People are often unaware of how they behave, unconscious of what influences their behaviour, and unable able to articulate subtle but important behavioural traits. To this end market research involving surveys, questionnaires or interviews is restrictive for gaining a clearer insight on our ways of living. Traditional ethnographic practice offers alternative methods for collecting information, such as extending time in the field, developing ‘face-to-face’ trust relations and generating a depth of understanding through long-term engagement with subjects; the people supplying information about themselves and their lives.
However, gathering more informative data on patterns of behaviour in the domestic realm (in order to use material in the design process) brings with it issues of privacy, ethics and legitimacy. More practical problems include such as the timing and duration of access, the intrusion of recording observations, facilitating discretion and the orchestration of events in a participant home.
The lengthy time required is not usually feasible for clients, so we tap into our own research on behaviour, and conduct shorter studies that expand on core areas of our work as required for each project.
Kwokka research and development includes exploration of the connective web between groups of participants in relation to home-making practices, together with the transfer of skills, purchasing influence, rituals, advice, time, and material objects between individuals.