CMNS 354 week 7 Lecture

cultural probes.

Why is this approach worthwhile? The results of research should help you relate to the real world. Research is often about constructing categories, concepts. We then use these categories to make statements, suggestions, inferences about the real world. But once these are released on the real world, they can have issues in practice, or when data does not fit into structures we have created. Ex// feeling that one does not fit into social categories. or entering “N/A”

Adorno and Horkheimer: (The culture industry: enlightenment as mass deception)

Values, Ethics, Cultures, exist even in environments of “pure” scientific research. When we conduct research we follow scientific processes.

Reliability: Dependency, consistency of measurable variable. ex// metric measurement.

Validity: ‘truth’ value, proper use of procedures, the ability of someone else following the same procedures to get the same results, and the ability of that other person to view those results as something that accurately reflects reality.

Residual category: things that do not fit into your research categories.

Data visualization: ex/ the counted website by the guardian


Probes: not worried about reliability and validity. They merely should do two things: generate some level of engagement and provide interesting responses.

Lecture Exercise: 354 Libs

At _________ it is ____________ and ___________ outside. You open the door to your appartment in

time of day              adjective          adj

_____________. You look around for your ____________ found it wasn’t there anymore. You follow

place                                                            noun

the trail of _____________ to  ______________. ____reaction_________! If only I had ________,

csi-related clue      area of your house you are ashamed of.                 past tense verb

____________ would still be here.


IMG_2524 IMG_2525


3/5 Q. closed book exam. 500 words each, essay format.

1 –  Why should we take culture seriously in an age of innovation? Support your
answer by drawing from concepts and examples presented in the course.
2 – Harvey Molotch uses the toaster as an example of what he calls a “lash-up”.
Define this concept and, using an example related to media and communication, explain why it can be used to provide insights into how “stuff” is designed.
3 – Choose an original example of a “dead medium” and explain what insights one
can draw from this dead medium in order to gain a better understanding of a
contemporary medium (media) today. (MIXTAPE VS YOUTUBE PLAYLIST)
4 – What are the key aspects of an ethnography of infrastructure and how can it
contribute to a better understanding of media design?
5 – In what ways can an understanding of cultures of design and design discourse
help us understand design situations and design problems?

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