Family Rituals - Cultural Probes

September 2013 - September 2015

electronics, software, bespoke design, ethnography, openlab

To get glimpses of the lives of the families for Family Rituals 2.0, we conducted interviews and designed cultural probe packs. Each pack contained a playful collection of diverse printed and object-based activities to provide us with an idea of their domestic and family life, and more importantly insights into the significant, everyday rituals that formed it. In addition we wanted to be sensitized to their values, styles and attitudes. The materials generated inspired our bespoke design phase that followed.

The set of probes consisted of the following items:

a) digital question box asking timely questions of the household while the mobile worker is away;
b) booklet called What Makes You You? with questions and tasks for the family;
c) like/dislike camera and stamp activity;
d) card asking about house rules.

a) booklet called Your life as a Mobile Worker for the mobile worker to complete whilst away;
b) list of photos for the mobile worker to take during work trips;
c) set of maps with stickers for the mobile worker to indicate trips and social networks.

The cultural probes were developed by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with Open Lab at Newcastle University, as part of the Family Rituals 2.0 project funded by the EPSRC.

Paulina Yurman, David Chatting.