Reflective Probes, Primitive Probes and Playful Triggers

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In this paper I present and discuss Reflective Probes, Primitive Probes, and Playful Triggers – derivates of Cultural Probes that build off such work promoting multiple places for and uses of creative, inspirational and provocative artifacts in research and development endeavors. In the first parts of this paper I introduce the topic as well as providing relevant background details, briefly examining Cultural Probes from the perspective of their intended outcomes – what probes can enable. I then overview the three mentioned notions as well as emphasizing complications, implications and conclusions related to the deployment of these and similar tools. The paper offers a number of suggestions and questions related to the context, time, audience, producer, content, soul, purpose and form of these tools. Such suggestions have great implications within business contexts, where timelines, directions and multidisciplinary tensions can act as ‘interfering agents', complicating how these tools can be designed and deployed by ethnographers operating within the industry.

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