December 10: Final Presentations (6-9pm)

F.Melotti, Gran Pavese, 1974

Projects are due by 11:59pm on Thursday, December 12!

Today, we’ll share our work via what some folks call a “world cafe” (although I’d prefer not to 😉); it’s really just a series of small-group discussions. We’ll split up into groups or four or five, eat pizza, respond to a few big discussion prompts that encourage us both to describe our final projects and, in so doing, to reflect on our early lessons from the semester. Every 20 minutes or so, we’ll then move to new groups, with new interlocutors — and at the end of class, we’ll regroup and discuss our key takeaways for the semester.

Please feel free to bring material artifacts, images, and other media to share as part of your discussions. You’re also welcome to bring food and drink to share. Neither is an obligation.

Our discussion questions: please use these as a catalyst to discuss your own work:

  • ANTHROPOLOGY FOR DESIGN: How might your projects demonstrate the value of employing ethnographic methods — or core anthropological concerns, like kinship, exchange, colonialism, cultural diffusion, etc. — in design practice, criticism, and scholarship? In our understanding of “innovation”?
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF DESIGN: Do your projects demonstrate how attention to the designed world — buildings, cities, landscapes, infrastructures, material objects, clothing, mediated artifacts, organizational structures, service protocols, etc. — can help us to better grapple with anthropological questions, or research questions in other social-scientific and humanistic fields of inquiry?
  • ANTHROPOLOGY AS DESIGN: Do your projects demonstrate how design methods and/or designed modes of dissemination (drawings, photographs, video, sound, prototyped objects, performative systems, installations, constructed environments, etc.) can be applied productively in anthropological work — or in scholarly work more broadly? How does this work speak to the larger epistemological and political implications of validating other ways of knowing, making, and sharing in the discipline and the academy?
  • DESIGNING THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGY: How might your projects explore other functions of anthropological — or, more broadly, social-scientific and humanistic — work, beyond helping us to understand the world that is? What about the world that could be? What are the potentials and risks of speculative or ontological modes of research and design?

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