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Design research investigation

Summer 2009


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You influence a place // a place influences you is a design research investigation into the relationship between the past and present stories of people and their homes. As we live in apartments, row houses, bungalows or whatever the dwelling might be; the new tenant is confronted with the traces of the old occupant. In this project, I used a social network (mechanical turk) to have people tell me their stories. This network also served as a forum to answer more questions on how we influence a building and how the building influences us. I sent each participant a questionnaire and asked them to take photos of the marks they made as well as the marks left by the past tenant. The response was immense as the stories grew through the participants writings and photography. I enjoy this type of design research where the participants can give dynamic content, and as a designer, I can make the creative leap. This specific project's research led me to larger questions about domestic space in Electronic Objects and Their People.