If our focus is the rediscovery of imagination in the creation of experimental technology, how might we use ethnographic fieldwork and ethnography as scientific methods to acquire an understanding of how children play, and how artefacts factor into their play.
In this short video we will try to give our view on this matter.
If our initial question is: How might children work creatively and playfully with practical mechanics when interacting with science and nature?
What sort of settings will be a good idea to observe?
We could narrow down our focus from children in general to a specific age group or context, but that would also narrow our design potentials. So to begin with we have chosen to observe several different contexts and age groups in order to get a broader sense of how children interact and play. Also we find it important not to value one setting over another, we believe that we in this way have a better shot at tapping into the possibility of creating a design or artefact with a much broader impact range, instead of designing for just one purpose or setting.
Our idea is to observe their behaviour in general, and by analysing our fieldnotes finding the most relevant focus of our further studies.
In our different settings there will probably be an ethnographic need for different observational roles – we are very much aware of the potential pitfalls of shifting roles and enter into our fieldwork with eyes wide open.