RISD Field Studies 001
RISD Field Studies - 001
Every day Bears Ears National Monument is filled with users from Native American Tribes, tourist groups and resource extraction companies. All these people come to the table with different experiences of this land and values associated with it...
... Let’s ask them what they think.
RISD Field Studies
The Field Studies division was created to support artists and designers who wish to conduct research and interviews relating to land management and use.
A cultural probe can be a powerful thing. Packages of maps, postcards, and other materials can be designed to provoke inspirational responses from diverse communities. Like other probes, these are objects that you leave behind in communities in order to retreive cultural data at a later point.
"The probes were part of a strategy of pursuing experimental design in a responsive way. They address a common dilemma in developing projects for unfamiliar groups. Understanding the local cultures was necessary so that our designs wouldn’t seem irrelevant or arrogant, but we didn’t want the groups to constrain our designs unduly by focusing on needs or desires they already understood. We wanted to lead a discussion with the groups toward unexpected ideas, but we didn’t want to dominate it." - Bill Gaver (on a probe into an elderly community)
A. Zippered Pouch to Carry Field Kit - Convenient way to keep all kit pieces together. Similar to a map carrying case.
B. RISD Field Studies Field Journal - Contains all activities and instructions in a central location. Small size to fit easily into any daypack.
C. RISD Field Studies Disposable Camera - Camera allows participants to show what they can not put into words. A film camera discourages editing of photos. The camera is repackaged to integrate it with the rest of the probe materials.
D. Pens - For marking answers. Two colors to allow for differentiated information, especially on the map.
E. RISD Field Studies Field Ranger Patch - Patch is an artifact that participants can keep as a momento of the project. By giving their role in the study a name, it will make them feel more attached to the project and encourage a higher return of material rate.
F. Candy - A small “Thank You” for taking the time to fill out activities.
G. Self-addressed Return Envelope and Paid Postage - Returning of material should be as easy as possible. The package is addressed to a person, not a department, further humanizing the study.
Kits will be distributed by mail. This means that the administrator will be missing a key first interaction with participants. The introduction needs to set the tone and expectations of the activities. It is also an opportunity to introduce the administrator, to show the participants that there is an individual on the other side of the country who is interested in their responses.
The instructions in the packet are given in the first person, in casual language. The administrator then completes the first ‘ice-breaker’ and ‘about me’ section. This gives participants a personal connection with the administrator and establishes expectations for their own answers.
Each kit contains a camera. The photos are used to get a better understanding of how participants are moving throughout the environment, how they see the features of the landscape and their values.
Through sketches and short answers, participants are asked to reflect on more intangible emotional aspects of the land. “Why did you come to Bears Ears?” “What is your first memory of this land?”
Additionally, participants are asked straightforward questions about land use and ownership, giving them the opportunity to let their opinion be known.
Similar to the “Hello” activity, the administrator will complete the first question to establish expectations.
Map activity is included to see how users travel through and interact with their environment. Participants are asked to mark locations of both physical and emotional interest.
Participants are encouraged to use pens to add notations, sketches, and points of interest as well.
After the completed kit is received, a thank you card will be sent to the participant. Cards will encourage participant to remain active in providing information and will direct participant to the RISD Field Studies website to see other responses.