The research brief was for the designer to present a new design for the Community Tram, that reflects their understanding of community.
“Yours, mine, ours” is the product of visual communication design research that celebrates the ambitions for diversity and inclusion within the city of Melbourne. Abstractly represented in the stripes of colour, pattern, and geometric blocks, are the letters that spell out this proclamation. “Yours, mine, ours” speaks to the need for Melbournians to reflect on their city, and acknowledge that it’s their responsibility to activate its reputation for generosity and public cohesion. Safety, respect and inclusion is not something that is the responsibility of nameless others or government policy. It’s a responsibility shared by everyone who rides the trams, walks the streets beside them, and engages in any way with the city in which they operate. As contemporary cities like Melbourne grow larger and more complex, there is a danger of them becoming dehumanised spaces in which people function in insular, selfish and careless ways. Our environment, our public safety, and our respect for colour, gender and diversity must be maintained and nurtured; and jolted into people consciousness whenever possible.
Melbourne’s reputation for ‘livability’ depends on it.
The vibrancy of the tram’s design cannot help but draw attention to the hidden message enveloped in the colour and patterns. The colours, influenced by those of the flags that champion diversity (the Indigenous and LGTBIQ), are both a celebration and a reminder. We cannot assume inclusion and respect will exist if no effort is made to nurture it. Moreover, it is a public’s responsibility to nurture, not just an individual’s. “Yours, mine, ours” is a reminder that our city is a shared space, and must be a safe space. Everyone from the most empowered to the most vulnerable must feel confident in their public engagement with the city.
This colour drenched celebratory tram will jolt the Melbourne citizenry into realising their obligations towards inclusion; and acknowledge that the right to travel, play and work in the city is not a privilege of a few, but the right of every resident.
The work also responds to recent assault and harassment data pertaining to Melbourne’s public transport network and its surrounding public spaces. Escalating harassment and assault of young women in Melbourne’s public areas, immediately brings into question its liveable city narrative. The graphic wrap of the “yours, mine, ours” tram is a call to action for Melbourne’s residents: to inspire them to call out poor behaviour and report it. It is also a reassurance to those who traverse the city on the public transport network: it is their right to travel without anxiety, secure in the knowledge that a shared system is also a safe and inclusive one.