ParticiArt

A study on improving the livability of a city by increasing engagement for participatory art.

Team

  • Alex Hong, Dian Lee, Ming Lu, Xiaoyu Shi

My Role

Duration

  • Contacting interviewees

  • Guiding user research & synthesis process

  • Generating ideas and prototyping

9 weeks

Tools 

Zoom, MURAL, Figma

Process

  • Wall Walk & Problem Reframing | Contextual Inquiry | Affinity Diagram | Think-aloud Protocol | Speed Dating | Prototyping

Introduction

TOpic

goal

solution

Cooperated with our client Metro21, by setting public art as an entry point to improve the livability of a city, our team casts the eyes into participatory art which usually appears temporarily but helps shape people's impression on an object, topic, or area. 

In this project, we talked with participatory artists and the audience to understand how people are engaged in projects, and what are the opportunities to enhance engagement.

 

To increase people’s awareness of participation and call for actions, we proposed an app that leverages social networking to connect people with friends and art projects and emphasize individual contribution.

Definition

Public Art:

Public art is visually and physically accessible to the public - it is installed or staged in public space or the public realm, usually outside.

Participatory art:

Participatory art is an approach to making art which engages public participation in the creative process, letting them become co-authors, editors, and observers of the work.

Problem Scope

  • Lack of confidence:  

    • Need simple toolset and low participation threshold

  • Lack of a collaborative environment:  

    • Need to see other’s contributions, comments, and accompany.

  • Lack of understanding and empathy: 

    • Need accessible background information of the artwork / more connection with the artist

  • Lack of sense of achievement: 

    • Need a way of tracking and documenting for further sharing and review.

Methods

Walkthrough
  • Set scope & find research directions

  • Why this topic?

“If you go to a gallery or concert, you cannot touch or need to keep silence”

                                           —— Karen. L, Artist

  1.   Participatory artwork breaks the wall between artists and audiences.

  2.   Bring people with positiveness during this special pandemic time

  3.   Participatory public art as a way of expressing people's voices in public places, can show their values as well as get viewpoints from the city.

Contextual inquiry & Affinity Diagram

Research questions

Understand artwork creation process, people’s way of participation, feelings/impact.

Interviewees

  1. Two artists
  2. One pre governmental administration/Curator

  3. Two audience

During our process, we were able to conduct five semi-structured interviews with the public, artist, and an administrator of the public works department. The interviews gave much in-depth data of the different perspectives of public participatory art. With this data we were able to create an affinity diagram and generate valuable high-level insights.

2

Insights

1

Social environmental factors have a strong influence on people’s intentions to participate and level of engagement.

2

Participatory artwork can create a sense of connectedness for co-authors within a community.

3

The audience expects a lower threshold of the required skill set for easier participation.

Think-aloud Protocol

To learn more about the problem scope and its solution, we conducted Usability Think-Aloud studies on an existing participatory artwork website with different users.

We used THE JOHNNY CASH PROJECT an online crowdsourcing project which contains all of the features we expected: collaboration environment, enable participation, allow ratings and sharing. 
 

Insights

4

The simple toolset needs to be simple for a novice but also fits professionals' using habits.

5

Knowing the background of the artwork encourages the person more to participate.

6

6. A project with a clearer entry point and process can get more participation.

Summary

The project did verify some of our assumptions and provide more details.   

  • The audience expects a lower threshold of the required skill set for easier participation. 

  • They can be encouraged or discouraged by the ongoing experience: comfort and difficulty of participation

  • Social environmental factors have a strong influence on people’s intentions to participate and level of engagement.

  • Audiences tend to find other’s previous work as a reference to the position about demanded efforts and direction of creation. 

Speed Dating

In speed dating, we walked through all of our researches data and insights and summarized 4 needs.

  • Lack of confidence

    1. Need simple toolset and low participation threshold

    2. Insight 3,4,6

  • Lack of collaborative environment

    1. Need to see other’s contributions, comments, and accompany.

    2. Insight 1,2

  • Lack of understanding and empathy

    1. Need accessible background information of the artwork / more connection with the artist

    2. Insight 5

  • Lack of sense of achievement

    1. Need a way of tracking and documenting for further sharing and review.

    2. Insight 6

12 storyboards are drawn for speed dating to verify user's needs.

Revised design opportunities

  • Skill Set Matching  → Personalized recommendation through a survey

  • Collaboration, Sharing, and Reviews → discussion area for contributors under each project; community

  • Progress tracking → accessible extensive information and timeline for important events

  • Extensive background information on an individual page

  • Other inspirations:

    • Easy entry points 

    • Publicize art projects

    • Leverage the conformity effect

Solution

Based on the insights and verified needs we have, ParticiArt is designed as an engaging app for art lovers to discover opportunities, document participation, and build connections between public art co-creators.

Key features

  • Customized recommendations that based on personal preference and skillsets

  • Timeline for single projects in which annotates starting time, special events, you and your friends’ contribution

  • Collaborative environment by sharing and commenting on the individual contributions

  • Accessible extensive background information that allow users to learn more about each project

© 2020 Designed by Xiaoyu Shi with love ❤