My habit of people watcher, is concerned also with people’s projects.
I’ve allways enjoyed visiting big hardware stores and stare at the exhibition of tools, bolts, planks, pipes, fabrics. It’s a mix of Technology museum and Contemporary art. And as it happened with Art exhibitions, here too I like to watch the people when they ask the salesman for help because they do not know the exact name for the item they need “I want a piece, U shaped of about 80 cm, I need to assemble …” while they hold in their hand a sketch with the plan for a particular artifact they conceived. Suddenly I see all the people around me as little engineers, creative inventors that have designed a solution to a problem. They are going to buy the items needed, saw, screw, assemble, until is built.
It just takes a bit of imagination to visualize like a cloud over them, holding their projects. Another place where I can detect people’s projects is furniture stores, like Ikea. Here too, you can see the people around, holding a little sketch with the design for a drawing room, bedroom, or kitchen. You can see young couples perhaps about to start living together, full of hope, others, renewing their kitchen, thinking how happy they will be in it, cooking delicious meals. And this leads me to another space where you can guess about people’s projects: the food market. In front of the fishmonger people hold also a list with the ingredients of a recipe, they look at prawls, angler, cuttlefish, seafood, and anticipate a delicious dish.
Actually, everywhere people have projects in mind, in some places they are easier to guess. You could add travel agencies where that man in a formal suite reads a brochure and pictures himself in shorts in a Caribean beach, or fashion shops where young girls consider buying a particular t-shirt and imagine herselves sexy and pretty in a club.