After a series of pilots using a wide range of research tools and techniques, the Living Crafts team came to the humble phone call as our main method of conducting research. Alongside the phone interviews, the team could engage with a few people who used WhatsApp, which they used to share photos and videos of their work spaces, tools and materials. Sometimes, it was the children who were eager to record and share, seeing as they were more comfortable with smartphones and apps. These asynchronous interactions were helpful for the team to make sense of and ‘put a visual to a complex series of processes’, which till now were explained verbally. The shared images also provided context to the illustrator to be able to accurately represent a craft.
In parallel, we also interviewed expert practitioners who helped us identify potential themes for further exploration. The team used these as starting points in a speculative design exercise, to reimagine the future ecosystems of craft.
At the end of the project, printed prototypes of these stories were created and taken to a few crafts persons to seek their feedback and opinion. Read here about what worked and what didn’t.