Will you Listen?
How might people who have never had depression understand what to say when someone they love confides in them? This is a city-wide installation that explores how we can open up fruitful conversations about depression.
By setting up comfortable spaces across cities, with no visual reference to depression, we can ask those most receptive — will you listen to our stories?
I started this project with expectations of designing something immediately impactful, loud, and disruptive. When it came to dealing with stigma, my first reaction was to design something to forcibly break it.
I came to a rough realization towards the end of our four week design cycle that depression didn't need design as much as it did something else. Honesty, without stigma, without playing into stereotypes. I dropped everything, from my audience, prototypes, and domain names, and drove to a furniture store to purchase chairs, blankets, and cushions. I installed a small speaker and made it play audio from my phone.
Building a vocabulary starts with listening. It requires listening, and learning through someone else's lived experience.
Sometimes, no design is the best design.
Second story soundbites are from Gaby Dunn