Most of us are unaware of the portion of civilisation that lives below the poverty line, and much less so in many major cities because of our perceptions of their affluence. I want to bring awareness to the extent of invisible abject poverty in global major cities, by allowing users to think about this issue through objective and emotional lenses.
Growing up in the affluent society that Hong Kong is, I was always very aware of the ridiculous wealth gap in the city; when talking about Hong Kong, however, most people associate it with being solely a vibrant international hub. I wanted to not only highlight some of the underlying social issues of my city to my peers, but also bring awareness to the issues prevalent in all major cities around the globe.
To thoroughly understand my problem space, I looked into the definitions of different types of poverty as stated by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme, sources for quantitative data on income and poverty statistics such censuses, and case study stories through many global news publications.
To concisely and accurately communicate the message, I looked at resources such as Tipping Point's Poverty Line Prices, a resonating lesson on relativity, Ekene Ijeoma's The Refugee Project, a clean and meaningful interactive timeline of the global refugee crisis, and UNESCO's Out-of-School Children, a tonally and thematically appropriate illustration of the state of children's education around the globe.
GLOBAL POWER CITY INDEX (GPCI)
Evaluates the comprehensive power of leading cities according to economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, and accessibility.
The number of people in a given group whose income falls below the poverty line.
The estimated minimum level of income required for basic life necessities. Not to be equated with the basic cost of living.
A statistical measure of the degree of variation or inequality represented in a set of values, used to measure income inequality. A number in between 0 and 1, the higher the coefficient, the higher the income inequality.
Keeping the narrative in mind, I designed the experience with two key aspects in mind: the objective, and the subjective. This includes considering how statistical data should be represented (the infographic portion), how the stories should be represented (the case study portion), and how both these aspects should be accessed. I separated out all these considerations into sections accordingly.
Although these images are based on a large interactive touch screen, the experience is not limited to just this technology.
Incognita brings awareness to the extent of invisible abject poverty in global major cities. Through approaching the case studies through both objective and subjective lenses, the experience should be illuminating and engaging.
The themes presented in this project are dear to my heart, and in creating this experience, I hope I am able to communicate the importance of the devastation of abject poverty that is masked in affluent cities such as Hong Kong, and inspire further charitable action.
Through this project, I explored designing for a tone that is neither too sombre, nor too lighthearted. I was also able to flex my animation muscles and design microanimations that delight and that complement the data shown.