1st Edition

Design Anthropology Theory and Practice

Edited By Wendy Gunn, Ton Otto, Rachel Charlotte Smith Copyright 2013

    Design is a key site of cultural production and change in contemporary society. Anthropologists have been involved in design projects for several decades but only recently a new field of inquiry has emerged which aims to integrate the strengths of design thinking and anthropological research.This book is written by anthropologists who actively participate in the development of design anthropology. Comprising both cutting-edge explorations and theoretical reflections, it provides a much-needed introduction to the concepts, methods, practices and challenges of the new field. Design Anthropology moves from observation and interpretation to collaboration, intervention and co-creation. Its practitioners participate in multidisciplinary design teams working towards concrete solutions for problems that are sometimes ill-defined. The authors address the critical potential of design anthropology in a wide range of design activities across the globe and query the impact of design on the discipline of anthropology.This volume will appeal to new and experienced practitioners in the field as well as to students of anthropology, innovation, science and technology studies, and a wide range of design studies focusing on user participation, innovation, and collaborative research.

    Design Anthropology: Practices, Perspectives and Potentials - Ton Otto (Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark), Rachel Charlotte Smith (Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark) and Wendy Gunn (Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark)Section One: Concepts, Methods and PracticesThe Social Life of Concepts in Design Anthropology - Adam Drazin (Institute of Anthropology, University College London, UK)Transforming Knowledge-pieces into Design Concepts: Creative Montage at Design Workshops - Mette Kjaersgaard (Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark)Tools and Movements of Engagement: Design Anthropology as a Particular Style of Knowing - Kyle Kilbourn (Institute of Technology and Innovation, University of Southern Denmark)Section Two: The Materiality of DesignDesigning by Doing: Building Bridges in the Highlands of Borneo - Ian J. Ewart, (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK) Anatomical Design: Making and Using Three-dimensional Models of the Human Body - Elizabeth Hallam (Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK and School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford UK)Designing Heritage for a Digital Culture - Rachel Charlotte Smith (Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark)Section Three: The Temporality of DesignFrom Description to Correspondence: Anthropology in Real Time Caroline Gatt and Tim Ingold (Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK)Conceptions of Innovation and Practice(S) of Inhabiting Indoor Climate - Wendy Gunn (Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark) and Christian Clausen (Spire, University of Southern Denmark, and Danish Technical University) Ethnographies of the Possible - Joachim Halse (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design)Section Four: The Relationality of DesignGenerating 'Publics' Through Design Research - Brendon Clark (Interactive Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)Bridging Disciplines and Sectors: An Industry-academic Partnership in Design Anthropology - Christina Wasson and Crysta Metcalf (Department of Anthropology, University of North Texas and Motorola Mobility Inc., USA) Decolonizing Design Innovation: Design Anthropology, Critical Anthropology and Indigenous Knowledge - Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall (Faculty of Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)EpilogueEthnography and Design, Ethnography in Design ... Ethnography by Design - George E. Marcus and Keith M. Murphy (Department of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine, USA)ReferencesIndex


    Wendy Gunn is associate professor of design anthropology at Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark. She has published widely on the relation between design and anthropology and has extensive experience of collaborating with industry, companies and the public sector as an integral part of research and teaching. Ton Otto is professor of anthropology at James Cook University, Australia and Aarhus University, Denmark. He has published widely on anthropological theory and ethnography and works with various visual media. Rachel Charlotte Smith is an anthropologist working in the fields of media, technology and design at Aarhus University, Denmark.

    "Design Anthropology will interest those engaged at the intersections of anthropology and design and, indeed, engineering and science and other future-making practices, and in years to come it will be an interesting document of a moment in intellectual history. - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Eeva Berglund There is significant demand for a text such as this from industry and academia alike, as well as from students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels ... Even the short blurbs about contributors are a useful resource ... [The book also features] a well-rounded bibliography ... [and] an attractive series of colour photographs and diagrams. - Journal of Design History Designers and anthropologists have long worked together but the broader questions of how design and anthropology both inform and contextualize each other as contemporary projects remain very much in flux. This volume alone will not settle the matter but its broad view valuably maps out the terrain and illustrates what is at stake. It collects case studies, thoughtful reflections, and provocative proposals that do not simply illustrate the richness of this encounter but sketch the transformative conceptual impact that it has for both sides. For all of us who work, think, teach, write, and dwell in this exciting interdisciplinary space, these essays will be of tremendous value. - Paul Dourish, Professor of Informatics, University of California, Irvine, USA Design Anthropology is essential reading for anthropologists who want to make a difference in the world and designers who seek to understand the world in which they wish to make a difference. - Sarah Pink, Professor at the Design Research Institute and the School of Media and Communications at RMIT, Australia."