For the second iteration, we made more cardboards with words. We used the lyrics as a starting point and tried to add some connection words as well. We also put some negative words to see if people would make sentences out of the “imagine mood”.
We tried to draw the words as varied as possible, so that the previous ones would also fit into the group.
We went to Strawberry Fields a little sooner than before, around 12:45. There was more people by that time.
Another noticeable change to the system was a message asking for blood donors for the “Strawberry Fields Mayor”. It was facing the exact angle tourists used to take their pictures. We notice that they were taking pictures from a slightly different angle to avoid it.
We made two sentences in the same place: “Living for today” and “Sharing tomorrow with love”. After a while, people started to make their own sentences and taking pictures of it on the floor or holding the cardboards. Most of the people who interacted were female young tourists.
By that time we noticed that the system was working perfectly well on his own feedback.
More people led to more interaction.
After some, though, it stopped. People’s flow in the place is fast. They don’t stay there for a long time. Because of that, they tend to repeat what people were doing by the time they got there. Having few people seemed to reset the system.
Also, if the cardboards are arranged in a way that you already have too many sentences, people don’t feel like they are allowed to change it.
We left to have lunch.
When we got back, it didn’t seem to have significant changes.
We rearranged the words and put them closer to the circle. We also left a sentence inside of it (“all the people”).
Though some people took pictures inside of the circle with the sentence there, they didn’t interact with it. It didn’t last long there.
We felt that the intervention works better by itself, standing on the side of the circle. There are several reasons for that.
First, taking a picture of the memorial is the primary goal of the people that visit it. Even though some people may find interesting hold some kind of message, most just don’t want their picture spoiled by some words written in cardboards.
Second, it takes time to find the words and make a sentence. While in the center of the circle, most people just try to take their picture as fast as possible, so that the others don’t have to wait for a long time.
Third, the rules of the place are controversial for tourists. Some argue that you are not allowed to step on the circle, while some other lay down on it to take a picture. Adding another element to that increases the noise in the system.
At last, we had the impression that people are more in the mood for interact with something early in the afternoon. It seemed like people around 4 PM were just checking another place in a long list of must-visit spots and had no much time to stay there.
We think that we got the interaction we wanted so far. People took the words, made sentences, took pictures of it — and even talked to strangers asking them to take pictures of them. It turned out to be slightly different from the initial plan. At first, we wanted people to make sentences complementary to the “imagine” word inside of the circle. That didn’t happen, but it is working.
The system reset is still a little problem. We are going to try to add some more triggers to the system, like using different languages and hashtag symbols.