start of planning exhibition space

for my own space…

initial measurements and space layout:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

next drawing shows first thoughts about the space and how I would like it laid out. there is a large lightswitch which I would ideally like to cover with my bio, it doesn’t fit with the measurements everyone is sticking with to create cohesion, but I would like to disguise this as much as possible without obstructing access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the how my space currently looks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It might be difficult to see, but the plinth with the mac on it has moved from the right of the space to the left and the small journey squares have moved from below the poster board to the side. The sizes of the poster board and bio board are the correct measurements, so this shows exactly how my space will look in August.

For myself and Maria’s joint space, these were my initial ideas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows how the space looked after Maria and I had shared our ideas on how the space should look:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is currently how our joint space looks. After speaking to Hazel we changed the small journey squares from underneath the poster board to be going up the side of it. We decided to take away the title from beside the poster, to keep it simple we will only have the title on our poster. The logos will be our Forensic Jewellery Classification System logo, the DJCAD logo and the CAHID logo, as the project is a result of collaboration between the two schools. We have also taken off the floating shelf and now have two seperate plinths. One will have a Mac on it with an example of the Image Gallery, and the other plinth will display our physical outcome to accompany the DVI forms and have printed out copy of our Recommendation Report, to be considered if the DVI forms are redesigned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo of Maria’s space. It’s quite similar to my personal space. We decided that we wanted to make the three spaces relatively cohesive to convey to the public straight away that the three projects are all related.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More photos and updates to come as the space progresses!

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Pecha Kucha

We have decided to run a Pecha Kucha style event. It will involve each person having 200 secs to talk about 10 slides, in other words 20 secs per slide, 3mins 20 secs to present. This is the presentaion created by Maria and I to present to the students from Alabama.

Good morning, my name is Maria Maclennan and this is my partner Ruth Watson, we are currently designing a ‘Forensic Jewellery Classification System’ for intended police use. This research is the result of collaboration between The University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

Jewellery has long been a signifier of belonging and personal identification: marking the wearer as a member of a particular religion, cultural group or life stage. This project investigates the role that jewellery design plays in identifying both missing person(s) and disaster victims throughout the various stages involved during the process of Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

 

Traditional primary methods of forensic identification such as DNA, odontology, fingerprinting or unique medical identification are invaluable in DVI and are normally conclusive in forming positive identification(s); however they can be compromised in certain disaster situations and in certain areas of the world, dental records and DNA analysis may not be available.

Personal effects items such as jewellery are therefore increasingly heavily relied upon and accepted as a means of positive identification. Jewellery itself is considered a ‘secondary’ identifier due to its capacity to deform post mortem, e.g. as a result of burning, immersion in water, or exposure to buried or extreme environment(s) for a prolonged period of time.

In a jewellery context, what may have once been a golden-coloured ring may deform so dramatically post-disaster that it now resembles a different aesthetic entirely. The fact it may not be attached to a body is problematic; conversely, the concern that jewellery items are interchangeable between people means they therefore may not be considered definitive proof of identification of the said person they are located upon.

There is currently no international standard for describing jewellery items, thus previous attempts at using jewellery as reliable evidence in DVI have often been hampered. There are inevitable discrepancies between the language used when filling out Interpol's ante-mortem and post-mortem DVI forms when describing jewellery data provided by relatives of missing person(s), and jewellery remnants recovered from disaster sites.

The compilation of a standardised 'Forensic Jewellery Classification System' and protocol for use by DVI teams is integral in ensuring jewellery is better utilised as evidence throughout DVI. The system must incorporate the use of a standardised terminology that can be recorded and communicated to a wide range of people and organisations involved throughout the DVI process.

Innovative design methods such as case studies, critical reviews, personas and scenarios, prototyping and interviews with Forensic Artists, Anthropologists and Family Liaison Officers were used to tackle the problems associated with DVI. We developed various physical formats such as card systems, spreadsheets, interactive booklets and developed numerous low-fidelity reiterations.

Findings showed how factors such as religion, culture and words which have multiple or different meanings in different languages affect the efficiency of the system. The current system succeeds in guiding users to give more detailed descriptions, however does not succeed in matching word choice, therefore another iteration of the system is needed. The system is currently being tested with police officers.

