Gunnar Bothner-By, CC-BY 2.0

The cultural probes method supports divergent thinking. It relies on playful and provocative tasks mediated by well- crafted items. First introduced by Gaver et al. (1999), cultural probes are physical packets consisting of various items, such as maps, disposable cameras and postcards. The items come with open- ended and provocative tasks for acquiring inspirational responses from a community of participants about their lives, thoughts and values. In its approach, the cultural probes method draws on situationist art practices such as psychogeography and dérive. It values uncertainty, play, exploration and subjective interpretation as ways of dealing with the limits of normative scientific approaches to knowing.

Continued on pages 52–53 of Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat.