Although I didn’t make it to the webinar, the Crazy 8’s exercise was quite helpful in getting down the vague ideas that have been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now. The question I began with was ‘What Outcomes will allow users to engage with their surroundings?”. I picked this because I know my question, and I’m beginning to get to grips with visual ideas, but I am still having trouble coming up with things to apply visuals to.
The first thing that popped into my head was to use social media platforms. These have their place, but I don’t think they should be a primary outcome. Posts on Instagram will reach people sitting on their sofa and mindlessly scrolling, but I don’t think this will encourage many people to go outside. Second was an app, but I am very sure that an app isn’t appropriate. I want users to put their phones away, rather than engage with them even more. Next were the cards (I keep coming back to this idea, I think because there are so many possibilities here).
After that things got more interesting I think. I had a couple of ideas about publications and what format they could take. I have been documenting some walks and I would like to make a small zine (or something similar) about each one, maybe with instructions for recreating it for the reader.
I also considered a journal/workbook. Similar to How to be an Explorer of the World, or maybe with specific themes or activities on specific dates, it could provide activities to change the user’s perceptions etc.
The last thing I drew was an email newsletter which surprised me a little. Artist Anna Brones does a monthly newsletter called Creative Fuel which contains prompts and inspiration to encourage readers to be more creative. Perhaps there’s an option to do something similar here. I’m not the biggest fan of screen-based outcomes but this would be something you read and then put away, rather than an app that keeps your phone glued to your hand for the whole walk.
During the second part of the exercise, I chose to drill down into publication ideas. However, what I ended up doing was coming up with a series of themes and concepts that could be zines, newsletters or something else entirely. It was quite helpful to group lots of things I’d been thinking about into explicit themes.
So… what next?
Well my tasks this week are:
- Start coming up with a brand/name. Maybe some kind of statement about the work I want to do, to help keep me on track
- Make some posts/posters/general imagery to start combining images and text and use some of the research I have been gathering.
- Upload some of the visual experiments I have already done to my blog
- More walks, experiments and documentation