Finished my cultural probes today, so they’re ready to go out this week. I’ve created little bags, each with a disposable camera, a pen and a bundle of postcards.
The top postcard explains a little bit about the project, my research and how the tasks are to be carried out. I’ve asked the user to take a photo of their “dining environment” every night for two weeks, hopefully gaining a combination of them eating alone and with their partner. I’ve also provided 14 “note” cards, for them to mark down whether they’re eating alone or with their partner. I’ve asked them to take some brief notes for every photo they take; I’ve given some guideline hints and questions on each card to get the ball rolling, for example, “how many courses are you eating tonight?” or “if your partner is absent, what do you wish you could tell them right now?”
The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of how/where/when/why people eat the way they do. Speaking as someone who spends six months of the year without a boyfriend (he works at sea), I know my eating habits differ hugely from when he’s at home to when I’m alone. I want to be able to see exactly what it is that making eating with a partner so special and intimate. What do they talk about over dinner? Do they eat more courses with a partner? Do they choose to eat on the sofa or in their bedroom instead of at the dining table when they’re alone? These are all things I want to both tackle and understand.