For this week, our team (Parks & Res!!) attempted to IMMERSE in our project through two different means: Research about the park and making a site visit for interviews. We built a fancy template for on-site interviews, and in two different groups (Beril & David and Aitash, Viney & Kate) went out to Hermann park to not only interact with park-goers but the park itself.
The Problem space we examined on that day was the park itself (obviously), but more specifically popular hubs such as the reflection pool, the pond, the outdoor theatre and so on. Early on in the interviews, we could identify that some of the organizations involved in our problem space was the Houston Zoo, Natural Science Museum and obviously, Hermann Park Conservancy.
People were a lot less friendlier than we had expected. Previously for past projects, most interviews for the IMMERSE process was done towards a specific target group who were more likely to be interested in the project and therefore more open to helping out. But for our project, we had to go out an interview complete strangers going about their day, which most likely was the reason for the lack of responses. However, we did get enough to be able to draw some insights from.
- A sustainable park is a park that’s made to preserve natural resources and promote quality of life for the people around it”
- one where the natural resources are protected, where wildlife habitat is improved and where human uses and maintenance practices do not harm the environment.
- Public engagement is very important for sustainability
- Resilience is where community parks in any situation, the environment can resist damage and recover quickly- keeping the park running at all times
- Insurance plan in many ways
- Sustainability and Resilience complement each other
- Museums// Hermann Park relationship strong
- School Field trip lunch breaks
- Miller Outdoor and Jones Reflection park are the hot spot for activity
- Some people (old couple) go regularly, but know nothing about the park’s upkeep or maintenance
With these insights we came up with our average park-goer’s profile
- Name: Larry Loaded
- Visits the park frequently (once every 2 weeks)
- Doesn’t actually know anything about the park, but appreciates it
- Walks his pugs
- Interested in history, not interested in current effort. Generally indifferent
- Sustainability is expensive
- Goes to some events, such as the miller outdoor theatre, and the Japanese festival, does not interact with park in other ways, including donating, volunteering, etc.
Our next step is to have the long-awaited meeting with our client, Hermann Park Conservancy, and use insights from that meeting and our IMMERSE process to move on to the next step in the design process.