Project Description

The course Constructive Design Research was an introduction into the research domain. Following the teachings of the book “Design research through practice: From the lab, field, and showroom”, three design teams approached the same topic from these three different perspectives; Lab, Field and Showroom. All group had the same topic, “Charity and Greed” within the context of vending machines. As part of the Field group, the approach focusses on going out into the field and observing the users within the context to try and understand their actions.

The group conducted an experiment in the setting of a coffee shop where the customer could pay a coffee for the next customer, who in turn could accept the free coffee and subsequently pay for the next or walk away. The experiment was conducted three times on separate days, each time with an adaptation of the experiment parameters. Qualitative observations in the form of interviews, camera recordings and researcher notes were analysed using the affinity diagram. The analysis brought forward that the pay-it-forward concept in the context of pending coffee can create an enhanced experience of giving and receiving while not spending extra money, that verbal interaction is of key influence in this setting and that social pressure can influence the participation in such a concept.

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