The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Note: This post is over 4 years old. It was first published in July 2008

If you’re ever involved with field research, or if you just have an interest in human behaviour, you will find this video fascinating. It’s a clip from William H. Whyte’s “Social life of Small Urban Spaces” (1979).

Moving on to something linked but rather different, if you liked the clip above, you will probably enjoy the movie Kitchen Stories (2003). It’s a swedish film that involves a very whacky ethnographic research project. A researcher is sent to observe a single man use his kitchen – and he does so by sitting on a tennis umpire’s seat and tracking the flow of his subject’s movements around the room in his notepad. The clip below shows the credits, where they’ve used the theme of the flow diagram in a lovely way.

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