The original proposal was very different from the final design direction. My original intention was to first create a cultural probe to gain initial user feedback, which would be then used to create an intervention object, which would in turn be used as the focus of a short film on the topic of urban isolation.
This started to change as I began to feel that my original design intention was following too rigidly the strictures laid down by Critical Design, particularly the work by Anthony Dunne. I was in the process of writing my dissertation, part of which was on the topic of critical design, and perhaps through sheer hours spent looking at critical design projects, I began bemoaning their almost counter intuition. In my view, critical design can only be of use to people and designers if it is an understandable realm. Making proposal that are vastly futuristic certainly makes the projects and designers look very clever, but are rarely useful in influencing contemporary design.
It was also clear the influence cultural probes were having on designers, with several people in my own year deciding to use them, even when standard interview or group feedback sessions may have been more appropriate or useful.
It seemed to me that the main reason for designer’s new found love of the cultural probe was that it was a more interesting method of gaining research, which in the past, had been collected using methods more linked to the world of psychology than design. The cultural probe method was created, why couldn’t I create my own method?
I thus decided to look into creating my own research method, and through this, the Dare you to… experiment was created.