Thursday, June 25, 2009

Observation studies at Liljevalchs

In August the project will start designing a supple prototype that will be used by groups of visitors to Liljevalchs, an art gallery located in Stockholm. In preparation for that task two project members, Tove Jaensson and Jakob Tholander, have conducted observation studies at the gallery. During Liljevalchs VĂ¥rsalong, an annual exhibition at the gallery, they recruited several groups that participated in the study. All groups agreed to let us record their exhibition visit using both wireless microphones and video cameras. This resulted in several hours worth of recordings that have subsequently been transcribed and analysed.

The purpose of the study is to gain some insights about what people are typically doing during a vĂ¥rsalongen visit, but also to find interesting episodes in peoples exhibition visits that can serve as inspiration for design ideas. Our focus is on investigating co-experience in groups rather than the art experience itself although the two are interconnected. Issues of interest are for instance, how people come to mutual understanding of artworks, how group members direct each others attention to interesting pieces, or how they take turns looking at pieces that only allow one viewer at a time.

The study material will be an important inspiration and starting point for the design work that begins with a design workshop on the 13th of August. During the workshop the study will be presented but participants will also analyse some recordings on their own to learn how to do interaction analysis. This exercise is a step towards accomplishing one of the projects goals: building interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges associated with developing supple systems.

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