People Knowing, 2010

In collaboration with Bora Shin and Buddy Bojorquez

One of America's most easily forgotten pastimes is the yard sale. As our world transforms into a more digital space, it becomes easier for people to forget the importance of the yard sale tradition.

We began our research with a very simple question, what is the connection between yard sales and its community? And out of this simple question sparked a wide range of other inquiry. For instance, what are the affordances of a yard sale? What are the main motivations? What are the narratives that are attached to these objects? What is the relationship between buyer and seller?

To find different characters of yard sale, we visited several yard sales in Los Angeles. We also ran an investigative yard sale, which further aided in creating a design proposal. Through our investigation we have stumbled upon very interesting findings that really get at the heart of what it means to be a part of and to curate a yard sale. In a lot of ways, yard sales are more than just a place to sell unwanted or old things. It is an event that transforms a private space into a public space and manifests a shared community

Judy:   Pam:

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In response to these findings, we have proposed a fictional agency called Yard Sale guild. The angency's mission is to provide more delightful yard sale experiences that can possibly lead to greater networking, more conversations, stories, life lessons and spatial enjoyment. We wish to preserve the yard sale tradition by not just providing newer approaches to the yard sale, but by providing yard sale lifestyles. Our research led us to create four proposals for different demographic groups. Each proposal includes a kit with specific directions to follow.

1. Learning Place for Kids
Based on our findings from our field research we realized yard sale space can be a place for learing and teaching for both kids and their parents. Three aspects of teaching and learnings we focused on are the process of department, learning to do transactions and learning to price values.

2. Yard sale Party
Yard sale is mostly held by a family at a house, but we want to expand it by thinking about the host being a young adult who doesn't have a yard. Our mission is to keep the value of a yard sale in a different context. What would a yard sale without a yard look like? We are proposing a yard sale party for the young adults. For the event, locations around the city like vacant spaces and roof tops are recommended. We then shift the time to night. More multimedia's are integrated in the yard sale for sensorial experience. We consult from the preparation of the event to the setting of actual objects that will be sold.

3. Communal Table
One thing we want to keep is the tradition of storytelling. This kit provides the opportunities to extend these interactions between elderly to keep sharing other than just navigating through the space as a spectator. Another aspect that was kept in mind was to create a healthy communal area for the elderly.

4. Future Yard
As technology advances faster and faster each day, the yard sale tradition is slowly becoming lost. But instead of only thinking of ways to improve existing yard sale trends we want to propose other systems that can work adapt and evolve alongside technology. A way of doing this is to offer up the idea of using T.V. broadcasting to broadcast yard sales neighborhood-to-neighborhood.

We designed a 45 page zine which shows our process and conclusion.
Click here to download full pdf version of the book.