Breaking the stigma towards social housing

Process   ·   21 June 2020   ·   18 min read

Breaking the stigma towards social housing

Process   ·   21 June 2020   ·   18 min read

Breaking the stigma towards social housing

Process   ·   21 June 2020   ·   18 min read

Breaking the stigma towards social housing

Process   ·   21 June 2020   ·   18 min read

Briefing

To be honest, when I chose the brief, I thought ‘social housing’ was something similar to house sharing, which I’m more relevant of.

 

I had three brief options to choose from. One was G.F Smith/Munken Diary brief, to create a diary that will represent United Kingdom, second was YCN HMV brief, to re-imagine hmv stores to bring people back and last, YCN Shelter. I thought pin pointing the factor that could represent United Kingdom and creating a diary out of it would be very challenging for me. I know UK only partially and I couldn’t ignore the fact that the preference of the styles of diary is very different between Europe and Asia. (Asia’s diary style is more cute illustration-based whereas I think Europe’s style is more functional.) With HMV, it also sounded challenging for me as well because I have always been a digital-based person. I couldn’t remember when my last time was to visit these entertainment stores and I’ve never bought an album or game CD for myself in my life. I’ve always bought digital version online. With these reasons and my misunderstanding led me to choose this YCN Shelter brief.

 

I was wrong. As I started to search for actual term of ‘social housing’, I’ve realised it is something far different from what I was thinking of. Social housing was a form of housing that is provided by government/council to reduce housing crisis. The concept of social housing was new to me because it is only recently that this concept was brought in to Korea. I was slightly worried because I wasn’t (mentally) prepared to do a project related to social issue in UK. But still, I thought it might be more doable than other two projects. Also I could actually predict that there won’t be many students doing this project since it is quite a serious and hard project than other two projects. Meaning, if I do well, it will be relatively easier to create a distinctive work.

Even though I shouldn’t be, the initial (final) idea that I had in my mind looked something like these. A piece of work that shows the image of home with the mediums like paper or lego or a conventional campaign photography. But of course, I needed to generate my idea, my tone of voice, my message I want to deliver even if I use these tools. So without thinking more about the final idea, I just solely focused on the brief and research.

 

“Create a social media campaign to demonstrate the benefits of social housing.”

 

Shelter asked to create a social media campaign targeting 18-34, sharing emotive human stories lived in non-stereotypical examples of social housing. Shelter wanted tell them that it will benefit them and hoped to change their perspective towards it. But as I was researching and reading through the brief multiple times, I started to notice some big problems.

Problems

First, social housing doesn’t benefit 18-34.

Based on the research I’ve done, I could find many information saying young adults are not the priority to go on the long list unless they were in government’s care when they are underaged, pregnant or have dependent children or classed as vulnerable. Most of 18-34 are not in these cases.

 

However, at the same time, this age group is the second lowest income earning group. They are new to the society, hence, don’t have experiences in their career. They often get minimum wage and struggle to live unless they have their family’s support. If someone aged between 18-34 works full-time monthly, after tax they will earn approximately between £912-£1162. The average living expense in London is £791 without the rent, leaving them £121-£371. People can’t afford to live in London with that money. Even with rooms that are like a shoe box size, it costs £400-£500.

 

It used to be better than this back in 1976, when the housing prices were much more affordable (£15,000!) and more social housing available (32%) whereas in 2016, housing prices went above (£200,000) and the percent of social housing halved (17%).

 

So, it definitely got harder for young adults to buy their own houses and they are struggling to get a nice shelter for themselves as well, but they are not classified as homeless. They are hidden homeless so they can’t get the benefit and they are the last people to get the benefit because they are young. Therefore, even if they wanted to, they just can’t get the opportunity to live in a social house. Telling them that social housing is a lie and it is a tease.

Second, sharing emotive stories doesn’t work.

There are so many campaigns out there showing either sad or happy faces of people going through their hardships. There are so many that it almost feels like a competition. Some people even described it as poverty porn. Even if I see one, I got numb with them so I was pass through, which isn’t the purpose of the campaign.

 

I’ve found a few studies suggesting that these campaigns could empower “us and them” feeling, creating in-group and out-group. Most of the stereotypes occur when they perceive the group as out-group, a group that they don’t belong to and that won’t affect them. Therefore, creating a typical campaign that will only empower to seperate these two groups even more won’t help to break the stigma.

 

People don’t care and discriminate people living in social housing because they think they are the out-group. However, what if their position changes? What if those people whom they were discriminating become in-group? What if people realise that this social housing could also be applied to them? Then automatically, they can’t discriminate because they wouldn’t want to be discriminated.

 

Social housing is for those households which find it difficult to obtain a home in private housing markets. Not only for people with special conditions. In Netherland, there were a few young adults living in social housing even though they were not in special conditions. Also, in Korea, where this social housing idea was brought in recently, people that can apply for this social housing is young adults, not anyone else. I thought young adults in UK should realise that they are missing something. Missing an opportunity to get support from the government for affordable housings. I thought that it’s not the time for them to discriminate and have negative perception about social housing. They need to do the opposite. They need to demand for support from the government.