Although the conclusion(s) and final outcomes of the research are yet to be fully realised, what has been consistently evident is the vitality of jewellery’s role in assisting with the identification of missing person(s) and disaster victims. By applying design research and methodology, jewellery possesses potential to narrow fields of forensic investigation which could lead to the discovery of primary evidence.

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Content of the poster, if you would like to read it.

Introduction and Context

Jewellery has long been a signifier of belonging and personal identification: marking the wearer as a member of a particular religion, cultural group or life stage. This research describes the initial stages of a research project investigating the role that jewellery design plays in identifying and linking both missing person(s) and disaster victims throughout the various stages involved during the process of Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

Traditional primary methods of forensic identification such as DNA, odontology, fingerprinting or unique medical identification are invaluable in DVI and are normally conclusive in forming positive identification(s); however they can be compromised in certain disaster situations and in certain areas of the world, dental records and DNA analysis may not be available, therefore personal effects items such as jewellery are increasingly heavily relied upon and accepted as a means of positive identification. Where the reliability of primary identification methods is diminished, secondary and tertiary indicators such as jewellery can play a potentially integral role.

Problem Identification

Jewellery itself is considered a ‘secondary’ identifier due to its capacity to deform post mortem, e.g. as a result of burning, immersion in water, or exposure to buried or extreme environment(s) for a prolonged period of time (see Fig. 1). In a jewellery context, what may have once been a golden-coloured ring may deform so dramatically post-disaster that it now resembles a different aesthetic entirely. The fact it may not be attached to a body is problematic; conversely, the concern that jewellery items are interchangeable between people means that they may therefore not be considered definitive proof of identification of the said person they are located upon.

As there is currently no recognised international standard for describing jewellery items, previous attempts at using jewellery as reliable evidence in DVI have therefore often been hampered through use of inconsistent or ambiguous terminology and lack of specialist knowledge regarding the jewellery item in concern. There are therefore inevitable discrepancies between the language used to describe the ante-mortem jewellery data provided by the relatives of missing person(s), and the invariably sporadic post-mortem jewellery remnants recovered from dead bodies or amongst disaster debris.

The compilation of a standardised jewellery identification system and common operational methodology for use by DVI teams is integral in ensuring the maximisation of jewellery’s reliability as evidence in efficient and succinct fast-response procedures post-disaster.

Methods and Approach

This research is concerned with the design of a ‘Forensic Jewellery Identification System’; methods of classification which will better utilise jewellery as evidence throughout DVI. The classification system must incorporate the design of a universal terminology, using a standard system of description that can be recorded and communicated to a wide range of people and organisations involved throughout the various stages of DVI process across the world. A key consideration to the classification’s design is with how data is recorded on Interpol’s current ‘C3’ DVI form, as per DVI protocol. Amendments to the design of the forms themselves cannot be made, thus the classification system must take into account the limitations and restrictions imposed by the forms, whilst complementing their current format.

This research is the result of collaboration between The University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (DJCAD). The complexity of designing a simple system able to encompass the vast range of jewellery available internationally can be addressed using innovative design methods. Reviewing and deconstructing the current DVI form set utilising design methods helped in planning how to approach the project. To tackle these problems, research methods such as interviews, case studies and critical reviews were employed in order to assist in the basic comprehension of DVI process. Interviews with experts in the field of DVI lead to obtaining exclusive insights into first-hand personal experiences of the DVI process, enabling new insight to be gained whilst both reinforcing and dismissing initial impressions of the problems associated with DVI. Through analysing anecdotes and scenarios provided by experts and utilising public case studies wherein jewellery has been the main catalyst in helping solve cold case files or missing person(s) investigations, the importance jewellery can have in identifying a body is highlighted further.

