21st Century Designer; Assignment 4b

For Assignment 4b, I had to conduct interviews with people I wasn’t familiar with and to be honest I felt quite awkward to begin with. The question I had chosen to go with was, “What object do people treasure the most and why?”. I felt that this would be quite an interesting question to study and thought I would get quite interesting answers. I employed the Service Design Tool of sketching, thinking that this would make the interview more of a discussion. My interviews were ‘semi-structured’, meaning I had an idea of the questions I wanted to ask but let the conversation lead naturally to them rather than forcing the questions upon my interviewees. So, to begin I asked each person to quickly sketch an object that meant a lot to them and from this sketch I asked them questions about it.

Interview One:

interview 1Female, 20 years old, student.

After asking her to draw an important object I began my interview;

1.Why is the object important to you?

Was given the teddy when she was a young girl (around 19/20 years ago) and it has always been a part of her life.

2. Did you take it everywhere with you?

She was never seen without it and when she was little, she took it on family holidays and outings.

3. Was it someone important who gave it to you? Was it for a birthday of Christmas?

The person who had given it to her was very important to her at the time. Although that has now changed as she’s gotten older. It was just a gift for the sake of giving a gift.

4.Where do you keep this object?

She keeps it on a shelf in her bedroom, however it was on her bed in her younger years.

She also informed me as we were talking that once her mother had taken it and put it in the washing machine to wash and she had been heartbroken because it didn’t seem like the same teddy anymore. It seemed brand new and it was as if she didn’t have any familiarity with it any longer.

5. Are you quite a sentimental person?

She saves quite a lot of things that hold memories of events and keeps tickets etc on a pin board and she also has a box to store different sentimental items, including Christmas cars from her brother.

Interview Two:

interview 2Male, 19 years old, student.

After asking him to draw an important object I began my interview;

1.Why is the object important to you?

It used to belong to his mother and then she passed it on to him.

2. Did she get it from a family member? Was it passed through different generations?

His uncle (mother’s brother) gave it to her as a gift when she was 9.

3. What age were you when she passed it to you?

He was given the pendant years ago, but the chain had went missing so he was unable to wear it and didn’t have a replacement chain for it. But two years ago his gran found the chain and from then he’s wore it almost everyday.

4. Was it a birthday or Christmas present?

It was neither, she just gave it him one day.

5. Are you quite a sentimental person?

He’s both a sentimental and materials type of person. He likes having things that brings memories and has kept all the ticket stubs, seat reserve number and postcards from his trip to London last year. But he also likes the idea of material items and owning limited editions of clothing etc that will only be available for a short amount of time.

Interview Three:

interview 3Female, 21 years old, student.

After asking her to draw an important object I began my interview;

1.Why is the object important to you?

The ring was a gift from her parents whilst they were on holiday in July 2007 (in Jersey).

2. Is it important because of the sentimental value or the price of the object?

A bit of both. The ring is sentimental as it holds memories of the holiday and the wedding they were there for (she was bridesmaid for her aunty). But it was also expensive (almost £100) which means that she has always taken special care of it.

3. Do you wear it everyday?

She wears it every single day and feels lost if she forgets to put it on.

4. Are you quite a sentimental person?

She keeps a lot of objects that bring sentimental value and finds them really important as whenever she looks at them, she can relate a memory to that specific item. She also feels that losing sentimental items hurts more than if it were just an expensive item as, not only are you losing the item but a link to the memories that item brought about.

Interview Four:

interview 4Female, 53 years old, nurse.

After asking her to draw an important object I began my interview;

1.Why is the object important to you?

It is a box of her first child’s ‘firsts’. So, within the box it holds her daughter’s very first pair of shoes, first tooth, first lock of hair, first piece of jewellery (identity bracelets from the hospital after she was born and a cut out from a newspaper that announced the birth.

2. Where do you keep this object?

She stores it in her wardrobe, but still brings it out every now and then to have a look through the items, reliving the memories of having her first and only child.

3. Is there any sentimental value for the box that you keep the items in?

The box she stores the items in is from a perfume collection and when the perfume was finished she kept the box because it was so nice and thought it would  be a great way to store the items that would keep them safe.

4. Are you quite a sentimental person?

Only slightly, more when it comes to objects concerning her daughter. So, other that the box, she also has cards that her daughter made her and every single report card that she has brought home.

Interview Five:

interview 5Male, 54 years old, quality engineer.

After asking him to draw an important object I began my interview;

1.Why is the object important to you?

He has always been a big fan of golf and getting the chance to go to the Open Championship is a rare treat, so saving the programs from the events he attends means that he always has something to remind him of the trips.

2. How old were you when you went to your first Championship?

He was 23 when he first attended an Open and was there with a friend from work.

3. Have you tried to attend every one?

He only gets the chance to attend Championships that are held in Scotland or the North of England as sometimes they are just too far away. So it’s more special when he does get a chance to go and takes advantage of the full day. he also prefers to go on the opening day and watching the very first tee off which opens the whole competition. And going during the opening rounds means he gets a chance to see older players who aren’t likely to make it to the latter stages.

4. Apart from the programs, is there anything else you save from these days at the competition?

He has also saved ticket stubs and stores them within the relating program. There was also one year that they had limited edition £5 notes printed with golfer Jack Nicklaus and he has two saved and will probably never spend them.

5. Are you quite a sentimental person?

He isn’t particularly sentimental and his golf programs are the only things that he has collected over the years.

From these interviews that I carried out, it is clear that sentimentality is an important factor within what objects are most treasured by each person.

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