Yesterday I spent the day wandering around the Frieze art fair. As I stepped in from Regent’s park, I was mesmerized by the mass of artworks that had been collected by the range of galleries, all come together to exhibit the artists’ that they felt passionate about.
I had gone to see the art but had stayed for the people. Last week we spent a lot of time talking about personas, discussing the behaviors of people in different environments. With this still fresh in my mind, I found that it changed the way I interpreted the experience.
To start I hadn’t expected that the event would be so dynamic. I had imagined that it would be a usual gallery set-up, offering a one-way exchange between the work and its visitors. But as it turned out it was quite the opposite, the rooms were filled with a combination of people and art that complimented one another through vibrancy, style and a sense of unrestricted expression.
This made the crowd captivating to watch. It was fascinating to see how everyone was dressed and interacting within the space. There was a definite tone of creativity amongst the crowd. Simply through the clothes, they were wearing and the way they were interacting with the work, I couldn’t help but notice that they were acting as communicators. Furthermore, I began to notice how the people fell into the archetypes that Deanna had taught us about.
The students seemed like trailblazers, wearing bold, bright, block colors that expressed their individuality, with their phones out, at the ready, recording the event. They seemed to show the characteristics we had discussed, the kind of person seeking out new experiences with an active curiosity.
Then on the other end of the spectrum, there were the buyers. As a group, they seemed to be the ones’ who were dressed with a style that was articulate and refined from head to toe. They seemed like the practical archetype, looking at the pieces analytically and in detail. They walked around calmly and comfortably, but you could see that in contrast to us who were looking at the pieces as spectators, they were shopping.
These are only two of the types of personas that I found captivating at the Frieze. I have always been entertained by people watching, but with everything we had learned over the last week in mind, I found that I was now observing with focus. This made me realize how people watching could be used as a valuable tool for understanding personas and accessing archetypes.