Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Microbes That Matter


Cite this article:

2021 EPIC Proceedings p 339, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation—While COVID-19 has made the world hyper vigilant about sanitization, I take a bottoms-up perspective on the threats of a microbe-starved world. Telling the story of Clostridium Difficile, I walk us through how—just as in ethnography—context is everything for microbes. Using different examples from the biosphere, I examine how microbial metaphors matter, and I make the case that understanding microbes in the context of larger environments and ecosystems can help move us toward life centered design.

This Pecha Kucha uses microbes as a contextual metaphor to argue that it is our responsibility to change our perspective; to decenter the human, and start designing for the health of the entire ecosystem, not just one of the players. The Pecha Kucha includes a set of experience principles for life-centered design.

Carrie Yury is a Group Design Director at Accenture Interactive. She is Fjord’s National Design Research lead, responsible for leading the overall quality of design research on Fjord’s design and innovation projects, in partnership with Accenture. Over the last 20 years Carrie has held senior-level roles leading ethnographic, UX, and Agile human-centered design research and service design for human centered innovation consultancies.