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Perspectives

The Future of Anthropology ~ Ed Liebow, Executive Director, American Anthropological Association

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The Future of Anthropology: EPIC/AAA Partnership

by Ed Liebow, Executive Director, American Anthropological Association “I have just seen the future of anthropology,” I said to anyone and everyone who asked me about the first EPIC (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference), held in 2005 at Microsoft’s Seattle area campus. I had had a privileged vantage point, having offered to coordinate the production of the conference proceedings on behalf of AAA/NAPA (American Anthropological Association/National Association for the Praxis of Anthropology). The setting, the format, the participants all looked fresh through the EPIC lens. Even the proceedings – at least their timing – were a novelty. They appeared online…

What Things to Teach Designers in Post-Industrial Times?

by Cameron Tonkinwise, Director of Design Studies & Doctoral Studies, CMU School of Design Academics frequently argue for things that people do not yet acknowledge as existing. Compared to most other professions, where arguments are often between two or more things ‘on the table,’ academics profess things that they believe need to be ‘brought to the table.’ We say to students, ‘this thing you know nothing about yet, it is going to be really important for you to know (how to do) when you have a job, trust me.’ Or we say to industry, ‘believe this research, it demonstrates that you…

BarnRaise: IIT Institute of Design Creates Systemic, Transdisciplinary Collaborative Models

by Roxanne Knapp, IIT Institute of Design The Institute of Design (ID) at the Illinois Institute of Technology is building thought leadership and practice around using design to innovate for humanity’s most pressing, confounding issues. The world faces daunting global challenges—complex, fast-changing, and unpredictable problems—that design strategy is uniquely poised to address. Our students explore how the practice of design is evolving in response to large-scale economic, social, and technical changes. Our faculty teach methods and frameworks that support an emerging kind of design, one in which designers coordinate relationships between systems and foster conditions in which ecologies can grow.…

Rethinking Financial Literacy with Design Anthropology

by Marijke Rijsberman (FAIR Money; Coursera) Marietta is 61 years old. She takes care of her adult son (unemployed) and her daughter-in-law (disabled), both of whom live with her in a simple 3-bedroom house on the wrong side of the freeway. Her rent is sky-high, because in Silicon Valley rents are crazy on both sides of the freeway. Marietta also contributes to her mother’s care. She is trying to keep up payments and insurance on three cars, one of which is currently non-operational, and she has title loans on the other two. And she has a set of payday loans…

Breaking it Down: Integrating Agile Methods and Ethnographic Praxis

by Carrie Yury, BeyondCurious Critical thinkers that we are, researchers are skeptical of buzzwords, one-size-fits all methodologies, and facile business trends. We scowl as ‘ethnography’ is invoked just because someone actually talked with a customer. We say things like, “If you want to be Agile, try yoga.” Even so, we remain deeply committed to the core value of these approaches when they’re done right. At BeyondCurious, we practice Agile Research. Why did we adapt our research practice to Agile? We did it because we had to. BeyondCurious is an innovation agency that specializes in mobile experiences for enterprise clients. Mobile moves…