 

Apart from this reason, even if I was to create an emotive story, I thought it just can’t be successful when it is meant to be uploaded to social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat. These platforms which use a lot. An emotive story about social housing on those platforms? People will just scroll down within one second and look for something more interesting. There are bunch of interesting going on the feed and people don’t even read or watch everything. They just SCROLL. It will be very unlikely for people to randomly choose to watch this social housing story over something that would be way more light and interesting.

But the truth is, it is even less likely for us to see social housing campaign in our feed unless we were initially interesting in social housing or at least working on a social housing project. Newsfeed is interest-base so you don’t usually see something that you are not interested.

So my tone of voice and message that I want to deliver are set. I wanted to tell them that they are missing an opportunity to get support from government and that social housing can actually benefit them if only they do so. I wanted to tell them that it is almost dumb for them not to do so. I’ve seen a news about Help to Buy ISA the other day and there were so many news about encouraging people to apply for this account before it’s shut and that it is dumb not to. I wanted to bring up similar voice because I found it funny how people react different with the supports coming from the same government.

Ideation

It was just easily proved that it is a topic that many young adults will avoid by our course students. Only 13% of students chose this brief and even half of the students are foreigners. So this time I tried to think about our target audience, which was easy because I’ve done some research of 18-34 while I was doing my branding project.

 

18-34 was the age group that was:

  • using online the most
  • want to save their time
  • like interactions
  • energetic, more reaction
  • like something easy, scared to challenge

 

I needed to think of an idea to combine all of these. My tone of voice, my message and a medium that fits the characteristics of the target audience. It needed to be simple, easy, less serious and in a way self-benefitial. And as I was keep researching for an idea, something interesting happened.

 

I saw a YouTube video called “Do not pass go: Monopoly reflects real-life housing crisis“. I was just watching some videos about housing crisis and accidentally I saw this video and thought, ‘how about taking a game as a form?’ And then I started to remember some games that I’ve played/seen.

I do enjoy playing games, I don’t play a lot but I am interested. So I do know a few popular mobile, computer games and when this game idea popped up in my head, there were two mobile games that followed. Plague Inc. and Mini Metro. They both are very successful game that are based on reality. Plague Inc. was charted first as corona started and it is a game to spread the plague all over the world. Mini Metro as well, as the title shows, it is a game to build lines for metro and run it efficiently. If you try to understand “how plague is spread all over the world” or “why people always have to suffer from tube disruption”, it could be quite boring and most likely, you wouldn’t even want to bothered to know. However, when it is explained with the form of game, it could be naturally understood just by playing. And actually there were so many comments saying that they can now understand why tubes/trains are always delayed.

 

This was truly a breathtaking moment. I started to think that this could actually work. It solved every elements. It is taking form of a mobile game, which is the platform that young adults use the most out of all age groups, instantly making this less serious, more approachable, more likely for people to naturally get to know about social housing.

 

I searched for more games that reflected a bit of reality into the game. They usually weren’t very complicated, actually, most of them were quite simple and straightforward.

Then I started to look up some reference for simple illustrations.

Design

I felt like if I knew exactly what the scenario/story would be, interface can be very simple. However, it was the story part that I struggled a lot. I knew what message I wanted to deliver, I knew what platform I will be using but I didn’t know exactly what story I will be telling people. It seemed like it could always get a bit complicated and deep even with the form of a game.

I was glad with the tutorial at this point because it helped me to solve the problem. He said he was completely sold on this and understood why it needed to be this way. He liked the character and he liked the shelter logo that I drew. He said he matches the tone of voice. However, he told me to make the story simpler. He suggested me to think of a game that even children can understand. He suggested me not to explain every single part of social housing and just bring up one element from social housing instead.

With some references given, Mr Men and Hey Duggee, I tried to simplify the concept of social housing. And this time, the reference I’ve found the other day from library helped. I got to know this ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ from a book with photos of D&AD Awards winning projects. I initially liked the project just by its cute simple characters but I liked it even more after finding out that it was actually a metro safety campaign. It was so successful that many people still remember it and it got so many awards. Given by the fact that it is also a game that was made for the campaign, I thought it could be a great reference. In the game, it shows all the dumb situations that you can die and you have to try not to die. It is a time-based game with simple controls, you tap, you scroll, you touch or even you do nothing. It didn’t only have metro-related situations. It had all the possible (dumb) situations you can die from but also with metro situations.

 

I thought this can be it. All the possible ways to live affordable life but also with social housing elements. THIS IS IT. The possible stories could be a character riding bicycle to save money while dodging some obstacles or a character trying to pick up all the ingredients within time to pack up its lunchbox or a character trying to choose more affordable housing, which would be a social housing. Now everything is set, it was time for me to make.

After coming up with visuals, I started to think of a name for this app and for this character. I was thinking of a name that is related to social housing and affordable. As I was constantly thinking of the word ‘affordable’, I suddenly came up with the idea of having it as ‘affo’ out of affordable. Affo. It was definitely related to the word affordable and I thought it sounded cute enough to be a name of a character.

