CHARLEY SCULL

Contributed Articles

Tutorial: Ethnographic Video—Storytelling for Impact

Instructors: CHARLEY SCULL (UX Researcher, Facebook), NICK AGAFONOFF (Director, Real Ethnography) & PRABHAS POKHAREL (CEO, Reduct) An end-to-end approach to scoping, planing, shooting, editing and sharing video ethnography projects. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. We’ve all seen the power of a well-crafted ethnographic video to capture the attention, and imagination of the room, whether that room is a design studio, a classroom or a boardroom. At its best, it can generate empathy, reveal insights that would be impossible to describe, and build conviction and consensus, in ways that can lead to alignment on what action to take next. In this EPIC 2021 tutorial we will show you just how accessible this powerful form of expression can be to produce. Join experienced video ethnographers and editors, Nick, Charley, and Prabhas, to explore the craft of ethnographic storytelling for impact, through video. You will leave...

Leveraging Speculative Design to Re-Imagine Product Roadmaps

SANYA ATTARI Facebook Inc. CHARLEY SCULL Facebook Inc. MAHBOOBEH HARANDI Facebook Inc. Businesses often have strategic visions for the future of a product space; however, identifying and building toward preferable futures is a daunting task, especially when designing for complex systems, e.g., Digital advertising platforms that include multiple complex interfaces and internal organizational structures. Moreover, because businesses need to iterate on products quickly, often in a reactive manner, many businesses, and consequently researchers, struggle to go beyond short-term needs to tackle long-term solutions; that is, they mostly react to immediate needs and changes rather than taking a proactive strategic approach towards building a favorable future. Speculative design as a methodology to support proactive strategic thinking helps set a pathway to explore a variety of future states with participants, in our case business owners. It does so by designing immersive and impactful experiments for participants that draws insight...

EPIC2019 Ethnographic Film

The film session at EPIC explores the ways ethnographic practitioners have used moving images to interpret data, share insights, and tell the stories of their work. Filmmakers showcase these forays in visual storytelling by screening examples and discussing the limits and possibilities of the form. Films were selected through anonymous review. Program Introduction, Charley Scull Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, RUCHIKA MUCHHALA, Third Kulture Media The Learning Library: Using Ethnographic Film as an Organizational Change Tool by Scaling Human Insights across a National Preschool System, HAL PHILLIPS & MEG KINNEY, Bad Babysitter Clyde in Mulberry, ALLEGRA OXBOROUGH, Aero Creative Agency in the Smart Home of the Future, NICK AGAFONOFF, Real Ethnography Introduction CHARLEY SCULL, Committee Chair and Film Session Curator Considering the theme of agency through the lens of film offers many avenues for exploration, in terms of both the stories that film can feature and the power...

Ethnographic ‘Weirdness’: Attending to Indicators of the Unfamiliar

CHARLEY SCULL Filament Insight & Innovation This presentation begins with ethnographic research of an Indonesian tuna fishery in which a field partner describes unfamiliar cultural behavior as ‘weird’. Using that moment as a starting point, the paper then undertakes a reflection on the usage and meaning of the term. It explores ‘weirdness’ through a range of core tenets, like cultural relativism, empathy and ethnocentrism and then plays with the meaning of weirdness across a number of disciplinary and market lenses. The talk builds to a provocation about the ways in which ‘weird’ can serve as a call to action. It concludes that researchers should use ‘weird’ as an indicator that helps them know where they need to dig deeper, in search of empathic understanding and where they need to reconcile their biases. By doing so, the talk argues, we are giving agency to the data which we don't yet understand. Charley Scull is a visual anthropologist, ethnographer, insight strategist and UX researcher. He has worked...

Using Video to Think Ethnographically: Core Approaches to Research, Production, Deliverables, and Mindset

An EPIC Talk with CHARLEY SCULL & NICK AGAFONOFF Overview Ethnographers have long used video for research and storytelling in their practices. Today a powerful array of evolving visual technologies offers unprecedented possibilities for access, representation, collaboration and dissemination, but the options can also be overwhelming and with this power comes great responsibility. Questions of ethics and vulnerability must be carefully considered, along with ongoing challenges of reconciling client objectives with the politics of representation, sharing of voice, artistic expression, and notions of the authentic. In this talk, experienced ethnographic filmmakers Charley Scull and Nick Agafanoff review core principles of video ethnography and some of the most common video deliverables. They will then deconstruct examples from their own work to reveal key processes under the hood: how objectives can shift over the course of a project; where co-analysis helped or hindered the work; how video encouraged clients to change...

Tutorial: Ethnographic Thinking for Wicked Problems – Framing Systemic Challenges and Catalyzing Change

Tutorial Instructors: JAY HASBROUCK Hasbrouck Research Group CHARLEY SCULL Practica Group Contributor: LISA DICARLO, Brown University SUMMARY In this interactive tutorial, participants explored ways in which ethnographers can have an expanded role in addressing social issues and other wicked problems. In particular, it explored how ethnographic thinking can frame problems and catalyze change. Participants were first provided with a grounding in ways to approach systemic challenges and social entrepreneurship, including discussion of some successful roles ethnographers have played as part of inter-disciplinary teams. Then, instructors introduced three case studies (and frameworks of systems within them) that participants later used as material for exploring how broader applications of ethnographic thinking might work in real world settings. Those included: labor practices in the seafood industry, encouraging energy conservation, and managing the refugee crises. In the second part of the tutorial, participants divided into groups...