Sojournposse Purpose: R&DTuesday, September 6th, 2011 | Author: Sojournposse Editor
What is Sojournposse Purpose R&D?
Sojournposse Purpose R&D utilises our knowledge in Digital Anthropology and Design to develop ideas towards the development of a product and digital application that can improve your life. Our ideas are also informed by the artifacts that we observe, either at design shows, work settings or in day-to-day life.
So what do we do with this ‘Digital Anthropology’ and ‘Design’ insight?
We communicate these ideas via our events, such as the London Design Festival workshops and seminars, via multimedia courses we organise and via the contents produced by Sojournposse Multimedia. We collaborate with corporations, NGOs as well as academia in our R&D, and aim to highlight a new technology that is not yet on the ‘cool’ radar at our events. Check out the media campaigns we did to highlight our R&D projects, Sojournposse Purpose
We then aim to make the objects based on the ideas we discuss and discover at our events. And see if they work. And hope we can have fun while doing them.
People socialise around objects. By helping to create a well-researched artifact or application, we hope to change the way we do things for the better.
So what have we discovered?
Quite a few things relating to digital applications. And they are not necessarily the coolest, most hi-tech applications, too. To see photos of the artifacts we have observed, as well as several involved in our research, go to our London Design Festival profile page.
★ 2009-2011 – The use of emails in communicating safety concerns in a neighbourhood watch project in South London. This two-year research looks at how trust and goodwill, as well as effective community policing can be achieved by the community and the local authorities using the simplest means of digital communications, the email. A first-time research of this type of the email done by an anthropologist. It is partly inspired by Hedberg’s proposal (2011) that the success of an application is not down to the sophistication of the application but rather, on what the community wants to achieve with it. The research began way before the riots happened in August 2011. The research examines the various strategies used by the community and the local authorities in negotiating successful tactics to be deployed against antisocial behaviours (ASB). It shows that this modest mode of communication – the email – helps significantly in improving the relationship between the police and the local communities.
★ 2010-2011 – Courtship strategies using Apple dating apps on iPad and iPhone. In this study, I suggested that the “play” element of the 18 dating and intimate apps examined including Grindr is a tactic that fits the “kiddult” phenomenon in the West, where the passage to adulthood marked by marriage and childbearing is significantly delayed due to socioeconomic reasons. What started as a trip to Erotica in 2009 became a research on “intimate play” apps (Baxter, 1992), based on Sutton-Smith’s theory on kissing games (1959) and Vanderbleek’s proposal (2005) that “couple play” is a predictor of couple bonding. And here is our blog on a board game that helped us form our theory, “Monogamy”.
★ 2011 - The use of cognitive behaviour therapy (CCBT) apps and the internet as adjunct for psychiatric treatment in ‘lonely migrant workers’. This Medical Anthropology research looks at the pros and cons of digital devices including hardware and software that are proposed as psychiatric adjunct for “loneliness intervention strategy”. I also used this the findings of this project to assist former colleagues at Informa Healthcare who are currently developing an app for schizophrenic drugs guide for pyschiatrists to consult while administering medication to mental health patients. This project was done in association with mental hospitals across the United Kingdom. I wrote this piece while doing the research on the CCBT apps.
★ 2010-2011 – The use of aesthetics as a distancing device in medical device prototypes and software applications which enables patients to cope with trauma. Based in Scheff’s work on catharsis (1979), this topic was explored at the London Design Festival event Aesthetics as a means to heal at University College London featuring 3G Doctor, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Medicins Sans Frontieres, David White and Being In Rhythm.
★ 2010 – The use of PDAs in healthcare and clinical settings. Research based on our review on the likeliest applications and radio spectrums to be used for mobile health for a paper in support a workshop organised by Informa Telecoms and Media event, “How to build a sports hospital for the Olympics 2012″, a workshop at Canary Wharf hosted by Barclays Healthcare. The talk was given by Kevin Gavanagh, the inventor of the telephone banking.
★ 2010 – Digital media training through situated learning using social media applications. The British Council’s New Silk Road Programme in Uzbekistan (Central Asia). At this point, we put our hypothesis on situated learning into practice at this event.
★ 2009 – 3D printing, or rapid prototyping, as a disruptive technology, and its potential impact on the future digital labour landscape. This research looks at the use of YouTube as the unlikeliest source of knowledge transfer for CAD workers and rapid prototypers to learn about 3D printing, proving that situated learning – informal and not conveyed via written instructions or at higher education level – within the work settings is crucial in knowledge acquisition of ‘craftmanship’. The workers observed for this research works as modellers in architecture, product design and medical device development. It ended up as a topic Sojournposse talked about in proposing our theory on a “cooperative model” for media workers at the Digital Storytelling 2010 conference at the London South Bank University. This work on 3D printing and CAD workers were informed by our 2009 East Meets West multimedia commission for Nissan Design Europe, part of the promotion for Nissan’s electric car. The talks given by anthropologists and innovators at the launch, as well as the 3D prototypes of cars that we saw at their studio in Paddington, London, inspired us to explore the sociality around the rapid prototyping technology.