It was absolutely successful. Tutors just loved it. They said it communicates really well and they loved the name as well. Peter even said that this project is the best project out of all 2nd year students. And that this project is very strong that it should be the first project to appear in my portfolio. He just recommended me to change the typeface. He said he could see why I tried to use handwritten type of typeface but he said it would look better to just have a san-serif typeface to balance it out. He recommended ‘Brown’ which I actually thought it looked nice.

Briefing

To be honest, when I chose the brief, I thought ‘social housing’ was something similar to house sharing, which I’m more relevant of.

 

I had three brief options to choose from. One was G.F Smith/Munken Diary brief, to create a diary that will represent United Kingdom, second was YCN HMV brief, to re-imagine hmv stores to bring people back and last, YCN Shelter. I thought pin pointing the factor that could represent United Kingdom and creating a diary out of it would be very challenging for me. I know UK only partially and I couldn’t ignore the fact that the preference of the styles of diary is very different between Europe and Asia. (Asia’s diary style is more cute illustration-based whereas I think Europe’s style is more functional.) With HMV, it also sounded challenging for me as well because I have always been a digital-based person. I couldn’t remember when my last time was to visit these entertainment stores and I’ve never bought an album or game CD for myself in my life. I’ve always bought digital version online. With these reasons and my misunderstanding led me to choose this YCN Shelter brief.

 

I was wrong. As I started to search for actual term of ‘social housing’, I’ve realised it is something far different from what I was thinking of. Social housing was a form of housing that is provided by government/council to reduce housing crisis. The concept of social housing was new to me because it is only recently that this concept was brought in to Korea. I was slightly worried because I wasn’t (mentally) prepared to do a project related to social issue in UK. But still, I thought it might be more doable than other two projects. Also I could actually predict that there won’t be many students doing this project since it is quite a serious and hard project than other two projects. Meaning, if I do well, it will be relatively easier to create a distinctive work.

Even though I shouldn’t be, the initial (final) idea that I had in my mind looked something like these. A piece of work that shows the image of home with the mediums like paper or lego or a conventional campaign photography. But of course, I needed to generate my idea, my tone of voice, my message I want to deliver even if I use these tools. So without thinking more about the final idea, I just solely focused on the brief and research.

 

“Create a social media campaign to demonstrate the benefits of social housing.”

 

Shelter asked to create a social media campaign targeting 18-34, sharing emotive human stories lived in non-stereotypical examples of social housing. Shelter wanted tell them that it will benefit them and hoped to change their perspective towards it. But as I was researching and reading through the brief multiple times, I started to notice some big problems.

Problems

First, social housing doesn’t benefit 18-34.

Based on the research I’ve done, I could find many information saying young adults are not the priority to go on the long list unless they were in government’s care when they are underaged, pregnant or have dependent children or classed as vulnerable. Most of 18-34 are not in these cases.

 

However, at the same time, this age group is the second lowest income earning group. They are new to the society, hence, don’t have experiences in their career. They often get minimum wage and struggle to live unless they have their family’s support. If someone aged between 18-34 works full-time monthly, after tax they will earn approximately between £912-£1162. The average living expense in London is £791 without the rent, leaving them £121-£371. People can’t afford to live in London with that money. Even with rooms that are like a shoe box size, it costs £400-£500.

 

It used to be better than this back in 1976, when the housing prices were much more affordable (£15,000!) and more social housing available (32%) whereas in 2016, housing prices went above (£200,000) and the percent of social housing halved (17%).

 

So, it definitely got harder for young adults to buy their own houses and they are struggling to get a nice shelter for themselves as well, but they are not classified as homeless. They are hidden homeless so they can’t get the benefit and they are the last people to get the benefit because they are young. Therefore, even if they wanted to, they just can’t get the opportunity to live in a social house. Telling them that social housing is a lie and it is a tease.

Second, sharing emotive stories doesn’t work.

There are so many campaigns out there showing either sad or happy faces of people going through their hardships. There are so many that it almost feels like a competition. Some people even described it as poverty porn. Even if I see one, I got numb with them so I was pass through, which isn’t the purpose of the campaign.

 

I’ve found a few studies suggesting that these campaigns could empower “us and them” feeling, creating in-group and out-group. Most of the stereotypes occur when they perceive the group as out-group, a group that they don’t belong to and that won’t affect them. Therefore, creating a typical campaign that will only empower to seperate these two groups even more won’t help to break the stigma.

 

People don’t care and discriminate people living in social housing because they think they are the out-group. However, what if their position changes? What if those people whom they were discriminating become in-group? What if people realise that this social housing could also be applied to them? Then automatically, they can’t discriminate because they wouldn’t want to be discriminated.

 

Social housing is for those households which find it difficult to obtain a home in private housing markets. Not only for people with special conditions. In Netherland, there were a few young adults living in social housing even though they were not in special conditions. Also, in Korea, where this social housing idea was brought in recently, people that can apply for this social housing is young adults, not anyone else. I thought young adults in UK should realise that they are missing something. Missing an opportunity to get support from the government for affordable housings. I thought that it’s not the time for them to discriminate and have negative perception about social housing. They need to do the opposite. They need to demand for support from the government.

