Observation of the Insignificant

Edna Hirsbrunner
2 min readFeb 25, 2019


© Edna Hirsbrunner

In the first two sessions of the theory module of this semester we are dealing with the topic of observation.

To observe, to be aware of the apparently insignificant things was the main focus. We got five exercises to guide us through a better observation of the usual, the daily things, the daily routines, with an emphasis on public spaces.

As an introduction I sat down in the coffee shop in front of our university and watched the people on this warm early spring day. It was a Monday afternoon and the people, mostly students, were outside, some were drinking coffee others already alcohol. It was the first warm, sunny day of this year and it was a very exuberant, unusual mood for the beginning of the week.

Exercise III – in front of the University.

For a second observation I took time during the supervision of an exhibition. The exhibition took place in a public space at the university. On one hand I watched the visitors and on the other the people who were not there specifically for the exhibition. The visitors behaved very quiet, actually as it is usual for a museum environment, almost devout. The exhibits created “streets” in the open space of the university so the non-visitors met an unusual situation, the normally empty room was now occupied. Some of the passing became instantly visitors and behaved like them too, others just walked by, unimpressed and once again others were passing and then turned into visitors. They lowered their voices, calmed their steps down and started to watch the objects and screens more careful. This collision that happened between the visitors, the passersby and the exhibition was very interesting to observe. It was a not so usual and everyday situation but one still has to watch and listen attentively to notice the silent flows and happenings.

Notebook Insight from the Exhibition Observation.