First, you begin with a vision.
Sometimes your vision is clear. Sometimes it’s a little fuzzy. But every vision has potential.
The goal of my individual project is to create a digital space for women and girls to strengthen their understanding of sexual assault to fortify themselves with knowledge. This idea grew from a speech I gave about the importance of reporting sexual assault and how doing so embraces the feminine nature of being a protector.
The Project Idea
Second, you take your vision and make it an idea when you give it a concrete framework for how you will share your vision with the world.
This part is fun. It’s where you get to think about your skills and resources.
My initial intention with the project was to create a video interviewing individuals who were part of the reporting process, such as police officers and nurses. Considering this further, I decided that the sensitive topic and the camera shy tendencies of most professionals might make finding people to speak with me difficult. It was still my desire to create intimacy within my digital project with faces of real people though, so I thought that pictures with quotes would be an impactful alternative. I envisioned two separate parts to my online project within a single website. One part would be dedicated to educating woman and girls on the process of reporting and explain the steps in conjunction with the faces and voices (through textual quotes) of the type of people they would encounter along the way. The other part would focus on defining sexual assault and the importance of reporting. This was where my thought process was in the arch of development when I submitted my project proposal. Ellen Lupton talks about the importance of storyboards. Storyboards can help make your vision feel wayyy more concrete and allows you to share your project idea in a visual way with others “Designers use storyboards to communicate their ideas to clients and collaborators” (Design is Storytelling pg 38).
Third, things get a little messy.
This isn’t the BLAH type of mess you shove in the closet when guests are visiting. This mess is productive it might lead to many different prototypes, or it might just refine your project slightly. But it’s your brain’s way of trying to find the best way to share your vision.
My thoughts and intentions with the project have morphed since then. In another class, I read an essay analyzing the Iliad. The author, Simone Weil, uncovers the truths about the human condition in relation to war. Reading her text I was struck with how the relationship she drew between war and the human condition spoke to the experience of rape, specifically in a quote I recalled from a woman who had survived the Rwanda Genocide. I am writing a paper encapsulating my thoughts. This connection feels important to me. It explains something about rape and sexual assault that is difficult to understand. This is a piece of my work that can serve as my longhand text exemplifying my writing style more thoroughly than an informational piece could. I can frame it as – why it is important to commit to reporting to protect other women. This can replace the part addressing how to identify sexual assault.
…. haven’t got to the next step yet, stay tuned.