Attempting to articulate for the next GRC
Reason talks of ‘Learning the practice of participation’ – this is becoming the key aspect of these interviews I am conducting. I am struggling and on the path of learning that is making me better at conducting the interviews to be increasingly more participatory. The honest observations and reflections need to be documented constantly to capture the transition and insights this process is revealing. Daria mentions that I am a participatory design practitioner, but I also realise that discussing participation in theory is much easier than applying it in practice.
Conversation with Stu
It was interesting hearing Stu’s perspective of Is Not Magazine and it’s role in engaging audiences. He mentioned how the magazine design was intentionally made to look ‘unfinished’ and ‘not precious’ and the ‘pregnant spaces’ which encouraged people to interact with, was meant to ’subterfuge’ the preciousness and to encourage people to have fun with the ideas, to create an openness for readers to engage with the content.
I came up with some questions that seemed interesting from my perspective…
P and Is Not Magazine
P, during his short visit to Melbourne interacted with Is Not Magazine in his own way by writing, ‘Trash Design Sucks’ and ‘Fitting Type too’ over the magazine poster. When I heard what he had done, I was anticipating the Is Not Magazine’s response… anticipating possibly an angry response.
A new conversation…
Having 2 official and one informal interview under my belt, I am considering making the conversations more ‘participatory’ and open-ended. From what I’ve experienced from the previous interviews, I feel like I want to ‘let go’ of it more… which doesn’t necessarily mean I want to talk about absolutely anything and everything.
… but does it actually matter whether the conversations are useful or not (and for whom)?
What is the difference between what I am trying to do, and what happens naturally in the pub? (besides getting drunk and smelly)
What triggers would I need to foster a participatory engagement?
The more I ‘let go’ of the conversation and observe things that happens, the more easier it would be to design the final outcome of my project/exegesis, because the designers will be accessing that remotely. I am also considering designing a prototype cultural probe-esq thing which I could send to a designer… I think this would be fun but challenging. How much is the conversation based on me being there and asking for ‘formal’ time from the participants?
During a conversation with Lindsay yesterday, he was talking about how he find interviews quite difficult to do. I was agreeing with him initially, but then discovered that the ones I’ve done so far in fact had been really enjoyable and productive. Why was this? I think the playful triggers had a lot to do with it, especially with the 2nd interview who was with someone I’ve never met before, and so there was a tenseness and formalness to our introductions at the beginning. But once we got stuck into a conversation, she immediately got the idea of what the playful triggers was about, and it seemed to flow from there. It was an immediate ice breaker. A mutual trust and relaxedness was felt soon as we engaged with them.
Two interviews down, more to go…
Having done two interviews so far, I am beginning to see a pattern emerging, interms of what the answers are, but also the conversation I am steering as well. Here’s some pics from the conversation in the 2nd interview…