As part of Masters in Communication Design at RMIT, I developed a research project, with the objective to explore the design of iconography of people, in order to break down stereotypes and promote diversity and inclusion. I particularly focused on the ways in which iconography may be used to avoid social stereotypes and represent cultural, social and gender diversity.
As often happens with research projects, developing the icon set was a journey of ups and
downs. It confidently began with analysing the representation of people through iconography
and recognising my unconscious bias, while developing the first prototype of my icon set. This
recognition led me to question diversity and inclusion from a design justice lens and develop a
generative method - called the potato-head challenge - to find a simple illustration style that
could help me showcase diverse people. This method encouraged me to look at human faces
as a whole - instead of focusing on a structure like a classic smiley face - and design a set of
twenty 128x128 pixel icons in colour and black and white.