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PechaKucha Presentation—“But what do anthropologists do? What kind of special knowledge do you have access to?” This question was posed during one of the salons at EPIC2014 and cuts to the heart of the value of non-academic anthropologists. We contend that there is not one answer, but a series of possibilities, each a pathway – to knowledge with its own consequences and import. To explore these, we take inspiration from Akira Kurosawa’s classic film Rashomon and Margery Wolf’s methodological critique A Thrice-Told Tale. Both of these explore the benefits and limits of perspective by recounting a single story through different lenses. Similarly, we will take a single empirical field observation from fieldwork done on a Caribbean cruise ship. From this starting point, we will frame the same story through three different lenses commonly used in our work: as a user insight, a strategic implication, and as inspiration for innovation. We will emphasize the...
MARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPANConifer Research EVAN HANOVERConifer Research
The awkward pause, the impolite topic, and the embarrassing moment are occupational hazards for the ethnographer. Rather than shun these uncomfortable moments and get back to the smooth, seamless business of research, we should embrace and reflect upon them; they can be invaluable. In this presentation, we will present a study focused on developing and improving resources designed for students who are visually impaired. In the course of this project, we encountered all manner of discomfort as we found our fully sighted understanding of the world challenged by our participants’ experiences. This proved to be a major empathy hurdle, which we only began to resolve once we accounted for our own discomfort as data, and not simply an inconvenient emotional side effect to be swept aside to achieve a kind of ideal objectivity....
As Africa becomes the next frontier for consumer innovations, researchers and designers will be faces with a challenge: how can one get deep and meaningful insights on ever-accelerated project timetables? The following case study offers one such possibility. Drawing on work in rural Ghana, I describe my team used co-creation as a means to generate insight, as well as iterate on concepts. Particular attention is paid here to challenges that are unique to Africa (and the base of the pyramid in general), such as how to construct a ‘third space’ for co-creation when the participants may have no cultural referent for the roles and responsibilities inherent in a market research interaction. Once this third space was established; however, we were able to leverage storytelling and technology to rapidly and co-creatively generate actionable insights....