Individual Project/Ideas

One of my interviews really inspired me. The person we spoke to talked about the root of the problem being support, through family, through your neighborhood, and without that support people make poor decisions. He said that people constantly talk about how they don’t know what’s happening in their neighborhood, and said, if he had the resources we would find a way to create the connections between the people who need support and those who are giving it.

I wonder what opportunities can be created, there are several websites that talk about pittsburgh arts events, music events and lectures, but not really support or local events.


Within my individual project I’m interested in building empathy through narratives and perspectives.

I’m really captivated by an individuals personal experience with guns, whether it be, hunting, debating suicide, ownership, accident. Empathy seems to be the biggest disconnection between guns and people because of the distance between the shooter and victim, it’s seen that the gun is committing the act of violence not the person. To me, it seems like the best way to build empathy on the gun issue is through storytelling.

I want to understand people’s relationship’s to their guns, if their friends, foes, or enemies. Do they scare or protect? Do they share the blame? How do people talk about their gun experiences good and bad? And then with these answers I want to see if other people can relate to these answers, so that hopefully they can build a more full perspective for themselves.

I want to create an open space that promotes sharing without aggressive debate or bashing.

CMU has a facebook site called CMU Confessions, where people confess anything they want to other students. It’s supportive at times, scary, unsupportive and also misused. But the defining factors of the site are very interesting, a lot of people read it to find something they relate to and for entertainment. If there was a gun version we could get some very interesting data from what’s collected, but it could become out of hand depending on comments and arguments which could ruin the site.

It would also be curious to see other, more local methods, of attaining this information Possibly through submitting postcards to overcome the limitations of technology. However their could be issues with users wanting to be anonymous, but then it could be as simple as becoming a voice recorder, or a place where you can handwrite your stories.

The information gathered also helps humanize statistics through telling and sharing stories.