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Methods - Cultural probes

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Cultural probes (or design probes) is a technique used to inspire ideas in a design process. It serves as a means of gathering inspirational data about people's lives, values and thoughts. The probes are small packages that can include any sort of artifact (like a map, postcard, camera or diary) along with evocative tasks, which are given to participants to allow them to record specific events, feelings or interactions. The aim is to elicit inspirational responses from people, in order to understand their culture, thoughts and values better, and thus stimulate designer's imaginations. (Gaver, W, Dunne, A., & Pacenti, E,. Design: Cultural probes, Interactions, Vol 6, Issue 1, Jan/Feb 1999)