Cultural Probe — Design Research for Little Brown Box

The cultural probe designed as part of the research process was a way to connect with the Filipino Diaspora and gather data that would inform the development of the designer’s Little Brown Box project.

Five second-generation Filipinos living in North America willingly participated in this cultural probe.


Design Research
Brand Identity
Creative Direction

“Cultural probes (also known as diary studies) provide a way of gathering information about people and their activities. Unlike direct observation (like usability testing or traditional field studies), the technique allows users to self-report. Information gathered from cultural probes is particularly useful early in the design process.” “Cultural probes.” Information & Design: Designing for humans,

The cultural probe was designed to gain inspiration through users' self-reports, to supplement further research, and gather personal information about the participants' thoughts and activities.

On a more visual level, the probe was also used as an opportunity to start tightening the project’s visual language and graphics —experimenting with cultural and decorative aesthetic and vernacular. Areas of interest included food culture in the Filipino diaspora, familial influence on morals and values, and nationalistic pride.

Una Gil

ⓒ Una Gil 2023. All rights reserved.