 

Apart from this reason, even if I was to create an emotive story, I thought it just can’t be successful when it is meant to be uploaded to social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat. These platforms which use a lot. An emotive story about social housing on those platforms? People will just scroll down within one second and look for something more interesting. There are bunch of interesting going on the feed and people don’t even read or watch everything. They just SCROLL. It will be very unlikely for people to randomly choose to watch this social housing story over something that would be way more light and interesting.

But the truth is, it is even less likely for us to see social housing campaign in our feed unless we were initially interesting in social housing or at least working on a social housing project. Newsfeed is interest-base so you don’t usually see something that you are not interested.

So my tone of voice and message that I want to deliver are set. I wanted to tell them that they are missing an opportunity to get support from government and that social housing can actually benefit them if only they do so. I wanted to tell them that it is almost dumb for them not to do so. I’ve seen a news about Help to Buy ISA the other day and there were so many news about encouraging people to apply for this account before it’s shut and that it is dumb not to. I wanted to bring up similar voice because I found it funny how people react different with the supports coming from the same government.

Ideation

It was just easily proved that it is a topic that many young adults will avoid by our course students. Only 13% of students chose this brief and even half of the students are foreigners. So this time I tried to think about our target audience, which was easy because I’ve done some research of 18-34 while I was doing my branding project.

 

18-34 was the age group that was:

  • using online the most
  • want to save their time
  • like interactions
  • energetic, more reaction
  • like something easy, scared to challenge

 

I needed to think of an idea to combine all of these. My tone of voice, my message and a medium that fits the characteristics of the target audience. It needed to be simple, easy, less serious and in a way self-benefitial. And as I was keep researching for an idea, something interesting happened.

 

I saw a YouTube video called “Do not pass go: Monopoly reflects real-life housing crisis“. I was just watching some videos about housing crisis and accidentally I saw this video and thought, ‘how about taking a game as a form?’ And then I started to remember some games that I’ve played/seen.

I do enjoy playing games, I don’t play a lot but I am interested. So I do know a few popular mobile, computer games and when this game idea popped up in my head, there were two mobile games that followed. Plague Inc. and Mini Metro. They both are very successful game that are based on reality. Plague Inc. was charted first as corona started and it is a game to spread the plague all over the world. Mini Metro as well, as the title shows, it is a game to build lines for metro and run it efficiently. If you try to understand “how plague is spread all over the world” or “why people always have to suffer from tube disruption”, it could be quite boring and most likely, you wouldn’t even want to bothered to know. However, when it is explained with the form of game, it could be naturally understood just by playing. And actually there were so many comments saying that they can now understand why tubes/trains are always delayed.

 

This was truly a breathtaking moment. I started to think that this could actually work. It solved every elements. It is taking form of a mobile game, which is the platform that young adults use the most out of all age groups, instantly making this less serious, more approachable, more likely for people to naturally get to know about social housing.

 

I searched for more games that reflected a bit of reality into the game. They usually weren’t very complicated, actually, most of them were quite simple and straightforward.

Then I started to look up some reference for simple illustrations.

Design

I felt like if I knew exactly what the scenario/story would be, interface can be very simple. However, it was the story part that I struggled a lot. I knew what message I wanted to deliver, I knew what platform I will be using but I didn’t know exactly what story I will be telling people. It seemed like it could always get a bit complicated and deep even with the form of a game.

I was glad with the tutorial at this point because it helped me to solve the problem. He said he was completely sold on this and understood why it needed to be this way. He liked the character and he liked the shelter logo that I drew. He said he matches the tone of voice. However, he told me to make the story simpler. He suggested me to think of a game that even children can understand. He suggested me not to explain every single part of social housing and just bring up one element from social housing instead.

With some references given, Mr Men and Hey Duggee, I tried to simplify the concept of social housing. And this time, the reference I’ve found the other day from library helped. I got to know this ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ from a book with photos of D&AD Awards winning projects. I initially liked the project just by its cute simple characters but I liked it even more after finding out that it was actually a metro safety campaign. It was so successful that many people still remember it and it got so many awards. Given by the fact that it is also a game that was made for the campaign, I thought it could be a great reference. In the game, it shows all the dumb situations that you can die and you have to try not to die. It is a time-based game with simple controls, you tap, you scroll, you touch or even you do nothing. It didn’t only have metro-related situations. It had all the possible (dumb) situations you can die from but also with metro situations.

 

I thought this can be it. All the possible ways to live affordable life but also with social housing elements. THIS IS IT. The possible stories could be a character riding bicycle to save money while dodging some obstacles or a character trying to pick up all the ingredients within time to pack up its lunchbox or a character trying to choose more affordable housing, which would be a social housing. Now everything is set, it was time for me to make.

After coming up with visuals, I started to think of a name for this app and for this character. I was thinking of a name that is related to social housing and affordable. As I was constantly thinking of the word ‘affordable’, I suddenly came up with the idea of having it as ‘affo’ out of affordable. Affo. It was definitely related to the word affordable and I thought it sounded cute enough to be a name of a character.

It was absolutely successful. Tutors just loved it. They said it communicates really well and they loved the name as well. Peter even said that this project is the best project out of all 2nd year students. And that this project is very strong that it should be the first project to appear in my portfolio. He just recommended me to change the typeface. He said he could see why I tried to use handwritten type of typeface but he said it would look better to just have a san-serif typeface to balance it out. He recommended ‘Brown’ which I actually thought it looked nice.

