Eliciting multiple stakeholder narratives is a critical factor when designing systems, services or products. This research explores how the use of an analog tool (the picture postcard) in the digital age can be used to elicit socio-cultural stories to support design for ‘social practice’. The process combines people and things by using a participatory design approach and material culture studies to design, explore and analyze the complex nature of interactions between social ideals and the artefact.
The study emphasizes ‘slow immersion and design’ by creating prolonged interactions that allow people to sit with someone else’s perspective while also introspecting about their own. In an age of echo-chambers, the research examines the impact of reducing the risk of fragmentation (where people assign themselves into homogenous groups leading to an amplification of pre-existing views (Sunstein, 2001)) on participants’ ability to generate and sustain a healthy exchange of honest, social narratives.
The research findings reveal a deep bonding between participants and a reduction of implicit biases that initiates a broader range of discussions within a given socio-cultural topic. The space for ‘elastic interaction’ (articulation of ideas without fear of judgment; when and how they want it to be expressed) allows honest thoughts to manifest. The findings also reveal that this process slowly allows for an empathetic acceptance of another’s perspectives.
The poster illustrates the research through these various approaches: the process of slow immersion and design research with a combination of postcard exchanges, one-on-one interviews and participatory design research activities to help elicit the stories for a sociocultural co-design space.