A few years ago I saw a book called "Thoughtless Acts" by Jane Fulton Suri and IDEO. The book, which also has a website, was full of examples of intuitive ways people adapted, exploited and reacted to their surroundings. The point was to recognize those things we do without thinking, and use them as insights for creating thoughtful designs.
I walked around the campus and my neighborhood to see whether I could find some examples of thoughtless acts myself. And here is what I found with some notes:
Conforming & Exploiting: The information board that holds the campus map for display is now mostly used for displaying information on student activities and meetings. The map is now only partially visible. The function is not altered, but exploited. A board for permanently displayed information has become a tool for temporary messages. Even the legs holding the board is used for sticking messages.
Responding: The match box is intuitively inserted in the space between the logs of the bench. It is perfect for the match box. The compatibility must have tempted the smoker to leave his waste right there, where he sat down to smoke his cigarette.
Exploiting: The tree acts as a support; a perfect parking spot for the bicycle. Environmental features are exploited due to their affordances.
Co-opting & Exploiting: Names of lovers are carved on the surface of the wooden picnic table. Users have taken advantage of the physical qualities of wood to leave a mark after them.
Adapting & Co-opting: The beaded decoration is hung on the handle of the kitchen window. Thus, the handle provides an affordance other than its fundamental function of opening/closing the window. The person uses the handle intuitively for hanging stuff, as it is the closest thing to a hanger in the environment.
Conforming & Exploiting: There is a high school across the border defining wall of this housing complex. The students have taken advantage of the large surface of the wall and turned it into a message board for themselves. Although the residents are not pleased with this habit, once several messages got written on the wall, other students started to use it for the same purpose too.
Adapting: I found this book in my library with a bus ticket from 2004 in it. I was reading the book during a long-distance bus trip, and made use of the ticket as a bookmark.
Adapting & Co-opting: The bags are hanging from the door knob instead of being stored in a cabinet or hung from a hanger. The door knob can no longer perform its primary function; users must not feel the need to shut their door often. The arrangement makes it easy for the users to grab whichever bag they want before leaving the room.