This week, I had planned on interviewing experts and getting feedback from both experts and potential audience. I didn’t get as many responses as I hope to, but I still managed to gather some. I was tempted to beat myself over the less-than-expected amount, but I chose to focus on the progress that I’d made.
I did some intercept interviews (with 6 people at Westfield Mall) last Sunday to get people’s feedback on some of my ideas (Prototype or Concepts_ Oct 2, 2019). Out of them all, the first two (below) got most people reacting.
Some things people said about this:
“It’s always good to connect with one another.” —Nini
There were some conflicting comments about this particular concept:
“I’m quiet so I don’t really like to talk to people.” —C
“If I won’t meet someone in the future, I don’t see the value of interacting with them. Commute times are also my time to relax and so I don’t really want to talk to people. I’d rather save my energy for people that I love.” —Cl (This validates my research that people are more selective about who they spend time with now. Which is one of the reasons why people don’t interact with neighbors anymore.)
“No more awkward weather conversations!” —M and D.
“This is interesting but also dangerous. This won’t be possible to do in my home country.” —Nini
On top of that, I also spoke with Barry Katz (Professor, Design Historian and IDEO Fellow), Sarah Brin (Strategic Partnerships Manager at Meow Wolf, Curator and Artist) and Christine Meinders (Professor, Cultural A.I. Designer and Founder of Feminist AI) regarding my project and they gave me very valuable input.
Barry advised that I narrow down on my project and get rid of the notion that I would solve this problem. Instead, he proposed to reframe my project as an addressing of this issue, not solving. This made me realize that, maybe I’d unknowingly adopted a mindset of trying to “solve” this problem — which might’ve given me unnecessary pressures.
Sarah, who was also involved in the Market Street Prototyping Festival 3 years ago, was extremely lovely and helpful. She told me that one of the biggest issues that she noticed about student projects is how broad it often is, and how ambitious the scopes are. She mentioned how in her opinion, the most successful projects are ones that answers a very specific question. She also shared a quote with me, that I absolutely love — “Laughter is the audience congratulating themselves for getting the joke.” She mentioned how she likes to use play to challenge people, and make people feel smart at the same time.
These people have also kindly agreed to talk to me more as I continue to refine my ideas and process.
I have also been reading The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath (Authors of Made to Stick).
And they mentioned how Transitory moments are opportunities for creating defining moments. This sparked a thought in me:
What are the defining moments in our day-to-day lives? Can we celebrate it?
The first obvious place for me to ideate on transitory moments was commuting. Most people are tired and really looking forward to going home, but taking public transportation during peak hours isn’t enjoyable at all — the squeezing, the vehicle itself, the long commute (for some people). We all anticipate going home to loved ones, or to comfort — I started to wonder if that experience could be more delightful.
With this, I decided to narrow my research questions or MVQ more:
Will commuters exchange playful or kind interactions with one another if we provide them the opportunity to?
I came up with more ideas based on this narrower research question. Prototypes or Concepts- Oct 12, 2019 With this, I’ll be doing intercept interviews to gather feedback from people and experts in the field (primarily people making at the intersection of space and civic engagement).
One thing that I’ve also started doing is also to ideate every day. I figured that if ideating is a muscle, then I should exercise it regularly.
I also created a 2×2 for my ideas, to understand if there is an imbalance in ideas and whether or not people gravitated towards a certain type of experience (for now).
I am actually still nervous about doing this for my Senior Project. At times I feel silly for wanting to do this (and about some of my ridiculous ideas, lol) and compare myself to other peers who are doing more “serious” stuff.
But other times, all the fun I have ideating and talking to all the awesome people shut those thoughts off.