Educational Interactive Exhibit
Street harassment is one of the most prevalent forms of harassment in our society today.
Most bystanders have the power but not the skillset to call out street harassment when they see it. They are often unable to empathize with people who experience street harassment.
Educate and empower bystanders to call out street harassment by designing an educational interactive exhibition where visitors can “take a walk in someone else’s shoes” through audio spotlight technology placed throughout the gallery.
Content Warning: This presentation addresses themes of sexual violence, and may contain disturbing content. Please take care and proceed with caution.
Design an educational interactive exhibit that asks museum visitors to take a walk in someone else’s shoes to learn how to #CALLITOUT when you see street harassment.
WHY VCU ICA
"ICA at VCU presents the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world. You belong here."
- from the VCU ICA website
It serves as a link between VCU Monroe Park Campus with VCU's Medical Center, much like this exhibition serves as a link between bystander and educated ally.
WHY RIGHT TO BE?
"Right To Be is an international nonprofit organization that fights street harassment through education, technology, and online and offline grassroots activism. Right To Be and its allies have proved through years of research and grassroots activism that bystander intervention is one of the most effective ways to combat street harassment and deter perpetrators from future attacks."
- Right To Be
Statistics show that 85% of all women and 25% of all men will have experienced street harassment at some point in their lives.
The top 5 forms of street harassment are:
Public Sexual Harassment
Men surveyed between the ages of 25-40 showed that they were only able to identify overt street harassment and didn't know how to de-escalate the situation.
"HEY BEAUTIFUL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"
"HEY, LEAVE THEM ALONE! THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU."
Here’s the ugly truth: anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator.
People who self-identify as an ally to any group don't always know how to identify subtle forms of street harassment but are open to learning. Street harassment is more than its stereotypical depiction in popular culture and can cause lifelong effects on people who experience it.
Here's the good news: that means anyone can be an active bystander.
Active bystanders safely intervene in support of the victim. After going through this exhibition, they will have started to discard preconceived notions of what perpetrators and victims look like, and they can swiftly evaluate an attack to determine a safe and supportive course of action.
To better understand how visitors will experience the exhibition, I created personas, journey maps, and other documentation to keep my focus on what the visitor will need vs what the design could dictate. I revisited this work many times over the course of this work to ensure the design stayed true to not only the vision but also was able to user test using this information to validate the work.
Leveraging the VCU ICA's position as a starting point for the monthly First Friday Art Walk, visitors are encouraged to visit the ICA and learn how to #CALLITOUT when they see someone experiencing or perpetuating street harassment.
THE GALLERY SPACE
Through the exhibition, visitors can both educate themselves, as well as have an auditory experience of street harassment by standing in circles in front of the portraits via audio spotlight technology. This will not only give the viewer a lived experience to work with, but they'll also be able to understand what an isolating experience can be in a public space, which will empower them to become an active bystander in the future.
Each portrait has a story of what street harassment that person experienced alongside a statistical fact about how street harassment affects society today. Above each portrait is a line that is clearly street harassment, with a full audio experience to understand the nuances of the subtle aspects of street harassment.
THE 5 D METHOD
In this space, the right wall highlights Right To Be's 5D method: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. Additional educational material would be distributed throughout the other rooms of the exhibition.
Learn more about Right To Be's training on their website here.
Content Warning: These stories address themes of sexual violence, and may contain disturbing content.
Take Home Educational Brochure
Event Guide with bystander training information
THE GIFT SHOP
In addition to providing resources and educational material, there will be a gift shop with branded merchandise to keep #CALLITOUT alive in the world after the exhibit has ended. A portion of the proceeds would go to Right To Be and their free bystander training workshops.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM UTILIZING #HASHTAG ACTIVISM
I enjoyed working on this project from start to finish and focusing on what the research brought to light in order to let it inform the strategy, and then in turn the final designs. While #Hashtag Activism can be a small step, it's a step in the right direction when it comes to moving the conversation forward. Design Justice is something I'm passionate about and I believe thoughtful use of technology like the audio spotlight system paired with good design can empower people to grow into better versions of themselves.