cultural probes

Reflective Probes, Primitive Probes and Playful Triggers

DARIA LOI 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...

Reassembling the Visual

LUCY KIMBELL In her presentation to EPIC, Kimbell reflects on how data are visualized and how they are experienced. Drawing on work in the visual arts and design, she considers what practices that seem to be gathering and visualising data are actually doing, from installations such as her project ‘Physical Bar Charts’ (2005-8) to methods such as cultural probes. These examples are combined with ideas from Science and Technology Studies (STS), which foregrounds the empirical and the mundane, and questions how accounts of the social are constructed. Writers in this tradition have emphasized the ways that public experiments are used to assemble data and paid attention how data are visualized. The discussion includes work from a recent public experiment in which Kimbell was involved, as organiser of an exhibition of work by artists and designers as part of an academic workshop in Oxford entitled ‘Imagining Business’. Together, these different ways of thinking about visualising and experiencing data raise questions for ethnographers...