The initial research was synthesised using various design methods including personas and scenarios, paper prototyping and focus groups. Personas and scenarios helped aid with understanding the needs from the perspective of each individual involved in the DVI process, ante-mortem and post-mortem. To develop a physical system, paper prototyping proved to be a cheap and fast way of testing ideas. The current Interpol DVI forms were used as a starting point. Breaking down the forms into their five main categories; ‘Material’, ‘Colour’, ‘Design’, ‘Inscription’ and ‘Where Worn’ assisted in organising a more in-depth system to aid the user with describing an item. Portioning ‘questions’ or ‘prompts’ into a card format helped to gain the most descriptive information from the person filling in the DVI form. The idea of segregating information into more sizeable ‘chunks’ was derived from research into the psychology of eye-witness memory. The process of how forensic artists use cognitive interviewing techniques to draw out details from a witness when reconstructing a face could be applicable to how Family Liaison Officers could obtain more detailed descriptions of jewellery from the family members of missing person(s).

As well as card systems, various physical formats such as spreadsheets, interactive booklets and numerous low-fidelity reiterations were developed. Through initial research, prototypes were used to consider the best format(s) for users both in and out of the field, also considering how they could benefit from an ante-mortem viewpoint (see Fig. 2).

The system has been involved in a website trial which is currently being tested with police officers as part of a larger-scale usability test. This trial intends to establish whether the current category system works in an online format with drop-down menus. The results of this trial have yet to be confirmed.

Findings

Feedback from prototype testing allowed insight into how factors such as religious belief(s) and language could affect the efficiency of the system: e.g. words which have multiple meanings or a different meaning in different languages. Testing the card system demonstrated that the initial prototypes was successful in one way, but failed in another. The card system succeeds in the sense that it guides the users to give a better, more detailed description. The system also worked well for particular categories; such as ‘Material’ and ‘Colour’. The language used, however, was still completely void of a coherent ‘match’, especially in the ‘Design’ category. Often user testers used the corresponding numbers already present on the C3 form or prompt words from the cards as descriptors on the actual form, preferring instead to go into more detail on the section ‘G’ part of the form used for recording additional information. Insight derived from the issue of user testers using numbers or prompts was harnessed as a method that could be used rather than discouraged. The opportunity for the development of a ‘coding’ system whereby a particular number would represent a specific descriptor materialized; creating a cladogram type system whereby the user describing an item would be faced with more of a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ route of either identifying or ruling out elements.

Performing this series of testing and examining the findings resulted in the creation of a system which vastly improved descriptions, rather than improving data matching. Another reiteration of the system is needed to restrict the language or choices which can be created in order to create more ‘matches’.

The final deliverables from this research will be a clear and concise jewellery categorising system, an image gallery and a further recommendation report. The categorising system will boost the match count of ante-mortem and post-mortem jewellery to create more potential matches to be explored. An image gallery with exemplar descriptions will aid family members in describing their loved ones items. The recommendation report will include a list of recommendations to be considered to reflect the diverse and modern world we live in.

Conclusion

The present conclusions which can be drawn from this research is that although a secondary form of evidence, jewellery is undoubtedly nonetheless an important method of identification. When utilized in the right context and by applying design research and methodology as a tool by which to filter the concept, jewellery possesses countless potential to narrow further fields of forensic investigation which could ultimately lead to the discovery of primary identification methods, and therefore it is inarguably an integral contributor to the field of DVI.

Although the conclusion(s) and final outcomes of such research are yet to be fully realised, what is and has been evident throughout the discourse of said research is the vitality of jewellery’s role in assisting with the linking and identification of both missing person(s) and disaster victims. Whether assisting in forming the identification of a victim or in providing closure purposes to the families of missing person(s), the impact of the simple but highly emotive act of being able to return an intensely personal item such as jewellery, cannot and should not be underestimated.

Future Recommendations

Considerations for the future development of this pioneering and innovative research strand should both further build on and contextualise the research already carried out in order to best consider ways in which jewellery design can act as both a reliable bearer and communicator of identity.