Briefing

To be honest, when I chose the brief, I thought ‘social housing’ was something similar to house sharing, which I’m more relevant of.

 

I had three brief options to choose from. One was G.F Smith/Munken Diary brief, to create a diary that will represent United Kingdom, second was YCN HMV brief, to re-imagine hmv stores to bring people back and last, YCN Shelter. I thought pin pointing the factor that could represent United Kingdom and creating a diary out of it would be very challenging for me. I know UK only partially and I couldn’t ignore the fact that the preference of the styles of diary is very different between Europe and Asia. (Asia’s diary style is more cute illustration-based whereas I think Europe’s style is more functional.) With HMV, it also sounded challenging for me as well because I have always been a digital-based person. I couldn’t remember when my last time was to visit these entertainment stores and I’ve never bought an album or game CD for myself in my life. I’ve always bought digital version online. With these reasons and my misunderstanding led me to choose this YCN Shelter brief.

 

I was wrong. As I started to search for actual term of ‘social housing’, I’ve realised it is something far different from what I was thinking of. Social housing was a form of housing that is provided by government/council to reduce housing crisis. The concept of social housing was new to me because it is only recently that this concept was brought in to Korea. I was slightly worried because I wasn’t (mentally) prepared to do a project related to social issue in UK. But still, I thought it might be more doable than other two projects. Also I could actually predict that there won’t be many students doing this project since it is quite a serious and hard project than other two projects. Meaning, if I do well, it will be relatively easier to create a distinctive work.

Even though I shouldn’t be, the initial (final) idea that I had in my mind looked something like these. A piece of work that shows the image of home with the mediums like paper or lego or a conventional campaign photography. But of course, I needed to generate my idea, my tone of voice, my message I want to deliver even if I use these tools. So without thinking more about the final idea, I just solely focused on the brief and research.

 

“Create a social media campaign to demonstrate the benefits of social housing.”

 

Shelter asked to create a social media campaign targeting 18-34, sharing emotive human stories lived in non-stereotypical examples of social housing. Shelter wanted tell them that it will benefit them and hoped to change their perspective towards it. But as I was researching and reading through the brief multiple times, I started to notice some big problems.

Problems

First, social housing doesn’t benefit 18-34.

Based on the research I’ve done, I could find many information saying young adults are not the priority to go on the long list unless they were in government’s care when they are underaged, pregnant or have dependent children or classed as vulnerable. Most of 18-34 are not in these cases.

 

However, at the same time, this age group is the second lowest income earning group. They are new to the society, hence, don’t have experiences in their career. They often get minimum wage and struggle to live unless they have their family’s support. If someone aged between 18-34 works full-time monthly, after tax they will earn approximately between £912-£1162. The average living expense in London is £791 without the rent, leaving them £121-£371. People can’t afford to live in London with that money. Even with rooms that are like a shoe box size, it costs £400-£500.

 

It used to be better than this back in 1976, when the housing prices were much more affordable (£15,000!) and more social housing available (32%) whereas in 2016, housing prices went above (£200,000) and the percent of social housing halved (17%).

 

So, it definitely got harder for young adults to buy their own houses and they are struggling to get a nice shelter for themselves as well, but they are not classified as homeless. They are hidden homeless so they can’t get the benefit and they are the last people to get the benefit because they are young. Therefore, even if they wanted to, they just can’t get the opportunity to live in a social house. Telling them that social housing is a lie and it is a tease.

Second, sharing emotive stories doesn’t work.

There are so many campaigns out there showing either sad or happy faces of people going through their hardships. There are so many that it almost feels like a competition. Some people even described it as poverty porn. Even if I see one, I got numb with them so I was pass through, which isn’t the purpose of the campaign.

 

I’ve found a few studies suggesting that these campaigns could empower “us and them” feeling, creating in-group and out-group. Most of the stereotypes occur when they perceive the group as out-group, a group that they don’t belong to and that won’t affect them. Therefore, creating a typical campaign that will only empower to seperate these two groups even more won’t help to break the stigma.

 

People don’t care and discriminate people living in social housing because they think they are the out-group. However, what if their position changes? What if those people whom they were discriminating become in-group? What if people realise that this social housing could also be applied to them? Then automatically, they can’t discriminate because they wouldn’t want to be discriminated.

 

Social housing is for those households which find it difficult to obtain a home in private housing markets. Not only for people with special conditions. In Netherland, there were a few young adults living in social housing even though they were not in special conditions. Also, in Korea, where this social housing idea was brought in recently, people that can apply for this social housing is young adults, not anyone else. I thought young adults in UK should realise that they are missing something. Missing an opportunity to get support from the government for affordable housings. I thought that it’s not the time for them to discriminate and have negative perception about social housing. They need to do the opposite. They need to demand for support from the government.

 

Apart from this reason, even if I was to create an emotive story, I thought it just can’t be successful when it is meant to be uploaded to social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat. These platforms which use a lot. An emotive story about social housing on those platforms? People will just scroll down within one second and look for something more interesting. There are bunch of interesting going on the feed and people don’t even read or watch everything. They just SCROLL. It will be very unlikely for people to randomly choose to watch this social housing story over something that would be way more light and interesting.

