extra-curricular and non-academic activities in order to identify and develop their potential talents and skills. Such holistic development will give these students an opportunity to improve their socioeconomic status in the future. This centre will be run by organisations with enterprises as sponsors, thus, allowing training materials and resources to be provided for free for these children. Tutors present in the centre will aid in training these children in specific skill sets to help them find their potential.

+ Group 11: Gender & Sexuality Sensitization Cells (GSSC)

Everyone is a victim of gender stereotyping which is a result of a faulty social structure. This gender binary and heteronormative system shapes people’s mindset that there are only 2 choices, either ‘being men’ or ‘being women’; this social myth gives no space for anyone in between. Even people who seem to be an average user like straight men and women are also facing a problem that the social norms create. Group 11 produced a blueprint, parameters, and content resources for the creation of the Gender & Sexuality Sensitization Cells (GSSC) across educational institutions. These resources include the Emotion Box which allows students to allows students to anonymously share their feelings and understand others through discussion sessions and Letter Writing Exercises where letters are written to imaginary lovers in order to cultivate sympathy those who are non heterosexual.The GSSC is primarily a social space, that is a community of sensitive and empathetic individuals who can choose to take the cell to both online and offline platform for other students to express their identity, share their insecurity, and get a better understanding of diversity among people.

+ Group 12: K.IT (Inclusive Space Starter Kit)

Creation of an online platform at which integrates three societal fields (government, NGOs and other organizations and, an individual) together, thus, enabling future change makers to receive help from the society as a whole. This helps to raise awareness and encourage more meaningful conversations to happen on the platform. The following are suggested features of the website:

  1. Moderating discussion forums on issues in society
    • Fact-checking tools
    • Natural Language Processing for sentiment analysis
  1. Attracting attention to work on real issues
    • Expert/mentor network
    • Fast responsivity due to online nature
    • Repository of relevant literature
  1. Getting like-minded people to meet physically
    • Scheduling functionality
    • Event organisation document templates
    • Resource guides/ case studies of successful spaces
    • Crowdfunding