“What is the symbol of Chinatown?”
Our first effort to conduct design research through conversation and a Cultural Probe was a flop. Issues of personal privacy, language barriers, and most importantly, the concept of the image of self to others, hindered our ability to fully understand our audience. It was impractical for us to try and engage with older residents who were not fluent in English, so instead we focused on bridging the connection between residents and non-residents.
To engage with the younger generation in Chinatown, we held a creative workshop with the Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE). Students paired up and role-played as imaginary characters in a futuristic city, generating dialogue about their life. Despite the far-fetched setting, significant aspects of the writers’ identities still passed on: one character worried about financial security, and another’s family was “from another planet,” parallel to the immigrant experience in America.
person-to-person initiatives that would generate a more human experience.