For this project, We were tasked with exploring chance as a methodology. I worked on this project with 2 other team members: Sarah and Evan. The first phase was to research, write, and develop a presentation on five designers / movements that were selected via chance. This gave us a clear understanding of how chance can influence design solutions.
The next phase was to select 12 different physical locations of our choosing. We then developed a chance method to select 4 of the 12 locations. We chose the locations by putting them all in a hat and drawing 4. We drew The Majestic Theater, The Old Theater, The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and The Dequindre Cut. (All locations in Detroit). We then visited the 4 locations and took photos and videos. We used chance in this phase by not looking through the viewfinder of the camera. We also documented the experience through writing, and physical objects we took from the locations. With all the information we gathered, we created an affinity diagram (shown below).
The 3 of us noticed a recurring theme throughout our locations in Detroit of things left behind. We decided we wanted to tell a story with these things. One of the main things people left behind was trash. At one of our locations, The Old Theatre, we found things like books, bottles, and other trash left behind. We realized that there was an abundance of liquor bottles left behind all over the city, not just The Old Theater. Our idea was to create something positive with the bottles we found everywhere. From there, Bottled Up was created!
Sarah, Evan, and I went back out into the city and found and collected tons of bottles. We took them home, and cleaned them all in a tub. After seeing all of the bottles together, we came up with a message in a bottle idea. We thought, why not go back out into the city with these cleaned bottles, and fill them with the confessions, memories, wishes, prayers, & thoughts of people from Detroit. We designed a label for people to fill out and put one on every bottle.
A good place to collect our messages was Greektown, because it's such a high traffic area in Detroit. We carried a card table and a plastic tub with all our bottles to a corner on a busy sidewalk, and set up! We had a different colored neon sheet for each of the following: confessions, memories, wishes, prayers, & thoughts. People chose a sheet, wrote their message, rolled it up, put it in a bottle of their choosing, and sealed it with a cork. They then filled out the label on the bottle. We also gave everyone a flier with information on the project.
As soon as we set up, people starting coming to our table to hear our story, and contribute their messages. We were overwhelmed with the response we got.
After gathering messages at Greektown all day, we ran out of bottles. We had such an amazing response that we went back out into the city and collected more bottles that night. The next day we gathered messages from staff at the Alfred Taubman building, and students and faculty from the College for Creative Studies.
Thanks for Looking!