How do designers employ ethnographic methods? Let’s apply an anthropological lens to think about how these designers understand ethnography and its potential values for their practice. And what can we learn by regarding some of the below texts as designed artifacts themselves, rather than simply words on a page?
FIELD TRIP (6-7pm): PUBLIC POLICY LAB, 20 Jay Street (Dumbo) #203*, w/ Natalia Radywyl et. al. *Directions from Natalia: “take an elevator up to the 2nd floor, follow the corridor leading off of the elevators until it ends, then turn right and you’ll see PPL’s front door.”
- Lucy Suchman, “Anthropological Relocations and the Limits of Design,” Annual Review of Anthropology 40 (2011): 1-18.
- Susan Leigh Star, “Infrastructure and Ethnographic Practice: Working on the Fringes,” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 14:2 (2002): 107-22.
- Nicholas Nova, ed., Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research (Geneva: HEAD, 2015): read 4-11, [skim/skip 12-27], read 29-66, [skim 67-81], read 117-21.
- Check out EPIC: Advancing the Value of Ethnography in Industry + Why the World Needs Anthropologists.
- Skim through the websites of some ethnographic design consultancies (check out their staff demographics!) and a few anthropologist-led firms:
- IDEO, their method of “design thinking,” and their Design Kit (including the downloadable Field Guide to Human-Centered Design)
- Studio D, their Field Study Handbook (I’ll bring my copy to class), and “Making Sense of the World,” a Monocle Podcast about the book (May 24, 2017) <30:00>.
- Gehl Institute’s Public Life Tools.
- ReD Associates and its Baskerville “human science” panache.
- Anthropologist-led consultancies: Anthropología 2.0; Danya Glabau’s Implosion Labs; Ethnologica; Katrina Johnston’s Think Urban; sociologist Tricia Wang’s Sudden Compass; Nancy Foster Design Anthropology; The Youngblood Group (plus this The Human Show podcast interview with Youngblood (June 14, 2019) <53:15>).
- Post a slide to our response deck?
- Other Design Research Consultancies: First Insights, Fjord, Frog Design, Gensler Research & Insight, Humanly, and a whole bunch more.
- AIGA / Cheskin, “An Ethnography Primer” (n.d.).
- R.J. Anderson, “Representations and Requirements: The Value of Ethnography in System Design,” Human-Computer Interaction 9:2 (1994).
- Genevieve Bell: all of her work.
- PARC, “Ethnography and the PARC Copier” (1983) <video>.
- Bryce Peake, “Decolonizing Design Anthropology with Tinn,” Platypus: The CASTAC Blog (April 21, 2015).
- Natalie Hanson, “Carving a Niche Between Software and Social Science: Anthropology in Industry with Natalie Hanson,” This Anthro Life (January 31, 2018) <podcast: 1:02:04>.
- Charles Pearson, “Ethnography = Better Design,” Dear Design Student (December 13, 2015).
- Ian H. Smith, “Design Anthropologists: An Emerging Group of Design Thinkers Focused on Innovation,” Being Guided (April 12, 2018).
- Simply Hired’s jobs in design ethnography.
- Lucy A. Suchman, Plans and Situated Actions; The Problems of Human-Machine Communication (Cambridge University Press, 1987).
- Christina Wasson, “Ethnography in the Field of Design,” Human Organization 59:4 (2000): 377–88.