Reading Response

Cultural Probes

This is a good way to learn social behavior and gather information about target people and their activities. However, I think this kind of activity require some funds to support providing equipment and collecting data. It can still be cheap and easy to conduct like using notepaper but one has to consider the cost into their design. People respond positively to attractive kits. On the other hand, unconventional way might cause people does not know how to correspond it. So one have to be careful when choosing the appropriate and useful method to conduct cultural probes. Recording method can be different from writing to digital picture depends on the research. So far, I have found it has been useful in medical research to track long-term effect from patient.

Through this article, I was thinking of how to put this in food project. This is the mechanic of cultural probe.

Recently, I have read a report on newspaper that eating healthier in United States is expansive. Some families cannot even afford such expanses. Through the research, I hope can gather information of people’s eating habits to learn people’s eating habits. And most importantly, I want to know if this research changes their eating habits.

My plan at the moment is to use a food diary to learn my participants. I will ask the participant to record what foods were eaten and shopping grocery that occur and other daily eating habits. Also, participants have to document the meaning of the food they consume. I want to ask questions like what they think about healthy food, what they think about unhealthy food, definitions of sustainability, foods that people don’t like, favorite recipes, or frustrations to do with food. My plan to go on this project is using web platform. Three items need to put in record:

  1. Diary plan on that day.
  2. A picture of what they really eat.
  3. What they think about what they consume?

Rough Schedule:
Week 1: Present and explain diary to household.
Week 2: Household complete the diary and response.
Week 3: Analyze the collected data.
Week4: Feed back to each household of this research report.

I have not thought through about how to use these data to help improving healthy diet. But I can put this data into a visualize form to see what will happened. Also, I think giving the result to participant will be reasonable but I really do not know how long it take to analyze or how many families will volunteer to go in the project. The whole plan is only on draft. I will think about it more.

“The Social Life of Urban Spaces” William Whyte 

While I see the topic, I was thinking: ”What’s going on here? Now I have to learn architect or landscape design, too?“ At first, I think it is too broad to think about open space because it will need collaboration with architect and space design suppose one consider environment into the design. Still, It does not need to be that complicated if focusing on people. It might be a simple event like drinking coffee in a park and listening the street performance. In fact, I am wondering if social life on the street corner is a consequence because “the space is there.”  It’s there, why not use it? So designer and artist can put their work and see the consequence of how people react. I want to learn more on the open space art. So I check out other reference.

In open space, artists have to put their ambitious thoughts behind the needs of the public. It does not usually goes in this way, but if not, people will find out the practical way as they think it should be. So, whether the works has been defined like a chair or sculpture might be important. More compromise will come when designing in open space. You have to know the local culture and how the work blends in the space whether in culture or social activities in order to create feeling of harmony unless it is intentional to create impact on the public. The article presents the examples to explain like the chair sitting height, amount of the chair, and movable chair. We start to think from the aspect of function, aesthetic value and human response.

This is a singing chair that you have to wind clockwork before sitting. The device is related to the meaning of resting and working. While you rest on the singing chair, it is actually working for you. I want to talk more on one of my favorite artist Dennis Oppenheim. This is his work.

Left: BUS HOME 2002  Steel, perforated steel, acrylic, concrete, paint, electric light  26′ x100′ x50′

Why I want to talk about him? I think sculpture is an important source of muse. Thorough the shape in a space, I can think of different connection without limits. I never really understand what concept does the artist want to argue. Perhaps letting viewer to imagine by himself or herself is the purpose of sculpture. Sometimes, even a installation from the store can create a different touch on the city.


a sculpture from a store in German.

Recently I found the motion Art in Union square subway. It’s not clean space and people just walk though it and keep going their destination. Whether it is intentional to be in this way I do not know.  I myself found it quite amazing but if the work was put in a museum. The feeling of this work will be interrelated in a totally different way. Nevertheless,  In a plaza, people normally gather around where musician and street performer. It can be tricky because how you decide to use the space you have is important. Some of the sidewalks in New York City does not provide proper place for the public. At Union square, there are a lot of interesting street performer. Most of them are musician. It does not matter how well they perform, people just gather there and see. I think there is a great difference between real human and installation art. One is actively respond to you the other is sitting there waiting for you to discover.

An invincible man. Paris.



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