Lab Journal

How long have you lived here?

July 07, 2010 by Daniel

Interviewing a person can be an awkward and scary procedure, or it can be an exciting way to get to know a person and their ideas towards a certain subject. It all depends on how both parties feel about the subject and the style of the interview.

Preparation is key. Not only do we have to be ready with questions we will certainly ask and some that we may or may not ask, we also have to be prepared for the interview to take some turns and allow it to kind of flow. The interview can simply be questions and answers where we decide every single detail said, or rather more of a discussion where the two parties can decide where the interview goes next. Through the whole process we must be noting what is being said and evaluating every note.

When we interviewed Evelyn for instance, we were ready with questions about her and the neighborhood she lived in, but after a few minutes we were bombarded with questions she had for us about why we were conducting these interviews and who we worked for. Of course, we were prepared, and so the interview continued.

Most of our interviews were not scheduled.  We would sit in the lobby of the SRO building and wait for a tenant to come or leave the building so we can ask them some questions.  Most of the tenants were hesitant to talk to us because we were strangers to them. It was hard for us to have people participate in our interviews and even harder to take their photograph. However, the few people that we did interview provided us with some key information. 

Here at Shadelab we found it fun to meet new people and be introduced to their ideas and beliefs. It was interesting to learn that some people enjoyed answering questions about themselves and their ideas of their neighborhood.

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