Responsive Environments Blog
23.01.2020 – On Tuesday we were given a run down of the assessments and the requirements for this module, one of which is to keep a blog of our thoughts, progress and works that we find inspiring along the way. I’m feeling positive about Responsive Environments so far, I think it will give me an interesting perspective on places that usually seem mundane and simple.
I have given some thought to which place I will conduct my observations and at the minute I am looking at Lanark Loch. It’s about a 20-minute drive from my home and I’ve been there a couple of times before, I imagine that I might find lots of dog walkers, perhaps a few fisherman and children playing there. As part of the requirements for the observation I have to get rid of these preconceptions and go in with a totally open mind. I am planning to go on Sunday (26.01.2020) for an hour at some point in the afternoon.
26.01.2020 – Today was my first visit to the loch. I went at 1pm, I chose to sit on a bench which over looks the loch, to the right there is the pub/restaurant and on my left is a play park. Along the path in front of my spot there are a few interactive pieces for children, including some kind of trick mirror. There’s also a train just down the hill in front of the bench, which I’m assuming children can play on. As well as some swings. It was a cold day, but the loch was still fairly busy. Probably because it was a Sunday morning. There were several dog walkers who passed frequently, nothing much to note about their activity. The park was used twice across the hour I was there, with a mother and two young boys spending about 15 minutes running around and playing on the flying fox. Later on, another family stopped as they passed to let the children quickly run around for a shot on some of the features. An elderly gentleman sat on a bench next to water and fed the ducks some bread. He sat for quite some time before moving on. Most people seemed to spend about 30 minutes walking round the loch and then leaving. I decided to conduct an interview as well and see how it would go. For the interviews I have uploaded the consent form onto a tablet to allow the participants to sign the form using their finger. This will save having to print and scan and as I do not have easy access to a printer. I have attached a picture to demonstrate, I did have to edit the picture to make the screen visible as it was fairly bright outside and so the screen didn’t show up on my camera.
10.02.2020 – This post will be detailing a visit last Thursday (06.02.2020) I completed an observation from 3:30pm-4:30pm. The loch was very quiet, with most of the people arriving to walk round with their dog and then head off. The other main feature used was the pub/restaurant which had people coming and going regularly but not many stopped to walk around the loch. A young couple went for a wander round and took some pictures as they went. As well there was a few dog walkers. And one family with their young child went for a walk round and played on the swings briefly. The weather wasn’t very nice and could be why it was so quiet. I conducted my second interview again using the tablet to get the consent form and recording the conversation on my phone I will transcribe it at a later date.
18.02.2020 – I have not conducted an observation this week, I instead plan to go next week at some point. I wanted to make a quick entry to detail an interesting idea. In my Sound Design class one of my classmates was discussing his project for the class. This was going to involve designing an audio-based tour for museums which would heighten interaction and not just be linear audio but react based on the user’s actions. I suggested perhaps including some kind of treasure hunt for children that involved the exhibits could be interesting and it got me thinking about ways to improve the loch. I’ll come back to this thought.
29.02.2020 – I went to Lanark Loch for an observation on Friday afternoon at 1:10pm. It was windy and the weather was miserable, rain, sleet and a little snow. This meant that the place was pretty quiet, most people arrived and headed for the restaurant on the right of where I sat. The play park was not used, and a couple of people went around the loch, a runner, a few dog walkers and some people with someone in a wheelchair who stopped to look at the swans. There was very little activity which could have been put down the weather. I’ll try and get there when on a good day for weather going forward. I decided not to do an interview as the weather was so bad stopping people seemed like a bad idea.
04.03.2020 – I plan to do an observation on Saturday afternoon. I’ve been thinking about public places and how we interact with them and realised that another one of my modules tie in with this idea. At the minute I am part of a team developing a VR version of Jupiter Artland. It’s an interesting thought that people who can’t get somewhere can still experience it in one form. I have considered an angle like this for the Loch but have struggled to come up with anything really meaningful as of yet.
07.03.2020 – I observed the loch again today at 3pm to 4pm and conducted my final interview. The loch was probably the busiest it has been while I’ve been doing the observations. The play park was in full use the entire time with children coming and going. Numerous dog walkers, runners and people just out for a walk wandered round the loch. Many children stopped to interact with the mirror in front of where I sat, although they quickly moved along, I think it was too dirty to see in. Both car parks were near enough full, and it was amazing to see the loch in full swing. I was surprised by how many people there was and just how much was happening. Plenty of people were feeding the ducks and swans. One dog even jumped into the loch, much to the owner’s annoyance. My third and final interview was also concluded today. I’ll have to look back on the interviews, but they seem to have given fairly similar outcomes and not anything too insightful. I plan to next visit the loch on a weekday morning if possible, to try and get another perspective.
17.03.2020 – We were today informed to cease all further visits due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. Luckily, I have completed my interviews, but I am disappointed not to get the further perspective on the loch I was hoping for. I hope that I have gathered enough information so far to make the report as informative as possible.