The Forensic Jewellery Classification System itself possesses the potential to be developed beyond DVI context: for example, as a standardised reference guide to assist Police and UK authorities in generating jewellery based leads in missing person(s) enquiries, criminal/murder investigations and post-mortem victim identification. There is further scope into the unique personal aspects that are known of a particular jewellery item ante-mortem such as a broken, handmade or faulty element of a piece may have been translated onto or viewed as present upon the body itself. Whether it is a particular watch/bangle that possessed the tendency to ‘nip’ or ‘catch’ the wearer’s skin in turn perhaps leaving a distinguishing mark on their wrist, or the invisible impressions of now absent jewellery upon the skin of an (often decomposing) body; such information has the potential to be informative of far more than just an ill-fitting accessory. The victim’s skin may perhaps now tell a corresponding story about an absent jewellery item that had once been worn, demonstrating a now visible physical discrepancy/irregularity on the body as a result. During DVI procedure following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami for example, Reflective Ultraviolet (UV) Photography was utilised in order to take advantage of the absorption of long-wave UV light on the victims’ skin. Since UV light penetrated deep into the skin and the victims had been subject to increased UV exposure, when under UV light it was possible to view the impressions of (now absent) jewellery item(s) on the body. Design methods also posses the potential to facilitate better descriptions of the personal, sentiment, idiosyncratic-rich and anecdotally-embellished aspects that the jewellery embodies. This could help facilitate the better recollection of ante-mortem description(s) regarding missing persons’ jewellery items. The importance of the richness of human interaction with jewellery should not be undervalued. An applied human-centred enquiry concerned with how the study of increasing new, intelligent and innovative portable technologies can be harnessed in both a holistic and humanistic approach could contribute to the understanding of jewellery’s potential as an intelligent identification device post-mortem.

Bibliography

Black, S. et al. (2010). Disaster Victim Identification: The Practitioner’s Guide. Scotland: Dundee University Press Ltd.

Blackwelder, R E (1967) Taxonomy: A Text and Reference Book. Wiley.

Bowker, G C and Star, S L (1991). Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Brannon, R B. and Kessler, H P. (1999) Problems in Mass-Disaster Dental Identification: A Retrospective Review. Louisana: Louisana State University.

Cross, N (ed.) (1984). Developments in Design Methodology. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Frair, J. (1989) Ultraviolet Forensic Photography. TECH BITS, Issue #2.

Gabbert et al (2009). Protecting Eyewitness Evidence – Examining the Efficiency of a Self-Administered Interview Tool

INTERPOL (2010). Disaster Victim Identification Guide. [Online] Available at: http://www.interpol.int/Public/DisasterVictim/default.asp (Accessed 1 October 2010).

Laurel, B. (2003) Design Research: Methods and Perspectives, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.

McGarry, D and Smith, K. (2011) Police Family Liaison: Blackstone’s Practical Policing Series. England: OUP Oxford.

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BAHID Best Student Poster

Maria and I won the prize for Best Student Poster at the annual conference for the British Association for Human Identification in Manchester on the 9th and 10th of April.

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prototyping ideas

So far, we have unintentionally conducted more passive prototyping tools. We have observed users interacting with our prototype more than interacting with them. These are some ideas for future prototyping.

Gloves test.

I had a few initial ideas which I thought would be interesting inspired by our lecture on prototyping last Monday with Fraser Bruce. From our last tests with Forensic Anthropology students we discovered a problem which we hadn’t really gave too much thought to previously. The students were in a lab, looking at skeletal remains with their lab coats and gloves on. As we took them through in small groups to participate in our testing, many kept their gloves on. We realised that half of our end users, the post-mortem examiners, will be wearing gloves whilst using our aid to fill out the forms in the mortuary or around the disaster site.

By conducting a test of various prototypes of the aid in different formats and materials and having the users wear gloves to test which ones are better than others.

Jewellery Box Test.

Taking a collection of jewellery and getting a group of people to describe the jewellery. Maybe one trial without aid, and one trial with the aid. 2 jewellery boxes with a selection of jewellery. One set will be described by the ‘family’, the other set will be burnt, battered and submerged in water to change it’s appearance and given to ‘post-mortem examiners’. The users can be anyone, the point is just to describe what can be seen.

Be careful to get some jewellery that looks like metal.

Language test.

Whilst reading Paper Prototyping, I was thinking of how it could be incorporated into testing our aids, either with one user or with one user being a family member and one being the FLO (Family Liaison Officer). Perhaps by only testing one or two at a time and getting them to talk through their thoughts, e.g. that word doesn’t quite fit, but I’m not sure if that’s the right term either; I’m not sure what this means. Either recording or filming the process would be useful for reference. I think this would be a good way to flag up issues with order or any language problems with the terms. Could test each category, using only one or two per category, giving each person one specific task.

