Cultural Probes

Cultural probes are playful and creative artifacts or stimuli that are introduced into a design research process in order to elicit inspirational responses. This class is an overview of how, why and when to use cultural probes as well as the aesthetic and socio-cultural considerations necessary for using probes in research at a variety of field sites. We will review examples of cultural probes and stimuli that might be used in a variety of design research traditions including critical making, critical design, design fiction and speculative design approaches. We will build and evaluate our own probes in order to better understand how these artifacts might be introduced into ongoing design research projects.