Week 11 City as Site Part 2

Jan 07, 2020

This week I spent most of my time to interview people. Based on the interviews so far, I was able to temporarily validate my hypothesis that people have trouble with their lunch experience at IDM (see details below). My memo is uploaded here.

Next week, I will keep on doing interview and also make a list of things to do (including budget to propose so that hopefully I can get funding from IDM) to organize a lunch event after thanksgiving holiday.


(Inside parentheses is the method number in the book)

Stakeholder Map (Method 80)

I made an initial stakeholder map. From this and my previous observation in 370 Jay St project, I identified that students and faculties are the prime users for IDM kitchen area.

Interview (Method 48)

I chose an interview for my research method because it is a fundamental research method and the easiest to start with for me. As identified above, I focused on interviewing students and faculties.

This week I was able to interview 12 people (1 faculty, 1 staff, 10 students). Each interview took about 10 mins and all the interview were recorded with permission (Otter is a great app to record and generate notes from interview). I also use my laptop to take memo while interviewing. I, to be honest, am not sure if this seems impolite for certain people, but I decided to do so because I have some kind of close relationship to the interviewees (I mean they are not completely strangers to me) and also I assume they are open to this way of interviewing.

This interview is to understand interviewee's lunch experience at IDM and to validate my hypothesis that they sometimes skip lunch and/or concerned about health and they want opportunities to eat healthier food.

Here are my interview questions:

  1. Status (Grad/Undergrad/Faculty)
  2. Gender
  3. Ethnicity
  4. How long have you been working/studying at IDM?
  5. How often do you come to IDM during lunch time in a week?
  6. What do you eat for lunch and how often? (cook by themselves, or name the restaurants/places)
  7. If eat outside/takeout for lunch, how much do you spend for that?
  8. Why do you choose that? (Why not cook by yourself and bring lunch/going out/take out?)
  9. Who do you eat with?
  10. How much time do you spend for your lunch?
  11. How do you feel about current food experience? (health/taste/convenience/budget/etc)

Questions 1-4 are for general information and 5-11 are for lunch information. (Not sure if succeeded but) I tried to make the interview flow as fluent as possible. Here, the information I wanted the most was Question 11 so I put this question at last. Also, Question 6 is the second most important question.

Here are the main results I got:

  • 5 out 12 explicitly feel unsatisfied with their current food experience at IDM and all of them mentioned about health.
  • 8 out of 12 regularly eat out/take when having lunch at IDM. 4 people go out/take out food for lunch every time. Other 4 people go out/take out food for lunch for more than 50% of times.
  • People spend about $10 when going out/takeout for lunch around IDM.
  • They concerned about health/money/time and try to keep a balance.

Interview logs are uploaded here. Some information are made blank for privacy. I will keep interviewing more people next week.

Prototyping (Method 66)

I am not sure if I can put this as Prototyping method, but I want to try to have a lunch event (my initial hypothetical solution) and see how it goes. Based on the interviews so far, there definitely are people who have problems with their lunch experience but do not have solutions. Since there are only 5 weeks for this project and my hypothetical solution is easy to test, why not try it out?

I have not prepared anything yet but I am planning to have the 1st lunch event after Thanksgiving holiday.

Collaboration with others

Bo, Saki and I decided to share information because there are some overlaps for our projects. It is beneficial that we can work on different methods and we can compare/gain information from different points of view even when we conduct the same methods.


I am going to form a student group to improve kitchen usage. The other day I found many cups/plates left in the lounge area and it made me think that somebody have to be in charge to improve this situation. I also found dish washer works perfectly so if used effectively the labor of washing dishes improves drastically. I need to think if I can combine kitchen usage and lunch event, or they should be separated as different topics.


Week 12 City as Site Part 3

Week 10 City as Site Part 1