In anticipation of our 18th annual conference, and in loving memory of two incredible EPIC people who championed this format—Paul Ratliff and Suzanne Thomas—we're sharing just a few of our favorite PechaKucha presentations.
PechaKucha are performances of 20 image-rich slides that show for 20 seconds each—performance poetry with visual punch. They offer a creative and reflective format for sharing unique insights, perspectives, juxtapositions, and provocations about ethnographic work.
It was...really hard to choose just a few performances to highlight (and I know I'll hear about what's left out!). So take this as an invitation to explore our video library, get ready for a fabulous new program of PechaKuchas for EPIC2022, and ponder your own PechaKucha submission for EPIC2023!
PAUL RATLIFF, EPIC2014
Our work of investigating experience is rarely directed at personal transformation. The impact we seek to create is not specific to our participants or intended for them alone, if at all. We don’t go...
A new cohort of EPIC members has just embarked on "Using Theory in Research"—a foundational EPIC Course taught by Kate Sieck, PhD (Senior Manager, Machine Assisted Cognition at Toyota Research Institute). We invite you to read along!
In the first of six lectures and group seminar sessions, course participants explored what theory is and how it infuses our everyday work practices. Kate also covered the value of sociocultural theory, how it’s different from other approaches, its special value to work in business and organizational environments, and some foundational frameworks of society and culture.
Kate recommended the following reading and listening for week one. Yep, that's cyborg-avatar Lucy Suchman with a WALL-E body. You'll also get to see Bruno Latour in Superman trunks. Have fun! You can also participate in the next course cohort.
by Jay Dautcher, Mike Griffin, Tiffany Romain, Eugene Limb
KATE SAYS: Certainly good methodological practices are important. However, our assumptions about people...
By shifting from sanitized, frictionless experiences to multisensory, relational landscapes, brands and organizations can help people feel a sense of safety, community, and well-being.
by PIERRE LEE and SERENA CHAO, Gemic
Sanitization has been a key word during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sanitization not just in terms of cleanliness, but also in terms of the revised interactions people have had with each other and with the environment around them. COVID-19 has created a Sanitized Landscape – supposedly free of germs in the home, cars on the road, and close encounters with other bodies.
As parts of the world slowly prepare for a ‘new normal’ post-pandemic, we propose that a fundamental part of this preparing involves looking not through the lens of a Sanitized Landscape, but a Sensory Landscape. This combines traditional senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing with metaphysical perception – senses beyond the traditional that help people feel a sense of safety, comfort, connectedness, and well-being.
Prediction can create a false sense of certainty – at great cost. Can uncertainty establish a more effective foundation for product development?
by HELI RANTAVUO, Spotify
Foresight. Tends. Megatrends. Forecasting. Speculative design. Predictive modelling. Impact estimating.
These are some of the established methods that researchers and analysts use in trying to understand what the future might look like, and how the organisations we work for and with approach the future. A variety of research and design techniques are available for us to make sense of the future in a structured way. Ethnographers and anthropologists know how to study the present in order to speculate on the future; design teams employ futurecasts and speculative design; futures research employs a wide range of methods that cut across disciplines. With the availability of big data, forecasting and predictive modelling is growing more and more sophisticated.
Sometimes I wonder, does the maturity of our methods and frameworks make us feel too confident about...
a book review by VERONICA KIM HOTTON
As we anticipate EPIC2021—yes, bring on the puns—I had the spectacular task of studying The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. My goal was to find small ways to spark our EPIC community's curiosity ahead of her EPIC keynote. As a regular audiobook listener, I listened to the voice of Janina Edwards bring Ebony Thomas’ work from the page to my ears, and if you are looking to add an audiobook to your virtual shelf, it’s a fantastic audiobook; you should not hesitate. I also have the paper book and it is a wonder to hold.
Because Ebony weaves in autoethnographic storytelling throughout her book, my personal experiences were what first drew me to this work. We both grew up in Michigan. Ebony was in Detroit and I was a white girl in one of the many suburbs spawned by White Flight. We are Generation X with “the holy trinity of our mid-1980s children’s films [being] The Neverending Story, The Dark Crystal, and—my favorite...
Welcome to EPISODE FOUR in a series of conversations with some of the makers and speakers of EPIC2021—a global, virtual conference and community promoting ethnography for impact in business, organizations and communities.