Murder Mystery: could create a more lighthearted murder mystery scenario to trial the prototypes in. There could be a murderer, a victim, a CSI who processes the scene, a police officer investigating, and a family member of the victim. The murderer and the victim are not really necessary but would make the scenario less dry for the people involved.

The original rules for Pictionary are:

To identify through sketched clues and correctly identify the final word. The starting picturist selects a word card form the front of the pack and has five seconds to examine the words to be played. The timer is then turned and the picturist begins sketching clues for their team. Sketching and guessing continues until the word is identified or time is up. If a guess is correct, the team continues to play using the by rolling the die, selecting a new card and new picturist.

We would be creating a backward version of Pictionary,

Backwards Pictionary, drawing what is described to you

3 groups of two, one group all male, one all female, and one mixed. To see if this has any difference in how well they descriptions are communicated.

FLO

Another area which we could look further into would to role-play or observe the interaction between a Family Liaison Officer and a family member of the victim. Role playing this scenario will be difficult as how the emotional distress of the family member might affect the process cannot be accurately predicted. A small interview room would be simple and similar settings to reality for conducting a scenario.

Would be good to pinpoint whether or not the aid will work with two people using it. One FLO will roleplay a civilian who has lost a loved one, another FLO will play their FLO role. One will be with the cards and one without.

Discussion afterwards about the test. Also using Jewellery box test as a prop for discussion.

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initial test groups

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To explore for ourselves how descriptions can vary when filling in the Interpol ‘C3’ forms between people describing the same items. We had been briefed on some of the problems, such as language barriers, various terms to describe one item, etc. Language barriers may cause problems as people do not speak any of the four languages used by Interpol; English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and translations may not be accurate. The terms used to describe an item could differ culturally. In the case of an item of clothing with two legs and a waistband, in Britain these would be called ‘trousers’, in America they would be called ‘pants’ and in some countries are called ‘Levis’. Although to each culture these words describe the same item, the words would not match when entered in a database, despite having the same meaning.

We chose a selection of jewellery, earrings rings and necklaces which covered a wide range of materials and styles. Some were more traditional, such as a silver neckchain with a common ‘Luckenbooth’ symbol pendant. Others were more modern in design and materials, for instance a charm bracelet with plastic charms. Some of the jewellery was broken, an earring which used to be a pair, and some items had more wear and tear than others.

The students we chose for this test came from a range of International backgrounds; Portugal, India, America, South America as well as home students from Scotland.

We split the jewellery into two groups. We gave the first selection of jewellery to the students to study for a few minutes. We then took it away and asked them to write a description of the items on a blank sheet of paper. We then gave them the second selection of jewellery to study. We then asked them to describe these items using the ‘C3’ form.

This gave us first hand evidence of the some of the problems surrounding the forms which could be improved upon. The language was a problem as different people were using different words to describe the same thing. There was also a problem with spelling, mis-spelled words were understandable to someone reading them, but would not match on a database. The level of detail about each item was also very interesting. Some wrote an in-depth detailed description of each item whilst others wrote one word answers, even using ‘yes’ or ‘no’ instead of descriptive words. One possible reason for less detailed answers is a limited knowledge of the English (in this test) language. This would suggest that even the most detailed descriptions might not create a match if the description from the other side of the process is limited and uses different terms.

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Police testing website

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Our Superviser for this project, Dr Jan Bikker, organised the making of a website to trial his system for describing everything else except jewellery, such as clothing, glasses, shoes, etc. He leads the research into how we can make the personal effects part of the Disaster Victim Identification easier and more efficient. He invited us to trial our jewellery system on his website. This would let police officers from all over the UK and from 18 other countries take part in testing our systems in a drop down menu format.

We were limited to choosing two items to be tested. We chose a ring with a plastic gem studded ball as its feature. The reason for this was to see how each officer would describe the materials and the number of stones.

The second item we chose was a single hooped earring worn by a male. The idea was to test the card system to see how this was described. To see if they all chose whether it was singular or a pair and also to see how much information they would give about it. The earring was a hoop, but it was a chunky hoop with a hinge and post. We wanted to see if all of these components can be described through the system.

We are currently still awaiting the results from this trial.

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