But the truth is, it is even less likely for us to see social housing campaign in our feed unless we were initially interesting in social housing or at least working on a social housing project. Newsfeed is interest-base so you don’t usually see something that you are not interested.

So my tone of voice and message that I want to deliver are set. I wanted to tell them that they are missing an opportunity to get support from government and that social housing can actually benefit them if only they do so. I wanted to tell them that it is almost dumb for them not to do so. I’ve seen a news about Help to Buy ISA the other day and there were so many news about encouraging people to apply for this account before it’s shut and that it is dumb not to. I wanted to bring up similar voice because I found it funny how people react different with the supports coming from the same government.

Ideation

It was just easily proved that it is a topic that many young adults will avoid by our course students. Only 13% of students chose this brief and even half of the students are foreigners. So this time I tried to think about our target audience, which was easy because I’ve done some research of 18-34 while I was doing my branding project.

 

18-34 was the age group that was:

  • using online the most
  • want to save their time
  • like interactions
  • energetic, more reaction
  • like something easy, scared to challenge

 

I needed to think of an idea to combine all of these. My tone of voice, my message and a medium that fits the characteristics of the target audience. It needed to be simple, easy, less serious and in a way self-benefitial. And as I was keep researching for an idea, something interesting happened.

 

I saw a YouTube video called “Do not pass go: Monopoly reflects real-life housing crisis“. I was just watching some videos about housing crisis and accidentally I saw this video and thought, ‘how about taking a game as a form?’ And then I started to remember some games that I’ve played/seen.

I do enjoy playing games, I don’t play a lot but I am interested. So I do know a few popular mobile, computer games and when this game idea popped up in my head, there were two mobile games that followed. Plague Inc. and Mini Metro. They both are very successful game that are based on reality. Plague Inc. was charted first as corona started and it is a game to spread the plague all over the world. Mini Metro as well, as the title shows, it is a game to build lines for metro and run it efficiently. If you try to understand “how plague is spread all over the world” or “why people always have to suffer from tube disruption”, it could be quite boring and most likely, you wouldn’t even want to bothered to know. However, when it is explained with the form of game, it could be naturally understood just by playing. And actually there were so many comments saying that they can now understand why tubes/trains are always delayed.

 

This was truly a breathtaking moment. I started to think that this could actually work. It solved every elements. It is taking form of a mobile game, which is the platform that young adults use the most out of all age groups, instantly making this less serious, more approachable, more likely for people to naturally get to know about social housing.

 

I searched for more games that reflected a bit of reality into the game. They usually weren’t very complicated, actually, most of them were quite simple and straightforward.

Then I started to look up some reference for simple illustrations.

Design

I felt like if I knew exactly what the scenario/story would be, interface can be very simple. However, it was the story part that I struggled a lot. I knew what message I wanted to deliver, I knew what platform I will be using but I didn’t know exactly what story I will be telling people. It seemed like it could always get a bit complicated and deep even with the form of a game.

I was glad with the tutorial at this point because it helped me to solve the problem. He said he was completely sold on this and understood why it needed to be this way. He liked the character and he liked the shelter logo that I drew. He said he matches the tone of voice. However, he told me to make the story simpler. He suggested me to think of a game that even children can understand. He suggested me not to explain every single part of social housing and just bring up one element from social housing instead.

With some references given, Mr Men and Hey Duggee, I tried to simplify the concept of social housing. And this time, the reference I’ve found the other day from library helped. I got to know this ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ from a book with photos of D&AD Awards winning projects. I initially liked the project just by its cute simple characters but I liked it even more after finding out that it was actually a metro safety campaign. It was so successful that many people still remember it and it got so many awards. Given by the fact that it is also a game that was made for the campaign, I thought it could be a great reference. In the game, it shows all the dumb situations that you can die and you have to try not to die. It is a time-based game with simple controls, you tap, you scroll, you touch or even you do nothing. It didn’t only have metro-related situations. It had all the possible (dumb) situations you can die from but also with metro situations.

 

I thought this can be it. All the possible ways to live affordable life but also with social housing elements. THIS IS IT. The possible stories could be a character riding bicycle to save money while dodging some obstacles or a character trying to pick up all the ingredients within time to pack up its lunchbox or a character trying to choose more affordable housing, which would be a social housing. Now everything is set, it was time for me to make.

After coming up with visuals, I started to think of a name for this app and for this character. I was thinking of a name that is related to social housing and affordable. As I was constantly thinking of the word ‘affordable’, I suddenly came up with the idea of having it as ‘affo’ out of affordable. Affo. It was definitely related to the word affordable and I thought it sounded cute enough to be a name of a character.

It was absolutely successful. Tutors just loved it. They said it communicates really well and they loved the name as well. Peter even said that this project is the best project out of all 2nd year students. And that this project is very strong that it should be the first project to appear in my portfolio. He just recommended me to change the typeface. He said he could see why I tried to use handwritten type of typeface but he said it would look better to just have a san-serif typeface to balance it out. He recommended ‘Brown’ which I actually thought it looked nice.

