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  • The Designer as Ethnographer: Practical Projects from Industry

Bichard, Jo-Anne and GHEERAWO, Rama, 2010, Book Section, The Designer as Ethnographer: Practical Projects from Industry In: Design Anthropology Object Culture in the 21st Century. Springer Wien, New York, USA, pp. 45-55. ISBN 978-3-7091-02336

Abstract or Description:

Bichard and Gheerawo (RCA) were invited to contribute this chapter by the book’s editor, Professor Alison Clarke (University of Applied Arts, Vienna), who brought together ‘key thinkers and practitioners involved in making and theorizing our contemporary material and immaterial world’ (p.9). The book charts how designers have begun to use social research as part of their practice, whilst also presenting an anthropological perspective of both the consumption of design, and those involved in the design process (Bichard and Gheerawo). Design anthropology is an emerging discipline and this edited volume was the first to bring together designers, design researchers and anthropologists.
The chapter describes ethnographic design research and highlights the temporal tensions between respective practices in both design and anthropology. Following Rees’s (2008) suggestion that the fieldwork methodology of anthropology could learn much from design, Bichard and Gheerawo argue that design(ers) could benefit from the reflexive perspective of anthropology. The use of ethnography in design research is especially pertinent in Bichard’s work with partners from disability and ageing communities. The flexibility of the ethnographic approach has afforded collaborative design research processes, bridging the creative experience of the designer/researcher and the life experience of the partner.
A review of the edited volume in Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society (2013) described Bichard and Gheerawo’s chapter as ‘one of the best offerings of the book’. Bichard presented adapted versions of the chapter in her series of guest lectures on design anthropology at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London (2010 and 2011).

Official URL: http://www.springer.com/architecture+%26+design/de...
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L600 Anthropology > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: Research Centres > Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Copyright Holders: Springer Wien
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2011 14:20
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2014 11:50
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/346

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