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Conference paper
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apo-nid178211.docx 3.17 MB

This paper examines the outcomes and impact of the ‘Free to Be’ project piloted in Melbourne by the children’s charity Plan International Australia. The project – consisting of a mapping tool initially co-designed with young women – uses locative geo-locative technology to allow women and girls to show the spaces where they feel safe (or where they don’t). The map – live from October to December 2016 – tests how crowd-sourced technology can voice the experiences of women and girls with the potential for co-designing solutions that enable a culturally vibrant city that is inclusive and safe. Using coding and visual communication techniques, the authors analysed and synthesised the map data for tendencies, tensions and trends. The everyday occurrence of sexual harassment and assault faced by women and girls is the dominant theme of the data set. Using the ‘hotspots’ of unsafe and safe spaces, a case study method of site analysis identifies the kind of incidents and qualities of the different spaces. A more specific analysis then examines how branding, advertising and language may help contribute to positive or negative experiences for women and girls. Extending the co-design of the web interface with young women, a workshop by the authors and Plan International Australia bought together stakeholders, young female activists, and NGOs. As an introduction to co-design techniques, this paper also discusses how valuable contributions from non-designers can be mined for significant urban design impacts that would allow women and girls to feel included and safe in Melbourne.

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