Briefing

To be honest, when I chose the brief, I thought ‘social housing’ was something similar to house sharing, which I’m more relevant of.

 

I had three brief options to choose from. One was G.F Smith/Munken Diary brief, to create a diary that will represent United Kingdom, second was YCN HMV brief, to re-imagine hmv stores to bring people back and last, YCN Shelter. I thought pin pointing the factor that could represent United Kingdom and creating a diary out of it would be very challenging for me. I know UK only partially and I couldn’t ignore the fact that the preference of the styles of diary is very different between Europe and Asia. (Asia’s diary style is more cute illustration-based whereas I think Europe’s style is more functional.) With HMV, it also sounded challenging for me as well because I have always been a digital-based person. I couldn’t remember when my last time was to visit these entertainment stores and I’ve never bought an album or game CD for myself in my life. I’ve always bought digital version online. With these reasons and my misunderstanding led me to choose this YCN Shelter brief.

 

I was wrong. As I started to search for actual term of ‘social housing’, I’ve realised it is something far different from what I was thinking of. Social housing was a form of housing that is provided by government/council to reduce housing crisis. The concept of social housing was new to me because it is only recently that this concept was brought in to Korea. I was slightly worried because I wasn’t (mentally) prepared to do a project related to social issue in UK. But still, I thought it might be more doable than other two projects. Also I could actually predict that there won’t be many students doing this project since it is quite a serious and hard project than other two projects. Meaning, if I do well, it will be relatively easier to create a distinctive work.

Even though I shouldn’t be, the initial (final) idea that I had in my mind looked something like these. A piece of work that shows the image of home with the mediums like paper or lego or a conventional campaign photography. But of course, I needed to generate my idea, my tone of voice, my message I want to deliver even if I use these tools. So without thinking more about the final idea, I just solely focused on the brief and research.

 

“Create a social media campaign to demonstrate the benefits of social housing.”

 

Shelter asked to create a social media campaign targeting 18-34, sharing emotive human stories lived in non-stereotypical examples of social housing. Shelter wanted tell them that it will benefit them and hoped to change their perspective towards it. But as I was researching and reading through the brief multiple times, I started to notice some big problems.

Problems

First, social housing doesn’t benefit 18-34.

Based on the research I’ve done, I could find many information saying young adults are not the priority to go on the long list unless they were in government’s care when they are underaged, pregnant or have dependent children or classed as vulnerable. Most of 18-34 are not in these cases.

 

However, at the same time, this age group is the second lowest income earning group. They are new to the society, hence, don’t have experiences in their career. They often get minimum wage and struggle to live unless they have their family’s support. If someone aged between 18-34 works full-time monthly, after tax they will earn approximately between £912-£1162. The average living expense in London is £791 without the rent, leaving them £121-£371. People can’t afford to live in London with that money. Even with rooms that are like a shoe box size, it costs £400-£500.

 

It used to be better than this back in 1976, when the housing prices were much more affordable (£15,000!) and more social housing available (32%) whereas in 2016, housing prices went above (£200,000) and the percent of social housing halved (17%).

 

So, it definitely got harder for young adults to buy their own houses and they are struggling to get a nice shelter for themselves as well, but they are not classified as homeless. They are hidden homeless so they can’t get the benefit and they are the last people to get the benefit because they are young. Therefore, even if they wanted to, they just can’t get the opportunity to live in a social house. Telling them that social housing is a lie and it is a tease.

Second, sharing emotive stories doesn’t work.

There are so many campaigns out there showing either sad or happy faces of people going through their hardships. There are so many that it almost feels like a competition. Some people even described it as poverty porn. Even if I see one, I got numb with them so I was pass through, which isn’t the purpose of the campaign.

 

I’ve found a few studies suggesting that these campaigns could empower “us and them” feeling, creating in-group and out-group. Most of the stereotypes occur when they perceive the group as out-group, a group that they don’t belong to and that won’t affect them. Therefore, creating a typical campaign that will only empower to seperate these two groups even more won’t help to break the stigma.

 

People don’t care and discriminate people living in social housing because they think they are the out-group. However, what if their position changes? What if those people whom they were discriminating become in-group? What if people realise that this social housing could also be applied to them? Then automatically, they can’t discriminate because they wouldn’t want to be discriminated.

 

Social housing is for those households which find it difficult to obtain a home in private housing markets. Not only for people with special conditions. In Netherland, there were a few young adults living in social housing even though they were not in special conditions. Also, in Korea, where this social housing idea was brought in recently, people that can apply for this social housing is young adults, not anyone else. I thought young adults in UK should realise that they are missing something. Missing an opportunity to get support from the government for affordable housings. I thought that it’s not the time for them to discriminate and have negative perception about social housing. They need to do the opposite. They need to demand for support from the government.

 

Apart from this reason, even if I was to create an emotive story, I thought it just can’t be successful when it is meant to be uploaded to social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat. These platforms which use a lot. An emotive story about social housing on those platforms? People will just scroll down within one second and look for something more interesting. There are bunch of interesting going on the feed and people don’t even read or watch everything. They just SCROLL. It will be very unlikely for people to randomly choose to watch this social housing story over something that would be way more light and interesting.

