Beta Project Brainstorm: Mediation through digital interaction

22 09 2009

As a Masters Student at Pratt I am entering my thesis year. With an interest in how design can inspire social change and interaction design,  my current thesis topic is:

Mediation through digital interaction: An interactive tool for Israeli-Palestinian conflict

For my beta project, in conjunction with my thesis, I hope to create or simulate an online application to help cut down the barriers that block positive change and progress between Israelis and Palestinians. With a political solution near, most likely a two-state system, it is time for a digital tool to ease the tension between the two cultures- specifically the youth of the region- an age range of 12 to 24 offers the highest probability for behavior and social change, especially via digital interaction.

As Facebook and Twitter spread through the the accessible world, we now have a platform with which to approach cultural and political issues, whose potential is widely unknown. Yet analyzing the commercial tactics of corporations and forward thinking advertising/marketing agencies, we understand the great impact social media has on the way people communicate.

Concerning the form and structure of this beta project. there will be a stand-alone website  with focusing on one interactive activity, aimed at integrating Palestinian and Israeli users. Like a Twitter service but geared toward the perceived interest and tendencies of the target market. The interface and design must appeal to young Middle Eastern youth, male and female. Stripping the target audience of their cultural affiliation, the users are kids/young adults who universally enjoy similar activities. Benevolence is NOT right around the corner, but my goal is to provide a simple interactive tool to head in the right direction. I envision this application translating to mobile devices as well.

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