-    -    -  Retrospective
Indigenous Over-representation: Empathy Driven Exhibition

Project Overview

TIME FRAME: Sept 2018 – Dec 2018

MY ROLE: Designer and researcher

TOOLS: Illustrator, InDesign, XD

Through expert interviews, artifacts, secondary research, and data analysis, this project looks into the larger system that spans beyond the framework implemented by the federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments within Canada. It aims foster a dynamic understanding of the topic, exploring factors such as community, family, self, mental and physical health, and social control.


How might we establish social understanding in regards to Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system?

Conversations about Indigenous over-representation in Canada are often being had in the context of politics and academia, but not amongst the public. Change does not transpire without a push from the public sphere. Crime is a derivative of social disorder and discrimination. It can be understood that underlying factors often cause more damage to communal and personal lives within Indigenous communities than they do in other parts of Canada.


People are a product of their environment and circumstances. A repository of primary and secondary research is formed. Engaging design research methods found through numerous resources, I exhaust various exercises to emphasize system thinking. The research is split into numerous sections, investigating Canadian criminology, Indigenous communities, youth crime, and the social and mental models that influence the interaction between these topics.

Topics explored

  • Indigenous Over-representation
  • Royal Commission on Indigenous Peoples
  • Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Transforming the Criminal Justice System
  • Mental Health
  • Empathy Towards Offenders

Indigenous communities are misrepresented and misunderstood.

In speaking to academic experts and analyzing anecdotal evidence, an understanding for the emotional, mental, and physical trauma that was imposed upon Indigenous communities was established. Through this, areas for fostering public understanding were identified which then influenced the concept exploration phase.

Persona Development

Understanding the human condition.

In conducting historical, statistical, and other forms of secondary research I made the conscious decision to divide my research into three categories: social, health, and environmental. I developed three personas, each assigned to a category to show my audience that what they read in reports and textbooks is more than just a statistic, that people live out these scenarios everyday.


Concept: Interactive and Immersive Exhibition

Can appealing to an individual’s senses invoke empathy & emotion?

In speaking to the body’s senses this exhibition aims to foster empathy and understanding in many ways that appeal to various audiences. The primary senses that installations will address are

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Movement

Specific elements and forms of technology have been chosen as avenues of delivery. Utilizing both analog and digital mediums, installations will be either passive, interactive, or immersive. This exhibition will be compromised of elements such as

  • Photography & Video Art
  • Literature
  • VR & AR