But the truth is, it is even less likely for us to see social housing campaign in our feed unless we were initially interesting in social housing or at least working on a social housing project. Newsfeed is interest-base so you don’t usually see something that you are not interested.

So my tone of voice and message that I want to deliver are set. I wanted to tell them that they are missing an opportunity to get support from government and that social housing can actually benefit them if only they do so. I wanted to tell them that it is almost dumb for them not to do so. I’ve seen a news about Help to Buy ISA the other day and there were so many news about encouraging people to apply for this account before it’s shut and that it is dumb not to. I wanted to bring up similar voice because I found it funny how people react different with the supports coming from the same government.

Ideation

It was just easily proved that it is a topic that many young adults will avoid by our course students. Only 13% of students chose this brief and even half of the students are foreigners. So this time I tried to think about our target audience, which was easy because I’ve done some research of 18-34 while I was doing my branding project.

 

18-34 was the age group that was:

  • using online the most
  • want to save their time
  • like interactions
  • energetic, more reaction
  • like something easy, scared to challenge

 

I needed to think of an idea to combine all of these. My tone of voice, my message and a medium that fits the characteristics of the target audience. It needed to be simple, easy, less serious and in a way self-benefitial. And as I was keep researching for an idea, something interesting happened.

 

I saw a YouTube video called “Do not pass go: Monopoly reflects real-life housing crisis“. I was just watching some videos about housing crisis and accidentally I saw this video and thought, ‘how about taking a game as a form?’ And then I started to remember some games that I’ve played/seen.

I do enjoy playing games, I don’t play a lot but I am interested. So I do know a few popular mobile, computer games and when this game idea popped up in my head, there were two mobile games that followed. Plague Inc. and Mini Metro. They both are very successful game that are based on reality. Plague Inc. was charted first as corona started and it is a game to spread the plague all over the world. Mini Metro as well, as the title shows, it is a game to build lines for metro and run it efficiently. If you try to understand “how plague is spread all over the world” or “why people always have to suffer from tube disruption”, it could be quite boring and most likely, you wouldn’t even want to bothered to know. However, when it is explained with the form of game, it could be naturally understood just by playing. And actually there were so many comments saying that they can now understand why tubes/trains are always delayed.

 

This was truly a breathtaking moment. I started to think that this could actually work. It solved every elements. It is taking form of a mobile game, which is the platform that young adults use the most out of all age groups, instantly making this less serious, more approachable, more likely for people to naturally get to know about social housing.

 

I searched for more games that reflected a bit of reality into the game. They usually weren’t very complicated, actually, most of them were quite simple and straightforward.

Then I started to look up some reference for simple illustrations.

Design

I felt like if I knew exactly what the scenario/story would be, interface can be very simple. However, it was the story part that I struggled a lot. I knew what message I wanted to deliver, I knew what platform I will be using but I didn’t know exactly what story I will be telling people. It seemed like it could always get a bit complicated and deep even with the form of a game.

I was glad with the tutorial at this point because it helped me to solve the problem. He said he was completely sold on this and understood why it needed to be this way. He liked the character and he liked the shelter logo that I drew. He said he matches the tone of voice. However, he told me to make the story simpler. He suggested me to think of a game that even children can understand. He suggested me not to explain every single part of social housing and just bring up one element from social housing instead.

With some references given, Mr Men and Hey Duggee, I tried to simplify the concept of social housing. And this time, the reference I’ve found the other day from library helped. I got to know this ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ from a book with photos of D&AD Awards winning projects. I initially liked the project just by its cute simple characters but I liked it even more after finding out that it was actually a metro safety campaign. It was so successful that many people still remember it and it got so many awards. Given by the fact that it is also a game that was made for the campaign, I thought it could be a great reference. In the game, it shows all the dumb situations that you can die and you have to try not to die. It is a time-based game with simple controls, you tap, you scroll, you touch or even you do nothing. It didn’t only have metro-related situations. It had all the possible (dumb) situations you can die from but also with metro situations.

 

I thought this can be it. All the possible ways to live affordable life but also with social housing elements. THIS IS IT. The possible stories could be a character riding bicycle to save money while dodging some obstacles or a character trying to pick up all the ingredients within time to pack up its lunchbox or a character trying to choose more affordable housing, which would be a social housing. Now everything is set, it was time for me to make.

After coming up with visuals, I started to think of a name for this app and for this character. I was thinking of a name that is related to social housing and affordable. As I was constantly thinking of the word ‘affordable’, I suddenly came up with the idea of having it as ‘affo’ out of affordable. Affo. It was definitely related to the word affordable and I thought it sounded cute enough to be a name of a character.

It was absolutely successful. Tutors just loved it. They said it communicates really well and they loved the name as well. Peter even said that this project is the best project out of all 2nd year students. And that this project is very strong that it should be the first project to appear in my portfolio. He just recommended me to change the typeface. He said he could see why I tried to use handwritten type of typeface but he said it would look better to just have a san-serif typeface to balance it out. He recommended ‘Brown’ which I actually thought it looked nice.

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Made with love by Jimin Kim  |  Copyright 2020

Made with love by Jimin Kim  |  Copyright 2020