Reconnecting People
Acee's Reflective Windows - 6.jpg

Design Research: Ethnographic Observations

This personal project documents creativity hiding in plain sight.


This personal project documents creativity hiding in plain sight.


Spotting workarounds—how people things in unintended ways—challenges me to notice needs. Jane Fulton Suri's gem of a book Thoughtless Acts inspired this exercise in ethnography, which lives at



Unusual Window Dressing

When I noticed this gas station's windows, I wondered, “Why does it look like a meth lab?”


The source of the foil


The foil’s intended use



The measly sun shades at Acee’s Neighborhood Food & Fuel hardly dim the morning sun. Its glare is too bright for the clerks to read the numbers on their cash registers. When management refused to upgrade the shade, a clerk tiled the windows with the foil squares they wrap breakfast sandwiches in. Now they have enough shade to conduct transactions unimpaired.

Here’s the full story.



Coffee Catcher

These re-purposed 2-liter bottles are keeping the floor dry and safe to walk on. 




This barricade at a local grocery store (Schnucks, the “Friendliest Stores in Town”) exemplifies of what Suri calls co-opting: “We make use of opportunities present in our immediate surroundings.”