so today i walked around downtown towson for a couple hours asking people to answer questions about alcoholism and addiction and mostly all i got was hot and sweaty (in hindsight wearing corduroy pants on an 80 degree day was a bad choice). this subject makes alot of people really uncomfortable, most people said they themselves had a problem with alcohol or drugs and felt like they couldn't answer any questions, or other people just simply did not want to answer any questions once i explained what i was doing. one guy literally ran away from me. i did have a really good conversation with a homeless guy named chuck about his experience wih alcoholism and he answered one of my questions which was cool. so sunday i'm going to try getting more people to answer some questions. in terms of the collage presentation, i was thinking of using peoples' answers to my questions in combination with images and quotes or headlines i pull from news sources, the collages are going to be sort of rauschenberg inspired.
you know i think that last idea is a little too limited, i think instead of just staying in the art building i'm going to get other peoples' opinions too and then just post the collages different places in towson and baltimore. so the plan is to tommorrow walk around downtown towson, the student union, the art building, and maybe hampden(sp?) just because i know where that is and get people to fill out my slip of questions.
instead of that last idea for social design i'm thinking now of going back to more of my original idea of the posters and asking people to write down their knowledge/ impressions of alcoholism as compared to other diseases. i'm going to use a different format, instead of the posters i'm going to make individual slips of paper asking for peoples opinions, and then incorporate them into a collage. i would probably ask people that are in the art building to do this, i would be posting the collage in the art building as, you know, art, so it seems appropriate to ask people here for their opinions.
i think maybe for the social design project i am going to simply post alcoholism facts around the campus. facts that are more interesting and obscure ex. alcoholics have the same relapse rate as people with asthma. i was thinking of cutting letters out of contact paper.
This site has a news video about a water conservation campaign in Denver. i would just post the video but???? Anyway its sort of funny you should watch it. http://cbs4denver.com/local/local_story_240214501.html
The social issue I'm planning on addressing is addiction, more specifically the perception of alcoholism/substance abuse as a disease. Currently, addiction of this sort is accepted within the medical community as a disease, but outside of this context, I feel that it is many times not treated as a disease, but as a problem one should fix or overcome internally. When thinking about the disease of addiction as compared to other diseases, it is not difficult to understand skewed perception. Addiction is unique in that it is essentially a self-diagnosed disease, one that from the outside appears to be merely a pattern of poor decision making, instead of a disease stemming from both genetic and environmental influences. In this way addiction is similar to other diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc. which also are influenced by the same factors. The continuation of the idea that addiction is merely a result of glaring individual character defects is perpetuated by what I feel is dangerous information circulated in books, magazines that assert alcoholism specifically can be curbed or "overcome" through some sort of elaborate program of controlled drinking. This idea both prolongs the suffering of alcoholics and promotes the idea that their actions are largely by choice. This issue is made more difficult to correct because of information like this and the fact that the number of active alcoholics and addicts far out number those in recovery, thus more people probably have had experience dealing with the frustration of the socially unacceptable behaviors of an addict, rather than the behaviors of an individual in recovery.
The global market as it currently exists largely excludes those who do not possess financial means or educational opportunities from becoming a part of by almost exclusively designing items to facilitate access to those who already have it. Design is considered many times in the context of the latest technology which is a positive and necessary thing, but is really only effective and beneficial to those who already have the technology and education to implement it. Design is considered with the intention of export, rather than considered within the context of materials and processes indigenous to a specific region. The globalization of technology enables poorer countries to have the potential to become producers, through access to the internet, which enables them to gain the knowledge and means to apply it. The downside to this is this technology requires a new set of skills and education to effectively use it. Consequently there is a disconnect between knowledge, technology, and skill sets. The exhibition that we are going to see in a week at the Cooper Hewitt, Design for the Other 90%, addresses these problems, showing examples of designs that consider the needs, available materials, and skill level of people living in less prosperous parts of the world, enabling them them to better sustain their immediate economical system, and consequently become contributors to the global economy.