ethnography: sarah lee

pw: sarahlee

I didn’t know which direction to take this project in the very beginning when we were assigned to our partners and that confusion went for quite a while until I just decided to roll with it and see where it took me. (deadlines play a big role) So the project began with a casual sit-down chat with Sarah. I asked a series of general questions that gave me a background to how she came to arrive as a person she is today. From that, I learned some basic facts about her life, like different countries she’s lived in, her cultural background, and where she defines herself in all the different cultures she’s been exposed to. Also, not only was I able to learn some facts but I was also able to get a sense of her personality through the way she talked and the way she presented herself in a casual environment.

My observations from this conversation led me to a somewhat clear direction as to where to take the next interview step. For the ‘official’ recorded interview, I asked specific questions that could narrow down my focus on a specific aspect of her interests. Since I knew that we all had a common interest in graphic design, I decided to focus on her personal connections to it and what she is most interested in the field. By doing so, I decided to focus on her main interest identity design to begin and to weave in the narrative. As to the process of gathering footage, I really wanted to focus on having the visuals enhance the story she tells through her voice. The focus was to capture her in the most natural setting that is in a typical day of her usual life.

Some of the challenges I faced during the process was the fact that I had to balance my curation and artistic direction with the most true and raw portrayal of my partner. I constantly had to check myself to not distort the subject I am portraying in making editing decisions yet not lose my perspective as the director. But all in all, I think it was a really beneficial experience to work with elements that I cannot have total control of. The challenge provided me with an opportunity to think in both perspectives and consider elements that I usually never think about during my design process.



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