Tag Archives: observation

Physical Traces


Paper towel in club bathroom, Los Angeles, CA


Curbside trash, Palo Alto, CA

The future of multitasking?

I recently observed this man walking along a San Francisco sidewalk while lifting a dumbell. He was doing reps, alternating sides, just like one would do in a gym.

If people’s general level of busyness continues to increase, will sights like this be more common? What else will people start to do while moving between points? What will the culture accept and what will it reject?

At close range

We passed our local fire department doing drills the other day when we were out walking our dog.

They had their hoses laid out on the ground, and were practicing reacting to the intense pressure that shoots through the system when the water gets turned on. I’d never really thought before about how much energy runs through a fire hose; how easy it is for an incomplete coupling to separate, how if the hose isn’t held down, it becomes a wild uncontrolled force.

There are so many aspects like this to every job – every task and activity people do – things you wouldn’t think to think about until you see it in context.

So get out there – do research. No matter how good your imagination is, you’ll never match the detail you get from actually being there.