Abstract

Observational field work is an essential part of design research. In this paper we introduce a new method for design research called Immersive Behavioural Observation (IBO). We developed the IBO method in order to analyse meaningful bodily relations to our environment, particularly in transit spaces. Human beings constantly interact with their environment and are often unconsciously guided by their surroundings. The IBO method aims to understand relations that point to a background structure embedded in space which shapes the human interaction in it. The method makes explicit an implicit, tacit knowledge that is part of our practical and purpose driven understanding of and within a place. The IBO method has its foundations in anthropological field research methods like participant and direct observation. It is also deeply influenced by phenomenology, especially Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of the lived body experience and Martin Heidegger’s analysis of a functional environment or “totality of involvements.”

Keywords:

embodied observation; phenomenology; lived body experience; transit space

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM

The method of Immersive Behavioural Observation (IBO) — a conversation between theory and practice

Observational field work is an essential part of design research. In this paper we introduce a new method for design research called Immersive Behavioural Observation (IBO). We developed the IBO method in order to analyse meaningful bodily relations to our environment, particularly in transit spaces. Human beings constantly interact with their environment and are often unconsciously guided by their surroundings. The IBO method aims to understand relations that point to a background structure embedded in space which shapes the human interaction in it. The method makes explicit an implicit, tacit knowledge that is part of our practical and purpose driven understanding of and within a place. The IBO method has its foundations in anthropological field research methods like participant and direct observation. It is also deeply influenced by phenomenology, especially Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of the lived body experience and Martin Heidegger’s analysis of a functional environment or “totality of involvements.”

 

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