Contextual Inquiry at the H.O.P.E Farmer's Market

Cheyenne and I did our first contextual inquiry this past Sunday at the H.O.P.E. Farmer’s Market. After reviewing our video footage, I feel it’s safe to say that we are the Batman and Robin equivalent of contextual interviewers (I am Batman, in case you were wondering).

In all seriousness, it was a great experience for both of us, and a big shout out to the folks at Johnson’s Backyard Garden who were gracious enough to let us film them for a few hours.

We chose the H.O.P.E farmer’s market and Johnson’s Backyard Garden because we were both interested in the relationship that food has with community eating, and lifestyle choices. Because farmer’s markets are not only linked to the consumption of healthy food but also a space for community connection and cultural exploration we thought it would be a great place to start. Our specific focus was on the point of transaction between the farmer’s market vendor and the consumer. We felt this would give us an event discrete enough for some great flow diagram action but rich enough to provide insight into various biopsychosocial* components of locally growing, buying and consuming fruits and vegetables.

We’re looking forward to seeing what comes of it!



*Biopsychosocial is typically a term used in medicine and psychology. The biopsychosocial model is a way of conceptualizing the various factors that play into human illness and disease at the individual and collective level; biologicial, psychological, and social. It was first coined by psychiatrist George Engel. Even though the most common usage of the word may not directly apply to design-thinking, when put in context with Richard Buchanan’s definition of wicked problems it is another efficient way to describe various complex factors that play into experience, interaction and choice.