Bryre Dowling Aro & Ha: Turn to face, share breath.

  • Tauira / Student
    Bryre Dowling
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Marcos Mortensen Steagall, Fiona Grieve, Denise Wilson, Steve Reay, Cassie Khoo, Ivana Nakarada-Kordic

The design project Aro & Ha investigates how design can emotively communicate existing research into wāhine Māori (indigenous women of New Zealand) experiencing domestic abuse. Research suggests that Wāhine Māori are disproportionately represented in domestic abuse statistics which highlighted the need for response service providers to understand and empathise with their complex situations. The brief required the design of a resource to educate and connect with first response service provider such as police and social workers.
This design project has been undertaken with a reflective inquiry methodology, engaging in targeted expert feedback, analysing existing research, and learning from indigenous perspectives. This project was developed utilising contemporary research from the 2021 report: 'Wāhine, E Tu Whānau: Wāhine Māori keeping safe in unsafe relationships'. The outcome of the project is a graphic storytelling taonga which can be presented by a facilitator to response service workers in a professional development context. This taonga has the potential to be a healing tool, improving the quality of domestic abuse response services for the benefit of wāhine Māori who are seeking help. Media and materiality play an integral part in the delivery of subject, meaning and message. The decision to create multiple formats with interactive touchpoints are underpinned by the types of forums that this taonga will be utilised in. Image, motif and language both graphic and textual are sympathetically managed to hold and imbue the depth of knowledge and experiences being shared.