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Blog post 2/24


This past week, we continued to gain information about water consumption, this time focusing specifically on Rice’s own water usage. Allison conducted an excellent interview with Rice sustainability director Richard Johnson and compiled many insights for us to use as inspiration regarding specific water usage data at Rice, including that Rice uses a quarter of a billion gallons of water every year! Furthermore, Rice gets water through 3 different meters: domestic, irrigation, and emergency, and some of them have more narrowed down meters across campus, which could supply specific data for us to use in our display. Additionally, Mr. Johnson has access to the past 10 years of Rice water consumption data and displays a strong interest in being involved in our project, so he will certainly be a valuable resource as we move forward!

User Personas and How Can We

Since we do not have a specific user for this project that we can interview, we instead created 2 user profiles for hypothetical visitors to the solar studios. Our two users are a student named Tim and an upper level administrator named Lola Diaz.

Tim: (Average) Student

Most important factors:

  • Freshman – this means he may be more likely to change his habits than an upperclassman.
  • From California – he is more conscious of water consumption than some others because he has experienced drought.
  • Minimal art background – he is skeptical of contemporary art but could be swayed by something visually compelling.

Lola Diaz: Administrator

Most important factors:

  • Doesn’t live on campus – she contributes less to Rice water consumption than Tim
  • Knows more about things that are going on behind the scenes, has more influence than Tim
  • Actually has to pay a water bill – more cognizant that water is not unlimited (this still doesn’t encompass the majority of her less obvious “water footprint”)

Based on these user personas, we generated two potential How Can We statements.

  1. How can we help Average Tim become more reflective about water consumption in the servery?
  2. How can we empower Sustainable Tim to engage in productive discussions about water consumption at Rice?

Measures of Success and Design Goals

According to Solar Studios director Lina Dib, our installation is successful if it functions, is public, and is seen. Our own personal measures of success include having a certain (undetermined) number of visitors, visitors reporting feeling impacted or being more aware of their consumption habits after visiting our instillation, other Rice students or local artists using our work as inspiration, and having Lina Dib decide to keep our instillation up in the Solar Studios. Currently, our minimum design goals are that our instillation is inclusive, known about, and impacting at least one person to make a positive change.

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