Community behavior regarding charity & greed



Elective: Constructive Design Research      


Research the behavior of people concerning charity and grief using a vending machine.


A community sharing fridge placed within our faculty to measure community behavior based on the total value of the product in the fridge over time.



Based on the theme “Vending Machine–charitable and greedy”  for the elective, we proposed the research question ”What does a sharing fridge reveal about a community, regarding charitable and greedy behavior?”. To measure this behaviour, we created the “Community sharing fridge”. After setting the variables, researchers used field research methodologies like observation and interview to collect sufficient data. The research shows that (1) People have strong community feeling in the community where the research was conducted. (2) The placement of the fridge did not influence the number of transactions within the community. (3) The community is slightly greedy. (4) People care and make an effort to build their self-image within the community. Finally, there can be concluded that the community fridge works as a community measurement tool. The research is expected to have a beneficial effect on supporting the practice of design for communities and further research on communities. 


Key learning points: research methods

Looking back at this course is the most interesting to compare how much I have learned from my masters. It was the first course of the masters and I just started to read about communities. Now by having a proper understanding of communities, I see so many links with the literature that I didn’t at the time. For example, the Nielsens 90-9-1 rule of participation clearly shows with most participants only looking at the fridge, a few using the fridge and one person being very generous and improving the total value of the fridge compared to the beginning. Furthermore, nobody felt responsible for throwing away rotten fruit in the fridge, which we did as researchers. At the time we didn’t understand why the community members didn’t feel the responsibility. Now I understand that our role was as the moderators by literally removing rotten content, but we didn’t teach or trigger other members to do so. Also looking back at how poorly written the paper is compared to how I write in academically now, is interesting to see. The paper actually has much potential because it shows that the online principles known by community members still hold up in a physical community.