Readings for 10-10

Cultural Probes:
The article relating to the elderly people was very interesting and insightful in its approach to user based research. I found it interesting the scenarios/tasks that they created which really gave a more organic and I would argue clear understanding of how these people felt about a specific subject, which sometimes direct questions fail to do. One reason these direct question tend to fail is due to the fact that the “interviewer” is not asking the “right” questions to get the real answer to the question at hand. For example an interviewer can ask a person how is the noise level in this plaza in relation to its congestion? and a person could answer something extreme like “its the noisy f-ing place on earth,” and from that answer one could jump to the conclusion that the person doesn’t think fondly of it or doesn’t like it. Which could be very untrue. So this elaborate sort of research can often give a better picture of a persons true feeling toward something as opposed to a list of questions that are created by someone in search of answers, meaning they might not know exactly the right questions to ask.

In the chapters regarding the plazas:

and interesting idea is noted, choice is important in a public setting. I feel that this is pretty general and not solely unique to the seating construction in New york plazas.
This reading goes over a lot of entities that go into the continued use of a public space. I found it interesting that they acknowledged sculpture, I would go further to say public art in general, and how it plays a very important part in this discussion. These chapters were very interesting just in regard to thinking about public space in large cities, and how the places, specifically plazas and small things like seating help to foster and mediate the interactions of people but specifically strangers. Also its interesting to note at times how these interactions are “designed” into the space.

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