In this episode, Luc Aractingi talks with Lauren Rhodes, Design Research Strategist at Crown Equipment Corporation and Chair of the EPIC2021 Panels Program.
Find out how Lauren is shifting norms about who gets staged as an "expert", and get her pro tips for networking and getting involved.
LUC: Hello and welcome to EPIC interviews, a series where we get to know the makers and the host of the conference EPIC2021. Today we are interviewing Lauren Rhodes. Hello, thanks for being here.
LAUREN: Thank you for having me.
LUC: I was wondering if you could describe your job to a stranger.
LAUREN: If I could describe my job to a stranger. My actual title is Design Research Strategist at Crown Equipment Corporation, which is a manufacturing company based in New Bremen, Ohio. We make forklifts. The equipment...
Welcome to EPISODE TWO in a series of conversations with some of the makers and speakers of EPIC2021—a global, virtual conference and community promoting ethnography for impact in business, organizations and communities.
In this episode, Luc Aractingi talks with Chad Maxwell, Chief Strategy Officer at Kelly Scott Madison and co-chair of the EPIC2021 Case Studies Committee.
Find out how ethnographers demonstrate the impact of their work, and how ethnography can create new kinds of value in the future.
LUC: Hello and welcome to EPIC interviews, a series where we get to know the makers and the host of the conference EPIC. This year our theme is anticipation, and today we'll be interviewing Chad Maxwell, who's Chief Strategy Officer at KSM. Chad, thank you for coming. We're very excited to have you here today. Could you tell us more about your role at EPIC?
CHAD: Sure. Thanks for having me. It is great to be here. My role at EPIC is I am one of the chairs for the case studies section of the conference.
Welcome to EPISODE THREE in a series of conversations with some of the makers and speakers of EPIC2021—a global, virtual conference and community promoting ethnography for impact in business, organizations and communities.
In this episode, Luc Aractingi talks with Jennifer Fuqua, Director of Experience Design, North Asia, at Ogilvy. Jennifer is one of five panelists presenting the The Future of Business in a Post-COVID Landscape.
We look forward to Fuqua's perspectives from Hong Kong, where she has been working with businesses and brands in Asia to help them grow and look into the future.
Luc: Hello and welcome to EPIC People, a series in which we'll be interviewing the makers and hosts of the upcoming conference, EPIC2021. This year our theme is Anticipation and we'll be interviewing today Jennifer Fuqua, who is an experienced designer at Oglivy. Jennifer thank you for coming.
Jennifer: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Luc: Well, we're very excited to have you in today. To get us started, I was wondering if you...
Welcome to EPISODE ONE in a series of conversations with some of the makers and speakers of EPIC2021—a global, virtual conference and community promoting ethnography for impact in business, organizations and communities.
In this episode, Luc Aractingi talks with Sarah Ellis, Director of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Keynote Speaker at EPIC2021.
Find out why artists are the consummate innovators and Shakespeare is on the cutting edge of mixed reality and emerging technologies!
LUC: Hello and welcome to EPIC interviews, a series where we get to know the makers and hosts of the conference EPIC 2021. Today we are interviewing Sarah Ellis, who is the Director of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hello, thank you for coming.
SARAH: Hello, nice to be here.
LUC: I was wondering if you could tell us more about your role.
SARAH: I work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and my job is the first job of its kind where I'm the Director of Digital Development. What that means is...
by CASIANA PASCARIU, Mesa Community College
We’re honored and excited to welcome EPIC2021 keynote speaker Jason Edward Lewis, Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, to our conference and community!
Lewis is a thinker and maker whose work on next-generation AI systems fuses the technical and creative, mechanical and philosophical, computational and cultural. This work illuminates core aspects of the EPIC2021 theme Anticipation—centering social and cultural practices at the heart of emerging technologies and expanding prevailing assumptions about where the future will come from. For Lewis, next-generation AI comes from Indigenous places: “Our aim is to articulate a multiplicity of Indigenous knowledge systems and technological practices that can and should be brought to bear on the ‘question of AI.’”
In anticipation of a phenomenal keynote presentation, EPIC member Casiana Pascariu talked with Lewis about the trajectory of his life and work. We’re grateful to them for sharing this story.