Play Lab | Exercise 1: Observing Micro-futures

Packaged Unpackaged Food
#1: Why do we package all the foods we own, even those that are presented as unpackaged when we buy them? What purpose or need to we think this fulfills, and how might this behavior change in the future with possible changes in the way we interact with stores, appliances, ways we ship/store items, advancement in GM/GE foods/plants, and our overall culture of eating?

Store presentation of unpackaged foods (*not my photo)
My Fridge Shelf
My Fridge Drawer
Friend’s Fridge Door
Fridge from my home in NY
Lonely peaches on the counter top

Possible reasons why we might do this behavior/areas that might encouter change in the future: idea of keeping foods clean, organization afforded by keeping food separated, storage, aid it creates in the checkout process, eases process of need to carring foods around store and home.

How could we design food storage for the shopping experience? 
What ways could we change the need to go shopping? 
What if we stored plants and trees instead of their products?

Makeup 
#2: How is makeup function in our (western) society? How does is behave as a cosmetic function, a statement of personal identity or style, or a reflection on cultural trends and fashion. Why does some makeup violate societal norms or carry certain connotations? What ways would it change if we viewed it more as a tool for communication (what would we communicate? Could we emphasize, obscure, disguise, or create new connotations?)

Cosmetic vs Personal Identity vs Trends

Cosmetic (source: Tina Yong)
Makeup for personal expression (source: popugar)
Cultural Trends

Makeup and societal norms:

Why don’t men wear makeup in western culture? 
Why is it that bold makeup or glamorous style creates a perception of deception or a lowering of trust?
Why does makeup change the way we perceive competence? (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/fashion/makeup-makes-women-appear-more-competent-study.html?_r=0)

Hands-Free: 
#2: Why are people always carring stuff in their hands? Is it because they need it? Does it provide some sort of comfortness or eleminate an awkwardness of hanving your hands free, does it fulfill a need (are they using what they are holding), are they carrying it because they don’t have another way to carry it?

List of things I’ve observed people carrying in their hands while walking:
*water-bottles
*coffee cups/disposable drinks
*laptops
*books
*cellphones
*sunglasses/hats
*IDs/creditcard shaped things
*food(containers or actual food)
*sneakers/extra shoes
*pens/pencils
*bags(laptopbags/messanger bags)
*boxes
*straws
*headphones
*keys
*extra t-shirts
*chargers/misc cables
*umbrellas
*wallets
*sweatshirts/jackets

50% of people I watched had their phones with them, even if they were not looking at them.
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